A Day In the Life of a Santiago Junior

A Day In the Life of a Santiago Junior

Idinma Ifeanyichukwu, Staff Writer

Hi! It’s Monday, November 7th and today I will be writing down everything I’ve done, and I am going to show you a day in my life as a Santiago High School junior. My intention is not to offend anyone. I’m simply hoping to give a better perspective of what a high school junior could possibly be going through. I start my day at around 7:00 am – not necessarily because I want to, but it’s been my routine since I was in elementary to wake up before school for morning prayers. Once I finished praying with my family, I log into my first-period class which is AP Lang with Mr. Jackson.

Jackson happens to be one of my favorite teachers because despite the hard work and the hard grading there’s ALWAYS something going on. I’m entertained throughout the whole period and enjoy his refreshing teaching style. I normally join the Zoom super late so the fact that I’m a little early today is something to be proud of. I enter the class at 7:41 and we discuss Pearl Harbor. The next thing I know, the word “essay” utters from his mouth and I instantly felt like crying. The day had barely even started and I had already lost the motivation to do anything. At this point, I’m not really paying attention, but I try to take a mental note of the due date. At 7:58- the class gets to watch a Pearl Harbor video, which at the time, I assumed would be the topic of the essay.

8:05 I find out that the essay is about pink flamingos… and the tiny shred of hope I had for doing this essay was poof – gone in an instant. At 8:08 I attempt reading the prompt, but I get distracted so many times, that I finally give up and realize I’m not gonna get anything done. I have way too much on my mind, so I decide to take a break. 8:19- Jackson puts us into breakout rooms and I internally and externally cringe because I hate breakout rooms unless it’s with people I know. On the bright side, I got ideas about what to write for the essay. After talking about each rhetorical device we stop talking and it stays quiet until we go back to the main room. I end up not paying attention and being the second to the last person to leave the breakout room.

At 8:30 am I find out the essay is due that night and I have a slight panic attack because Mondays are the busiest days of the week for me. Mr. Jackson attempts to lighten the mood when he shows us a plastic pink flamingo. Then, as the clock strikes 8:37, I leave the class after deciding to name the flamingo Louis Partridge/Enola Holmes. With my next class starting at 9:08, I’m left with enough time to start the essay, and even though Mondays are really busy for me, the chances of ever catching me work between my passing periods are slim to none. I just spend my time sleeping, listening to music, or scrolling through TikTok

At 9:04 I log into my French class. Although I’ve known my French teacher, Ms. Brown, since freshman year and I really appreciate her, I just can’t find the energy to deal with French class. It’s probably the hardest class I have to attend virtually. It’s so difficult to understand anything, and I’m too scared to ask Ms. Brown for extra help, so I just sit there. Class starts at 9:14 and we start it by talking about what we did over the weekend. A lot of people don’t enjoy actively participating in this class (myself included) because you have to speak in French. And, as much as we love Ms. Brown, it’s not enough motivation to speak French the majority of the time (even though that’s the entire point ).

She then starts showing us her notes and due to the fact that we learn at home, my Wi-Fi doesn’t always work the best, but it was decent at the time. Today was definitely one of those days where French was coming naturally to me, and I actually understood most of the things she was saying. However, that did not stop me from getting easily disinterested and going on my phone, again.

At 10:05 I wasn’t paying attention so Ms. Brown and I ended up being the last people in the class. This is an all too frequent occurrence for me, and it’s always very awkward. I note that my next class starts at 10:32 and I decide to take a nap. At 10: 34 I log into Journalism, a class that I have grown to like. The teacher, Mrs. Walker is very supportive and even though the workload can be very tedious at times, the assignments make more sense the more time I spend doing them. We usually do not spend a lot of time doing work in this class, because a lot of the class consists of homework. Which, with quarantine, has recently initiated a love and hate relationship with me. Only because it has become very difficult for me to remind myself that I have assignments in this class when I also have my AP classes to worry about. Class ends at 10:52 and my mind cultivates three things for me to do. Number one, I can simply be a good student and work on my homework. Number two, I can go take a run in my attempt to lose weight since I’m always saying that I’ll finally work out soon. Or number three, I can take a nap because the actual thought of doing anything more is preposterous.

After five min of internal fighting with my mind, a losing battle, I realize that my attempt at a nap has failed. Mostly, because I have this constant fear of failure and I can not sleep knowing I have homework to do. I take a look at my assignments (a lot of them fall under the category of busywork) and decide that Journalism would be a good place to start. I “work” on Journalism, and get distracted so easily that by the time I look at the clock it’s already 11:58. Then I log into my Sports Medicine internship class and multitask by working on Journalism while also trying to listen to my Sports Medicine teacher. I finish Journalism 10 minutes later and pay closer attention to Mrs. James who happens to be one of my favorite teachers because she has a great personality and she really cares about her students. In class, we go over the symptoms of COVID and how to deal with them. We end the class around 12:28 and I remind myself that I have Sports Med that day. I have some time to waste so I start my AP Environmental notes and decide to watch Law and Order ( I am extremely determined to finish this show). I start getting hungry so I decide to take a break from the notes that I was barely even working on in the first place. I later get back to those notes after an hour of goofing off with my siblings. I finished my notes around 2:32 and started getting ready for Sports Medicine.

I end up arriving at 3:13. I get screened myself and then we go through the first round of screening (checking their temperature, making sure the athletes wear a wristband and get hand sanitizer on) for the track team. We get done with screenings and my group goes down to football weight lifting. We happened to go up and down screening the athletes, and then watching football until Sports Med was over. I go home around and hang out with my mom for a while because I hadn’t bothered her all day. My mom has to work constantly so she’s always tired. Plus, being a single mom is not easy, so when she asked me to braid my sister’s hair I sucked it up and did it anyway.

I finished my sister’s hair around 7:05 then finally decided to work on the essay for Mr.Jackson. Because I couldn’t focus earlier, I had to re-read the essay prompt. I set the mood by putting on some music and began writing. After 40 minutes I only had my IVF statement complete, if that doesn’t show how little motivation I had, I don’t know what will. I desperately wanted to go to sleep, but I kept trying to push through… I guess everything was against me that day because at 8:50 my Wi-Fi turns off and when I turned it back on, everything I had originally typed didn’t save. At this point, I wanted to throw my laptop against the wall. But, I can’t be done. The daily pressure I have to be the best I can be coming from an African household, and being a first daughter, stops me from ever quitting. I’m not going to lie, I end up crying because it’s a different type of pain when your essay deletes itself, but I persevere, and start over.

I’m always the kind of person that pushes through and I hate crying, so at 10:00 I realize my essay won’t write itself and I go to finish writing it. At 11:47 I finish my essay but forgot to put it into MLA format so now I’m racing against the clock because the most important thing is turning everything in by 11:59. I finish my self checklist at 12 exactly and decide to check Canvas and Google Classroom to see what assignments I had left. I then realize I never turned in my APES notes.

At this point, I’m having an “Are you really that dumb?” moment. Anyway, I turn them in and start my online history. Being in online history is an arduous task only because you forget it’s there a lot of the time. So before even logging in, I knew I was going to be behind. I worked on two assignments until I got to the essay that I was completely dreading. Now I actually have to recall what I learned. If I’m being completely honest, in a few of my classes I haven’t learned a single thing. This year it seems it’s more important to turn assignments in on time rather than actually learning the material. I start my rough draft by 1:10 and finish it by 1:54 in the morning. I had the option to work on the full essay but decided against it and just went to work on the quizzes. I go to bed around 2:56 just to wake up and start the entire thing all over again.

Something I thought about while writing this a day in my life:

I think the real problem is that everyone has lost motivation to do anything. I can barely make myself care about anything that doesn’t have to do with me. I’m hardly concerned about the quality of each of my assignments. It’s gotten so bad to the point where when I know something is due, I start refusing to do it. We didn’t learn a lot of the things we were meant to last year, and because of that our performance in school is extremely lacking. A lot of us haven’t ever been away from our friends this long and are so dependent on them because they happen to be our source of happiness. The majority of students went through so much over summer break whether that be an increase in mental issues or even coping with the death of their loved ones. Then we were expected to be in school, in August after a six-month hiatus. We’re expected to have finals five months later when we still haven’t truly learned anything. It’s a lot to take on. This is not hating on the teachers, because a lot of teachers care, a lot of them are working so hard to do their best they can in this situation, but it seems a few are forgetting that we’re just teenagers. We haven’t figured out who we are, what we like, or the kind of people we want to be. The whole point right now is that we’re supposed to be figuring it all out. We’re supposed to be having the time of our lives, going to parties, hanging out with our friends, things that shape us for the future, but we’re being robbed of all of those experiences. Some didn’t have prom and with the way things are going, they will never get to experience that. Some of us are trying to hold on to some normalcy by getting our license and a job. Some of us are in sports and clubs. Some are dealing with mental issues, family issues, and friends. Some are depressed and a lot… A LOT just want to be done with school. Parents and teachers need to note that a lot of us… are trying our best. My point is, being a high schooler traditionally is already difficult and quarantine doesn’t make it any easier. Staring at a screen for 15 out of the 24 hours doesn’t make it any easier. Assigning lots of busy work as a teacher, because you’re under the pretense that since we are at home we have more time for homework, doesn’t make it any easier. Trying to force us to be motivated when we have absolutely nothing to look forward to, is never going to make this easier. Parents yelling at teachers when a lot of them are trying their best will never make this easier. If everyone could just sympathize with each other and create a less stressful environment to work in, we can get through these trying times together, and will be a lot less stress.

*Teacher names kept confidential

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