The Grows and Glows of a Digital Classroom

By: Ericson Zabat II

Covid 19 or the Corona Virus, was a pandemic that spread across globally and began to shut down schools and many other institutions.  Because of this pandemic many people have had the companies they work for shut down causing them to be unemployed temporarily. Similarly, students at Valencia have experienced that the amount of work they have to complete changed as well.

Some people state that the work from home “is a way less stressful method”, like Nicholas Triniadade, who is a student at Valencia.  Since he is “able to decide”, as he stated, when to do his work it creates a less stressful method. This stress relief also allows more students to be able to complete their assignments.

However on the opposite hand, Brandon Wattier, another student at Valencia, states that “The coronavirus quarantine gives AP students more stress.”  His opinion is supported by the fact that most AP tests have changed this year. 

The Corona Virus quarantine has caused AP students to adapt to the new AP test rather than the ones they thought they were studying for.  For example, the AP Euro test will consist of three short answer questions rather than the normal test which consisted of a variety of tests. Although the test is only forty-five minutes and therefore shorter, it is a little off putting due to the fact the students must begin reviewing different parts of the material.

Also, according to Wattier’s opinion, “teachers have been assigning more work to do.”  He feels this way due to the stress created by the AP teachers, since they have been given less time to teach the AP students the material to succeed on the AP tests.  The time frame would usually have consisted of a much longer spectrum ranging from November to May, but in reality it is close to being half, due to the fact that the teachers currently are only able to meet with their students about two days a week.

On other hand, Trinidade stated that he “believe[s] that we have more time to finish our assignments.”  He believes that this is very beneficial as a lot of students are now able to complete daily tasks while being able to complete their assignments.  However, the online factor of school, as Trinidade states “[makes] it easy to cheat.”

Since students are not monitored by their teachers it does allow for cheating or assistance from other internet and person-to-person sources.  During tests, some teachers have begun to use a lockdown browser in order to ensure that students are unable to open other tabs that may give them an unfair advantage.  Also, other procedures alike eye-trackers have also been used to help monitor students.

Even though these programs have been used to help deter students from cheating.  According to Wattier, “there are ways around it.” In reality, students should uphold integrity in order to allow the system their teacher has chosen to work.  Since the Corona Virus has created a lot of changes, students may have to make alterations in time management and how they process the materials. 

Changes in the Community Bring Eastside Church Changes

New changes implemented in our community as well most communities across the nation have made basic necessities increasingly difficult for many lower-income citizens to afford and acquire. The loss of jobs coupled with the cost of living staying the same makes a bad combination that unfortunately many people are having to live with. However, many organizations have begun to come to the rescue. Despite certain state rules needing to be followed, one such organization, Eastside Christian Church has found ways to help those who need it. 

Many people who have lost their incomes due to their inability to go to work have lost many resources as well as the ability to do and get certain things. One thing that has become more difficult is going grocery shopping and obtaining food. Many local kitchens have opened their doors to people who now can’t get food as readily as before. Should people need food and a place to eat it they can find that place at one of the many of the kitchens set up across the county. Eastside Church has also been more than happy to help out by donating 60 pizzas to one such kitchen in Anaheim. 

Eastside Church has also, in a way, opened its doors for the homeless community in the surrounding area. Many counties have begun making trailer parks in large unused parking lots so that the homeless have a place to stay during this time of isolation and stress. Eastside regulars and staff members have donated some of their own furnishings and other items to make the trailers feel like more of a home for these people who don’t have one.

Due to the fear of infection many people in the country now hold it has become increasingly difficult to find medical masks for healthcare officials and hospitals, the people who need them the most. Eastside has made opportunities for its members and others who would like to help out to make masks for these people who are putting their lives directly in danger to help those who need it.

In these trying times, it’s very difficult to stay positive and keep one’s mental state as healthy as it can be. Eastside has pulled together many options for people who need a pick me up.  They have started a plan to call members and guests and talk to them one on one. These phone calls could include counseling sessions, keeping the other person company, or getting them help based on their needs. Many people quarantined on their own just need another person to talk to while others need help and aren’t sure how or where to get it in times like these. These calls can direct them to places that can do more for a person than a single phone conversation. Another option they have to support the continued good health of people’s mental state is daily messages from the head pastor. These videos contain words of motivation and different activities some could do to pass the time while in their houses. This choice, however, is more of a religious option since it is from the head pastor, but it is still a great option for those who should choose to watch as a morale booster.

No matter the religious affiliation one holds it still brings hope to many to see the community banding together and helping out where it’s needed.