A Crossroads

Sophomores Cole Cameron and Sam Shroyer found themselves at a crossroads. They could either return to school or take online classes at home. With many factors at stake, both students and their families faced a big decision. 

 Cameron’s father works for an AT&T company and goes to people’s homes and repairs TVs for them. Cameron’s father was told that he had a choice: he could work for six months and get paid, or he could leave his job and not take the risk of being exposed to COVID. Cameron’s father chose not to take the risk and he quit his job to keep his family safe. “Right now we are transitioning between jobs,” Cameron said, “ he already has one interview though.”  On the other hand, Cameron’s mother doesn’t have a job so she wasn’t affected in terms of her work.  

Cameron’s grandmother lives with his family. One of the reasons Cameron chose to go full virtual was because of his grandma. He didn’t want to take the risk of her being exposed to the virus. “We were trying to keep her safe and have as little contact as possible,” said Cameron. 

He said, “I knew that if there was an option to be full virtual, then I would take it.” Cameron and his parents decided together that the best option for him was to stay at home and have virtual classes. “I have gotten used to the whole virtual thing because we did this sort of stuff last year,” said Cameron. “I feel bad for the teachers because they have to split their attention and work between the online students and the students present in class.” 

Cameron said, “I will stay virtual as long as COVID is still around or if it is safe to return to school.” Cameron’s family understands and doesn’t intrude his room when he is online. “I don’t get distracted when I am at home because I am in my room and my family doesn’t bother me,” said Cameron. “With normal school, it is easier to remain focused, but at home, you are there if you want to or not. I am able to be present in the class even though I am virtual because I have a quiet place with no distractions, such as my room,” Cameron said. 

Cameron is still able to connect with his classmates and teachers even though he is online. “While it is a bit harder to find new friends, it is easy to communicate with my classmates and friends, especially with texting,” Cameron said. The Catholic High experience is still available to him even though he is not present at the school. He can still connect with his brothers in class and communicate with his teachers even at home. 

Cameron wasn’t the only student that chose to go full virtual. Sophomore Sam Shroyer also was an online student. “ I was the one you brought up the idea of being fully virtual to my parents, and they were supportive of whatever decision I made as long I got my work done and did the best I could,” said Shroyer. Shroyer’s mom is an accountant and has been working from home, which hasn’t impacted her as much, but Shroyer’s father has been affected by the virus. “ My dad converts gases into energy and helps build swimming pools,” said Shroyer, “ but the companies that he gets the products from have been late to shipments due to the virus.” 

“ It was more of how I have different classes every day with the half and half schedule, and that messed up how I would do my work normally,” said Shroyer. At home, Shroyer can manage his schedule and work better. He could record the zoom meeting with the permission of the teacher if he was falling behind on notes. “It is pretty distracting doing classes at home because you hear your dogs barking, get phone calls, or pretty much anything in your room can be distracting when you are bored, ” said Shroyer,  “also the masks distracted me from my schoolwork.”  “My grades are kind of staying the same as they were freshman year,” said Shroyer, “ but I know that some people’s grades have completely dropped because they stopped studying, or continued to cheat over and over.”  Sam is still able to have the Catholic High experience because he gets the feel of the teachers and students even on the zoom calls. Shroyer said, “ I hope that we will return to school this year, but for the time being I will be at home just because I don’t like school as it is with the half virtual and half in class.”

We must always have strength and the knowledge to do the right thing, even when no one is watching.  Cameron said, “ It requires more willpower and determination to get things done, rather than doing something else.”

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