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The quarantined life of a middle schooler

CAROLINE OWENS

Since December of 2019, when the new coronavirus supposedly came into the world, nothing has been normal. Businesses deemed “non-essential” have closed, along with the schools, therefore leaving many people at home. Everyone has to make a living in some line of work; many businesses have turned to the Internet. Schools have done likewise.

When my mom picked Katie (my sister, nine years), Tucker (my brother, six years) and I up from school on March 13, Mom told us that we weren’t going back to school on Monday, but in two weeks. At first we didn’t think much of it, and we went about our usual schedule. Gram and Pap would visit every once in a while. But when they cancelled school into April, things got more serious. We didn’t go to as many places, mostly staying home. While we were home, we worked on different projects. When my family heard that we (my brother, sister, and I) weren’t going back to school, it was a little sad at first. We just weren’t going back, we wouldn’t see our teachers or classmates and friends in person until who knows when, and on top of that, the projects and other assignments we might have had the next few weeks, few months, or already started, just wouldn’t get done. I was kind of bummed because I had started typing a bunch of questions into Kahoot for my trivia club, but now that I’m at home, I can’t finish it because I don’t have the questions.

When I heard that Governor Wolf had cancelled the PSSAs (state testing), I was glad. If it had been a normal year, we would have spent most of April sitting in a classroom for about three or four hours, reading passages or solving math problems. The only problem with cancelling the PSSAs is that it meant school could be cancelled, so it didn’t feel as good knowing that we didn’t have to do them.

Since school is cancelled, my whole family is at home, including Katie (my sister), and Tucker (my brother). Mom and dad are home as well, due to the fact that my dad is a farmer, and he works from home anyway. Even if we didn’t have a stay-at-home order, Dad would still be working outside, fixing equipment, namely corn planters, and Mom cleaning, cooking and other stuff around the house. My brother and sister and I have also been doing different jobs and stuff. Being at home all day everyday with the same people can cause disagreements, and arguing often comes with disagreements. We argue about what most children would argue about: what movie to watch, whose turn it is to do something, what to do. These little arguments do get resolved, and we continue with what we were doing.

We have still been doing some schoolwork, mostly reading though. I have also been receiving weekly questions from most of my teachers, which have to do with the subject that they teach. Choice boards have been sent weekly, and I’ve been working on activities from them. Currently, though, the sixth grade is starting a new project, pertaining to amusement parks, in place of the choice boards.

Email and technology are convenient ways to communicate with students and complete work. In our house, we only have one computer, and Katie, Tucker and I are all in school. We can’t all use the same one, so we borrowed another one from the school. It’s really not very difficult to share the computers, since we’re mostly doing different things at different times. The only thing is that computers are on for about four or five hours.

All in all, the quarantine hasn’t been that bad. In all honesty, things really haven’t changed too much, because when we’re not at school, we are most likely home. My family and I have gotten a lot of projects and other stuff done, and we have had more time together. Katie, Tucker and I have also spent more time with Bubbles (our rabbit), Ginger and Brownie (Katie’s goats), and Buddy (our dog). Not that quarantine is the best, but there are worse things.

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