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KUNR Youth Media

The Difficulties One Student Faces With Distance Learning

A history textbook and a pencil posed in front of a laptop screen.
Janelle Olisea
Janelle Olisea's course materials for distance learning include her laptop and textbooks.

Washoe County Schools are wrapping up classes this week, and that instruction has been done through remote learning since late March due to the pandemic. Janelle Olisea is a reporter for KUNR’s Youth Media program who missed seeing her teachers and friends this semester. She shares her experience in this audio diary.

Editor's note: this story includes language that some readers may find offensive.

So obviously, since spring break ended, my school turned to distance learning, which has been extended for the rest of the school year. You know, that really is a bummer because I miss seeing everyone at school. I miss greeting everyone in the morning, and I just miss the physical aspect of being at school. 

When distance learning started, it was a pretty big change going from all these resources at school, to my laptop being my only resource. Seeing my teachers physically, and [now], the only form of contact I can have with my teachers is electronically. It definitely was a shift in the way my education has been received for all eleven years I've been in school. I obviously had to adapt to that change pretty quickly.

I’m a junior in high school. Thankfully I’m not a senior, because I can’t imagine going through twelve years of school and not having that big finale that we all kind of wish for and not having graduation and senior prom. I’m a junior, and I missed my junior prom. I know that’s kind of silly to think about because there’s so much going on around, but obviously, I’m a teenager, and you just think about these things sometimes, you can’t help it. Not getting that experience is a bummer, but I do understand that it’s obviously for the safety of everyone and everyone’s families. But it does suck missing out on experiences that you would only get when you’re physically at school.

While distance learning is a way for us to continue our education, without even being physically there, it does get hard sometimes staying motivated. I, myself, am very dedicated to school. I’m an overachiever. That’s just who I am. But it is hard for me sometimes to get up and get myself to work when I’m not physically at school. It’s hard to continue to stay motivated when no one’s monitoring you when you’re doing your work, and you’re not really forced to do anything. Obviously, when I do distance learning, I’m just alone [and I] just have my computer, and I just do the assignments. But it is different when you’re not in the building and physically seeing all your teachers and everyone at school. It’s a change; it is a change. 

KUNR's Youth Media program is a special partnership with the Washoe County School District to train the next generation of journalists.

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