Crossroads of Education: Mary Mendoza

Mary Mendoza – Sophomore Effingham High School – Remote Learning

Favorite Subject: Math

When do you first remember hearing about the pandemic?

Some of my friends were talking about the corona virus and I didn’t know what it was about. And then i came home and my parents were talking about it. And so I looked online. 

Was it a surprise to you when they shut the schools down?

No not really. I have some cousins in Virginia and they had already shut their schools down.

What items remind you of school during the shutdown?

Computer. Mouse. Desk.

What did you miss most about life before the pandemic?

Seeing my friends.

Is there anything you like more about life since the pandemic?

Before the pandemic I was trying to learn the guitar but it was hard. And I was thinking of maybe learning the piano but i didn;t have any time for it but now I can actually learn it. And i can play some songs now. And last year i tried to learn a new language but i couldn’t because of school, but now I can learn it. 

What did you take for granted about life before the pandemic?

A lot of things. Mostly seeing my friends. The fact I could go other places and didn’t have to wear a mask.

Did you enjoy remote learning?

I missed not being able to see people while learning.  I’m looking forward to it this year because they said it would be harder and more intense. 

What has been the most helpful thing?

My French teacher did Zoom meetings once a week and I really liked and enjoyed that.

Do you think you’ve changed during this time?

Definitely. In almost every way. Now if I talk with my friends it’s not as frequent and I tend to talk about different things because before it was about school but now we have to talk about new things. It was difficult at first but I find it more enjoyable.

What did you notice about yourself with school schedules and structures?

I learned that I need  a schedule. Eventually I put a schedule on my phone and reminders. I think I did like the fact that we didn’t have to go anywhere because it was much easier to get things done. For the first few weeks I thought this is great. But then I felt I needed to get outside. 

Have you created any rituals for yourself that you want to keep?

I want to continue learning Korean and learning the piano. 

Has the pandemic helped you think more about what you want to do in the future?

Yes definitely. I think I think about the future more often now and about how things can change. And my plans have changed a little bit. Because I’m learning Korean I want to go to Korea. And what I want to do as a job has changed.

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