Five Ways to Survive Remote Learning


Cael Baumgarten, Copy Editor

You don’t need me to tell you that the district has sentenced us to this desolate penitentiary called remote learning. You don’t need me to tell you that your mental health has likely started to slip, that your room is probably a mess, and that things right about now are not as peachy as the last minute newsletters implied they would be. Nothing about that is going to change in the near future; no vaccine, no mask mandate, and certainly no newspaper article will liberate us from our house arrest. That being said, there are tried and true methods peer reviewed by fellow scholars that I have concocted to allow you to retain some of your sense of self and autonomy. Here are five of them.

Tilt your cameras. Seriously, just tilt your cameras. Of course, maintain some common courtesy; I think it’s polite to at least have your forehead in view, and maybe slightly more if you’re in a breakout room. But during lectures, tilt your cameras, sit back, and try to relax.

Eat snacks. Lots of them. Be wary of diabetes and other such conditions. You’d be a fool not to revel in the unique opportunities that an online learning experience provides; think about all the pizza rolls you couldn’t eat if we were in person. This idea of “lunch break” is a suggestion. Eat during fifth hour. Take a nap or do homework during lunch.

Violate the dress code. If you’re gonna get through this coming semester, you’ll need to think differently. What? Are they gonna tell you what you can’t wear in your own house? While I, as a biological male, am not what the antiquated dress code seeks to repress, I can tell you that the countless hours of Zooming I have spent pettily wearing hats almost makes it all worth it. I also recommend foregoing pants entirely. Though you might get cold this way, ask yourself: Is your body temperature more important than your free will and individuality?

Utilize material possessions to keep your mind from going numb. Again, pay attention to what is happening in the event that you are asked a question or the discussed topic will be crucial towards your grade. But that shouldn’t mean your hands can’t be preoccupied with something more stimulating. Doodle on some paper. Drum out a beat on your desk. Karate chop the tips of pencils to make them do flips without fear of harming another student. Personally, I like to run scales on my guitar. “As long as no one sees it, it’s not a crime.” – J. Epstein.

Be tardy. I show up to the first class of the morning at least three minutes late every single time. Class starts at 7:45? Get out of bed at 7:45. Unless you’re so late that you’re counted absent, there are no repercussions. That said, be respectful; if your teachers are genuinely bothered that you’re late, then show up on time. Remember that they are suffering in this format, too. Otherwise, it’s open season on punctuality. ISS? Doesn’t exist. Detention? Not real. This is your house. 

Stay strong, soldiers. A whole semester of seemingly insurmountable tribulation is behind us, and thus these oncoming months appear, almost, surmountable. Remember that there is an end to this ironically Fahrenheit 451-esque set of circumstances, whether that be in February or 2023.