Virtual learning or virtual nightmare?
I have come to the conclusion that I hate virtual learning
I have come to the conclusion that I hate virtual learning…. I can’t be the only one surely.
Every morning I wake up. I sit up in bed and see my daunting, school timetable and think; Am I dreaming? Is this a nightmare? as I think about all the work I have to do. I have a veryyyyy long shower where the stream of work gushes back into my head; the business work I don’t understand, the media work on newspapers that I secretly enjoy and the English work that often confuses me.
Despite the long morning of negative thoughts and procrastination I dry myself off and get to it. I chuck on a somewhat clean pair of pyjamas and slam down my laptop on the desk, mentally preparing myself for the day ahead.
I open up my new “best friend” Microsoft Teams and wait for my teacher to pop up with our 9:30am morning lesson to discuss the thrilling topic of globalisation. The teacher asks us “Why should global businesses be sensitive to consumer tastes or trends?” to which we reply with the sound of silence. It is so incredibly awkward. So incredibly embarrassing. So incredibly quiet. After a while, a brave student unmutes their mic and gives an answer. The rest of us breathe a sigh of relief that, this time, we didn’t have to be forced to answer a question.
I keep looking at the clock waiting for it to be 10:30. I look at the clock 9:57. I look again
Now the fun doesn’t end there. Next is English. We reach for our annotations of ‘Normal People’ extracts and wait for our teachers to call out our names one by one for feedback. There is one brief moment in my day when I feel confident enough to press ‘unmute mic’ and that is in my English lessons. I mention the Connell’s relaxed character, the narrator’s perspective and the descriptive adjectives used to describe Marianne’s complexity.
As my confident level reaches 100% and I pretend to accept my Oscar for Best Annotations in a Year 12 English class, the next person steps up to answer. Not only are his ideas better and more detailed than mine but they are so good that I find myself stealing his ideas for myself! My confidence level, which was once at 100%, is plummeting to the ground. What’s more my confidence level isn’t even going to hit the ground its going dive through the ground all the way to the earth’s core to -100000%.
You know when you get to the end of the day, all that becomes between you and binging Netflix is a one-hour lesson that you hope goes extremely fast. That is my media lesson. Don’t get me wrong I love Media – I am lucky enough to have a really good teacher. However, Microsoft teams continues to make my virtual learning a virtual nightmare. We had begun our first coursework lesson, during a video where my teacher was explaining our latest task my Microsoft teams account randomly decides to lock me out and shut down completely. I know this doesn’t haven’t everyday but it just summarises how much bad luck I’ve had during lockdown. I sit there on my bad thinking God, why me? I completely missed all the important information that my teacher was telling us and feedback from a test we did and the homework for this week and what we would do if we needed any help.
I felt like walking over to my window and screaming. But I didn’t do that. Instead, I played a tranquil tai chi playlist on YouTube. I am normal. I promise.
Have you ever seen the film ‘Groundhog Day’ where Bill Murray relives the same day over and over again? Well, guess what. I am Bill Murray and this is Groundhog Day…the sequel. Let me tell you a secret, the sequel is always worse than the original. It didn’t get any five-star reviews. It didn’t win any awards. Basically, it just sucked. That has been my academic life for the past 88 days and counting. Imagine that.