School started ! Sam and his friends didn’t have to go !! Viola ! School came home to them. The advancements in last 10 years made it possible for schools to immediately shift to an online platform.
Sam was excited and confused as well. The good part was that he no longer would have to wake up early, and get ready in landmark time with mom constantly shouting, “Hurry up, Sam ! You will miss the bus.” It was a different story that his mom ensured that he never missed his bus.
With the online thing, he could sleep at least an hour late. He was confused on how the classes would happen.
Within a day or two, he got the hang of logging in for attendance and then sitting through classes. It was good to catch up with friends and teachers and chat with them in the chat window, but then came rules.
No chatting ! If everyone kept mics and videos on the voice would start to break ..so they had to keep mics/ videos off and finally listening to a monotonous voice without the teacher around became too boring for Sam. He would at times doze off or start reading his kindle. The first week was trial with them just revising previous concepts. Next week they had to start with the new academic year.
What an academic year ! No new books ! No new uniform ! Bag ! Stationary ! The excitement for shopping didn’t even surface, as lockdown had already ensured everything was shut down.
Sam found the classes too boring. The power point presentations, the one sided conversations, with afew over enthusiastic kids popping in with discussions. As it is he was never Hermione types who would volunteer for answers. He wouldn’t engage unless asked and with the new school year, new teachers, the teacher- student relationship was practically non-existent. He started skipping the classes. How would mom dad even know ? They were at work !!
Meanwhile some of his friends would just log on and start playing mobile games / playstation etc side by side. Who was to monitor? Not everyone’s parents were home ! Even if they were home, most of them were working, and with the new concept time distinction had blurred. The parents would be sitting with their laptops finishing off their tasks. Some would just log into Hangouts etc and chat. Who had time to monitor which windows were open on their child’s devices?
While the kids were smart, schools and teachers knew that this was a challenging phase. It had been two weeks now, and Sam’s mom received a call from the school explaining that Sam would just log in morning and then had been bunking the school entire day for 3 days in a row now.
Sam’s mom was too angry. She was determined to give a nice thrashing to him once she reached home. And obviously he was taken to task the very moment mom stepped inside.
Sam was oblivious to what had happened. He had spent entire afternoon baking cake from a recipe he had searched on Youtube. He had planned to keep it as surprise and it remained so till his mom cooled down and opened the fridge.
I am writing about the New normal from a child’s perspective. Please read the previous post A cancelled vacation and no more play !
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