I Survived Online School!

By Leo, Year 9

Written as part of A User's Guide to a Pandemic

‘More online school…I really hate it.’ I opened my eyes and stared at the usual old white ceiling. It is always the same ceiling, no colour change, no added texture, just the same old boring one. I groaned. It was a new week, but a new week of more torture. Grabbing my laptop, I headed out to the table, feeling already exhausted. There was no way I was going to complete all the given work.

I sat down and opened my laptop. The laptop buzzed, and a great light shone onto me, blinding my eyes.

‘Argh! Too bright!’ I shouted as I quickly pressed the button to dim the brightness. That definitely destroyed my eyes already. Sooner or later, I will need glasses: big, thick, circular glasses, just like my uncle. I opened Google with a click on my trackpad and my email just popped up out of nowhere. I guess I never turned off my laptop.

I held onto my cup, the red cup that I brought from my home country. I saw my reflection, my tired face glimmering in the water. With a big gulp, I drank all the water. It felt refreshing. As soon as I turned back to the screen, my laptop was just drenched in water, like it just came out from the swimming pool. I just stared at the one part of the screen. The number of emails continued to rise, the red number changing every second. My heart was pounding. I have never seen such a thing happen before. Finally, I pulled myself together and put my clothes into the washer. I was entirely drenched. What a great start of the day…

I went to wipe my laptop too, but when I grabbed some toilet paper, my mum stopped me. I have never seen her stopping me doing something so quickly. Usually, she will not care what I do unless I do something wrong, and even if I did something wrong, it would take her 5 min to realise that. Was toilet paper so important to her?

‘Don’t waste the toilet paper! Use the towel there!’ She shouted at me. I sighed. How was toilet paper useful for stopping COVID-19? I do not get why people were buying so much toilet paper. Did they have to use so much for all their toilet sessions?

Finally, I sat down again and scrolled through all the work. It was a pain to see so much work. There was poetry work for English, there was quadratic equation work for maths, there was random DNA work for science, there was a quiz for music, and there was more and more work. How annoying to see that much work. I shook my head in frustration and pushed myself away from the table for the one thing that could calm me down: breakfast.

At around 10:20 am, I received another notification from my email. Not again! I thought. I did not want more homework. I braced myself as I moved my cursor to the email tab. Closing my eyes, I clicked on it. Sweat dripped from my forehead and made my laptop wet again. Slowly, I opened my eyes to find a Zoom Meeting ID and password. Great…it was a science Zoom class. The day seemed to progress so painfully slow. It felt like an hour made me another year older.

Nobody enjoys Zoom meetings, including me. All we do is stare at teachers, who talk for hours and hours, later realising that nobody was even listening to their lecture. We, as students, just sit back and do our stuff, some even leaving in the middle of the meeting. That is what exactly happened during the science Zoom class. The teacher just talked for ages, ranting about DNA, and how it replicates. We literally did an exercise on this two weeks ago, and now she was talking about the same thing again. Finally, every student knew that something must be done to release all our boredom. Two seconds later, we saw blue lines on the screen. The teacher told them to get rid of it, but nobody did. Instead, more people were drawing on the screen and ruining the lesson. I just watched it. Half of me wanted to tell them to stop, but half of me was laughing hysterically. It was so funny. In the end, I could not help it but laugh too. The teacher’s reaction suited her dinosaur background very well. It was the best ending to a Zoom meeting ever in history.

* * *

Many students usually just do their things after school, but I don’t. I often continue to finish all the school work so that I don’t have anything to do at the end of the week. I hate doing work last minute because of the pressure I have when I do that. So, on this particular day, I did the same. I typed furiously and completed all my work at around 5 pm, which was definitely a world record. One by one, I handed the schoolwork on Google Classroom, clicking the submit button seven times in a row. However, as soon as I wanted to save the last document I had, my laptop screen just turned into darkness.

‘No! Not now! Right when I wanted to save it!’ I examined the charging cable. It was plugged in. I looked at the power brick. It was plugged in too. I turned to the switch on the wall. I slapped my head in anger. It was not even on! Turning the switch on, I quickly ran back to the laptop, and it booted nicely, without any problems. I logged in and prayed for everything to be saved. The first message that popped up already told me something was wrong. I opened up my document again. It was blank, blank white. There was nothing. Nothing! Absolutely nothing! I was pissed off and punched the table again and again. I wasted my 2 hours, and now I get nothing back. I was fed up.

I am sure every student has had the same experiences as me. I can tell you online school is a pain. I am glad that I survived online school. Please, don’t make us do more online school. I don’t want more torture.

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