A few weeks ago, when students were beginning to get in the swing of things, the newspaper team sent out a survey to the high school students and got around 80 responses. The survey was on the lengthier side, and the questions focused on how people were feeling about the hybrid learning situation, what people did this summer, and what they read, watched, and listened to.
Perhaps most importantly, we learned which new social distancing-related hallway maneuver is your favorite. That would be the “Skybox Scenic Route plus College Counseling Hallway Spaghetti Junction” to make a left down the 200 hallway. Tied for second was the “2nd/3rd floor stairway banana split” and "The ole Lunchtime Stairwell Switcheroo.” Clearly, lots of fun can be had just walking around.
There were many different opinions on the hybrid learning environment and their predictions for what would happen next. 28.8% of students said that they thought we would be going hybrid through the first semester, 26.3% said agreed with me in thinking that we will be hybrid through the middle of the semester, 26.2% predicted we were all going to be virtual pretty soon, and 18.8% assured us that we’ll all be back on campus pretty soon. Surprisingly, it seems like the 18.8% or students were the closest to predicting what was actually going to happen.
It seems that most people would love for everybody to go in-person, but 76.3% of people said that hybrid learning was at least better than being completely virtual like it was in the spring. People said this because they got the best of both worlds: they could sleep in and be at home but they also got to go to school and see all their friends.
Students gave a number of kudos to the teachers for making hybrid work. One affirmed teachers “staying positive and trying new things, even if it's awkward or weird.” Others appreciate when teachers assign breakout rooms where in-person and at-home students can work together; when teachers repeat questions asked in class so that at-home students can hear; and when they post detailed instructions on MyLion.
However, many people said they didn’t enjoy the home days because it was difficult to stay focused, especially if they had to attend class for a full hour. A lot of students also said that sometimes the teacher would pay more attention to the in-person students, so they would get lost and confused on what was going on in class and lose focus. Some recommended that teachers have everyone get on the Meet, while others didn’t like that. And one hopeful student just wrote, “Open note everything!”
Lovett has done its best to start up extracurricular activities again and 63.7% said they were doing sports, and 15% were doing performing arts; however, 3 students said nothing because it was canceled because of Corona. 27 students said that the Coronavirus had impacted their enjoyment of their extracurricular activities by a lot with one of them saying “fingers crossed winter sports are normal.”
As for the letter split, 65% of people said that most of their friends were in their own letter group and the other 35% said their closest friends were in the opposite letter group. (If you would like to read more about the letter split, check out my other article, “What's In A Last Name? During Hybrid Times, A Lot.”)
We also asked students about their summer activities. In a perfect world with no Covid, a lot of students would have gone to camp this summer. Luckily, some camps were still able to accommodate the 17.5% of students who still attended. Caroline Pitfield said that “there were a lot of changes, and we did a really good job of social distancing and following the rules, but our other location didn't do anything and had a really bad outbreak, so we had to shut down too.”
As most of you are aware of, quarantining probably wasn’t the most lively and entertaining time of your life, so 46.3% of people decided to use the time productively and get a job. Some of the popular jobs among the students were babysitting, working at the campus store, and being a lifeguard. Of course, COVID had an impact on this, with one student wishing they could see the kids in person rather than over zoom, and another receiving a 20% pay cut because of Corona.
Another way a lot of people managed to stay sane over quarantine was going on a vacation. 63.8% decided on something smaller and drove somewhere and stayed overnight or just went on a few day trips, while 22.5% flew somewhere, and 13.7% just stayed at home. If you stayed at home, don't feel bad because one student wrote that they quarantined at the lake for 11 weeks and it made them “absolutely hate the lake and (their) family.”
Even though a lot of people said that they distracted themselves by going to camp, getting jobs, and traveling, there were other ways to entertain people whilst in quarantine. Lovett students have similar tastes when it comes to TV shows, with the most popular shows being Grey’s Anatomy, Outer Banks, and Criminal Minds. A few outliers were Hannah Montana and New girl. Similarly, Avengers was a popular film option, but students also mentioned films like the Harry Potter series and the Hamilton film.
When asked about the absolute worst popular culture they encountered during quarantine, there were many intense responses. A ton of students agreed that tik tok “got really weird” and was horrible over quarantining, while others commented negatively on music like Yummy by Justin Bieber, Toosie Slide by Drake, the new Taylor Swift album as a whole, a certain tune by Cardi B and Megan thee Stallion, and “Harry Styles in general.” Luckily the students' names weren’t recorded, because I know a few of those opinions could stir up a lot of controversy.
Most of the non media related activities that people did were sports and exercising, but two students said that they spent a lot of time online shopping. Who can blame them? Hopefully the start of the school year didn’t cut into them supporting the economy!