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Thoughts from Quarantine: Listless Learning

This is “Thoughts from Quarantine,” a weekly series in which three of our editors will answer a variation of this simple question: “How are you feeling?” This week’s prompt is, “How are you feeling about online classes?”


Duard Headley, Culture Editor

OXFORD, Ohio — I like weekends as much as the next guy. They’re great. They give me time to relax and unwind while (hopefully) staying on top of my homework. 

In March, if you told me I’d have an endless weekend for the rest of the semester, I would have been thrilled. 

Now, a month and a half into that endless weekend, I’m certainly less than thrilled. 

The driving force behind that discontent is the lack of structure in my life. Now that classes are entirely online, I’m finding that they’re massively less pressing than they were before this whole thing started. 

I only meet via Zoom for one class, and it’s just once a week. I also attend Zoom classes for a class I’m a teacher’s assistant for, but it’s hardly the same. So for the other 164 hours of the week, I’m at a loss for what to do. 

Sure, I have assignments due, but without in-person classes and interaction with professors, they hardly seem important. The deadlines come and go, often without a complete assignment to accompany them, and I can’t bring myself to care. I’m not quite sure what the magic ingredient is that keeps me diligent during most normal semesters, but whatever it is, it ain’t here. 

And sure, my professors have done a good job of keeping things (relatively) well-structured, but again, the motivation on my end just isn’t there. 

Instead, I drift through my house listlessly, playing far too many video games and eating far too much snack food. My classes are present in my mind, but only just barely. 

At this point in the semester, I don’t even feel like a student anymore.  

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Tim Carlin, News Editor:

CLEVELAND — Online classes suck.

On Tuesday, I woke up to an email from my professor asking me if I was going to turn in an assignment that was due last week. LAST. WEEK.

And why did I not turn in the assignment on time? I forgot about it — something I would have never done before quarantine.

I quickly emailed my professor and told her she would have the assignment as soon as possible. I turned it in the same day.

Quarantine has made my classes 10 times harder, and I have no idea why. As of late, I have spent more time sitting in front of my laptop than ever before. There’s always a paper to write or a discussion board to comment on.

I thought it was hard to strike a work-life balance before quarantine, but it's nearly impossible now that my life consists of all work. 

The only thing getting me through online school is the countdown to the start of summer vacation — whatever that means anymore.

Three more weeks to go.


Sydney Hill, Copy Editor:

OXFORD, Ohio — When the first announcement came that Miami would transition to online classes until April 12, I was happy. 

I was excited that I could finally sleep in without having to skip a class and relieved that I wouldn’t have to physically be on campus after feeling increasingly anxious and paranoid throughout the semester (not because of the novel coronavirus — just a generalized anxiety disorder). 

I needed a break from being in class, but I wish it hadn’t extended this long. I understand that the professors have adapted the best they could to this situation, and I appreciate their efforts, but this just ain’t it, chief. 

I have never preferred getting called out in person to receiving and having to respond to a disappointed email from a professor about turning in my work late until now.

There is a certain joy to being with people, even strangers, when you’re all suffering in the same required classes and even the fun electives. 

Trying to teach myself geology and doing remote labs while texting my friends about how much I hate it isn’t quite the same as sharing that same dead-eyed look with the person sitting across from you when you’ve hit another learning roadblock in the road of academia.