As the school year draws to a close, it can be said without a doubt that the pandemic has left its mark on everyone, and Dana students are no exception. Students of all different grades and ages have experienced challenges unique to them and weigh in with their distinct experiences.
A definite effect of the pandemic was the sudden and unexpected suspension of sports. Dana junior Edgar Arteaga played club and school soccer before the emergence of Covid which forced teams to go on a six month break. With such an abrupt end to practices and tournaments, he states that he was assigned workouts to complete remotely, along with having calls with coaches regarding college to “dive deeper into the recruiting and admissions process.” As everyone began adjusting to life with Covid, training was able to resume with social distancing measures and masks. Arteaga describes how they “slowly returned to normalcy in December, when we took a trip to Arizona to play a tournament.” After nearly a year, the league returned in March along with the high school soccer team. This has come as a big change for Areaga as he has had to balance club and high school soccer along with numerous AP classes and tests.
For academically motivated students such as junior Natasha Ojano, there has been a clear change in her work habits. Her college plans include prestigious schools such as UC Berkeley and John Hopkins, where she plans to pursue a career either in the medical field or in a math based science such as chemistry. Her views regarding the effects of Covid on academics reflects that of many other students, as she states that she is “having to work twice as hard to really understand and grasp the content.” Many students have been struggling with the effects of ‘Zoom fatigue,’ as sitting in front of the computer for hours at a time has proven it is not an effective way to learn. Furthermore, she describes the effect of being virtual on the social aspect of classes, saying that establishing a good student-teacher relationship has been difficult with the lack of in-person class time. Despite all this, it does have its benefits; Ojano points out that waking up twenty minutes before her class is much better in contrast to having to wake up before 5am for zero period when school was in-person.
Many students have been struggling with the effects of ‘Zoom fatigue,’ as sitting in front of the computer for hours at a time has proven it is not an effective way to learn
Performing arts has also been extremely affected by the pandemic, which junior Marina Kosor knows well, being involved in choir and musical theater. Usually, they would have put on two musicals and plays, along with multiple choir concerts. Although the pandemic took away much of the live performances that make up the arts, they acknowledge that “our amazing teachers have helped us make the most of this crazy year.” Having to adapt to different ways of performing led to classes, such as Actors Rep, to utilize more technology in order to put on their first filmed play: Little Women. Kosor also explains the plan for an end of the year performance that will combine both choir and musical theater and showcase what they’ve been working on all year. Considering all the challenges of this year, they are “appreciative of all the things we were able to accomplish” and cannot wait for next year.
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