I am trying to do some past paper questions, but I don’t understand why one of my answers is incorrect. I ask my Mum and she can’t work it out either. Instead of raising my hand in class, I email my teacher and the explanation comes back. Now I get it.
Trying to continue with school life in lockdown is a traumatic time full of struggle and emotional turmoil. Something that would have taken 30 seconds could now take 30 hours.
Crammed into a small, square room with a miniature white table in the middle, it is really difficult to focus on work when my tireless brother is screaming in my ear. I also share the same computer with my Mum, which means that I am regularly thrown off it so she can check her all-important emails.
Even when I find the space to do some school work, my concentration is easily broken by the sounds coming from the house. Each time the phone rings, I wonder if it is Granny on the other end. I would like to talk to my her because I haven’t seen her for twelve weeks. When I can hear my Mum in the kitchen, I begin to think more about lunch than the chemical formulae I should be writing.
The distractions are so different from school, but there is no teacher here to tell me to get on with my next exercise. It is all down to me. The big responsibilities of GCSEs have been suddenly thrown onto my shoulders.
During the prolonged wait, every single morning, while I am logging into the computer, it is hard to accept that my schoolwork has been disrupted in such detrimental way, but I understand the frightening reality of the virus. All year 11s are affected by this lockdown and we should not be daunted by the future.
Of course, I miss Mr Greer’s cheerful smile during Tuesday’s morning assembly and the gorgeous smell of chips circulating the Grey building on Friday like clouds of joy in the wind. I miss the wonderful “noise” blaring from of the Music room during orchestra rehearsals. I even miss my PE teacher Mrs Mills shouting at me to “get those knees up!”
It is complicated trying to improve my German accent through a video without having Mrs Stevenson and Mrs Leacock constantly monitoring my every word. While teaching myself my favourite subject, Biology, I miss Miss Ritchie’s words of encouragement. How can I teach myself the circulatory system without witnessing a heart dissection? I miss the soft tone of Mr Irvine’s voice and the laughter and jokes from Mrs Lester and Mr McEvoy.
My ability to self-manage has improved. Instead of spending a whole day just doing science tasks and nothing else, I painstakingly write out a to do list every evening for the demanding day ahead so I can focus on other subjects.
No one ever would have expected it, but my Mum is now my legendary teacher. Despite many things changing, she told me about “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, which is a poem she studied for her O-level English!
Life in lockdown has been stressful, but School has always taught us to work together. I realise the importance of that lesson.
Rachel L (Year 11)