Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs

Day #16: Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The e-learning grind never stops, even on April Fools Day

April 2, 2020

I woke up to silence.

That’s strange, I thought. Ever since we started doing e-learning at RB, I have set an alarm for 8:30 a.m. so I can get an adequate amount of sleep while still getting a healthy start to my day and maintaining some sort of schedule while quarantined at home. But today was different. Today my body was telling me to wake up early, that there was something exciting happening and I needed to greet the day and experience whatever life was about to bring me. I checked my phone for the time: 7:45. But it was the notification under the clock that caught my eye. This was it, the reason why my body told me to wake up. The moment I had been waiting for.

A brand-new episode of “Schitt’s Creek” was just added to my iTunes library.

Finally. Something worth waking up for.

After I finished watching the episode, I got dressed (if you can call sweatpants and a sweatshirt “dressed”) and ate breakfast. Most mornings I’ve gone for the pretentious homemade avocado toast (the key is a touch of lemon juice), but we were out of avocados, an essential ingredient for that meal, so I opted for a bagel instead. I then made myself a peppermint tea and retreated to the basement, the location in my house I have chosen to study for the extent of e-learning.

I have barely taken attendance and begun my schoolwork before I get distracted. One second I’m writing down notes on voting rights for government class, the next I’m watching nine-month-old YouTube clips of Late Night with Stephen Colbert and it’s 10:20 a.m. My attention span working from home is nonexistent.

I managed to muscle through the morning, which included a Zoom Clarion staff meeting, and pause at noon for lunch: leftover pasta. Classy. After my break for nourishment and to watch the next episode of “Tiger King,” I returned to my studies. I finished working around 4 p.m., just in time for my Zoom conference call with a few students and professors at Oberlin College about their music programs. Since admitted high school seniors are not able to visit campus before committing to their colleges, many schools have been doing similar online seminars and interactive tours to give the students a feel for the campus and academics.

By then it was almost 6 p.m. and I needed to get out of the house. I literally don’t think I had breathed fresh air in three days, and I forgot what natural light looks like. I called my friend Nicole Wolff, and before I knew it, she was at my house and ready to go on a bike ride (and by at my house, I mean in my driveway at a safe distance of at least six feet apart at all times). We rode around the First Division a few times, then over the Swinging Bridge into Lyons and back.

As monotonous as the quarantined life has become, there is one aspect I am appreciative of: the bonding forced upon my family when stuck inside the same house for weeks on end. We are fairly independent; we never ate meals together and lived life on our own schedules. Now, I have nothing better to do than hang out with my parents. This particular night, my dad and I took turns showing each other our favorite Lori Lightfoot quarantine memes and analyzing Pete Buttigieg’s post-presidential candidacy look of a shaved head and beard.

I retreated to my room around 10 p.m. and did some work on my laptop until I was interrupted by a scream from my parents’ bathroom. Remembering my sister placed a fake spider on their toilet paper roll earlier today for April Fools, I broke into laughter as my mom ran out of her room. It is important to find times to smile.

I stayed up until 1:30 a.m. watching old episodes of “House M.D.” on Amazon Prime before I finally passed out. I have found it hard to go to bed at a normal time because, what’s the point? Every day is the same in quarantine. That in mind, physical isolation is extremely important to stop the spread of the virus and flatten the curve.

Wash your hands, kids.

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