BY ALICIA KRUEGER
Carmel High senior Kieren Cumming rolls over to stop his alarm five minutes before his first period begins. With the tap of a button, he is accounted for and has completed the first step of the day: escape truancy. Hoping for an early release, Cumming contemplates the likelihood of making it to his best friend’s house within the allotted 15-minute passing period. Finally, his Zoom ends and he races out the door with all of his “classroom” necessities in one hand. Cumming’s nomadic daily routine does not end there as he is found at the skatepark, Safeway and more often than not, at In-N-Out for work, all before his last period of the day.
The phrase “the world is your playground” has never felt more real.
After about six weeks of school, Carmel High students have become familiarized with their block schedules. For some, that means they know exactly what can get done in between any specific class periods, during lunch or at break, allowing for virtual classrooms to offer a more productive day than ever before.
“Every day is an opportunity to have the best day ever and for me,” Cumming says. “That means skating as much as possible!”
Senior Yungmin Chee has a free fifth period, so on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, Chee heads out of his house at noon to spend his afternoon surfing, skating or making lunch at his friends’ houses.
“We skate every day, surf every day and swing by Kieren’s every day. We are doing the most,” Chee explains when referencing his afternoons with his friends. “If it means a class or two in the car, that’s fine. I’m still listening, just not listening at a desk.”
In August, a CHS Zoom expectations document was created and made public for students by administrators. The document addresses various student requirements ranging from attendance to dress code to privacy, but fails to mention expectations regarding student location and activity.
It is not uncommon for students and teachers to see at least one student within each class period who is out and about.
Behind sophomore Maggie Johnston’s camera, she sits with a younger CUSD student. Here, she provides child care and educational support by helping him stay focused and reviewing his work during her 15-minute passing periods.
“It can be tricky at times with all my classwork, but once I get a rhythm, I get everything done,” Johnston explains. “This experience has really pushed my time and stress-management skills, and I’m happy I’m learning those now rather than later!”
Similarly, junior Isabelle Silverie has gained the responsibility of child care for her 9-year-old brother. About two days a week, while her parents are out, her brother struggles to stay focused on his Zoom, so she multitasks her classes with watching him. Whenever he is having homework or computer problems, Silverie is the one to solve them.
There are a wide range of student activities occurring on Zoom, but nonetheless, many students are doing more than just sitting and listening to their teacher.
Sophomore Brody Mendez has no problem studying in remote locations or with friends. Mendez sets Zoom up on his phone, so the classroom goes where he goes.
Although student situations are unique depending on personal preference and individual responsibilities, many have used online learning as an opportunity to accomplish more and participate in more activities that make them feel good.