Not a typical first week

Students returned to school this week. It was an experience they'll never forget.

Not+a+typical+first+week

By Ani Torosyan

With hearts racing, palms sweating, and a surge of overwhelming panic, students enter classrooms. Greet teachers and peers excited, and nervous. Receive their schedules and analyze what classes they share with friends. Layout their new school supplies and finally – take a breather. Except none of that happened… not a single thing. 

The Coronavirus Pandemic has taken a toll on everyone’s daily life, including school for many. Districts have had to make a very critical decision. Although some districts chose to delay start days, GUSD opened Wednesday remotely. With the end of three concise days, the first week of school is over with a sigh of relief.

“Not too bad, not bad at all,” said Eric Manooki, a senior at Hoover. “It was definitely a new experience.” It was not how he had imagined the first week of senior year to look like, however. Nonetheless, he felt supported. “It was nice to see my peers and teachers again. It slightly grounded me.”

Alenoosh Babakhanians, mother of Manooki, had mixed feelings about remote instruction. “On the one hand I’m apprehensive of how effective online learning is going to be, but on the other hand it’s nice that both of us get to sleep in a little longer.” She is also grateful for Hoover’s support network still available.

Although remote learning has affected everyone, most agree that freshmen and seniors had the biggest impact. 

As many may see this as their high school experience being stolen from them, freshmen Emily Baghramyan and Ruzanna Vartazaryan shine a positive light on the situation by focusing on the advantages of remote learning. 

They agree that block scheduling was “extremely beneficial for time management and organization,” said Baghramyan.  As for their first day nerves, they were both extremely relieved “once they met the supportive staff that Hoover provides,” said Vartazaryan.

We would be extremely disappointed to never see our seniors enjoy the rewards and events that required a lot of hard work to achieve. Seniors Laura Voskanyan and Varantsov Gevorgyan were more focused on how remote learning was carried out itself.

“I genuinely had so much fun during these zoom calls meeting teachers,” Voskanyan said. She finds comfort in laughter, and so do many others. Cracking jokes about the current situation was shared between multiple calls and conversations. “It set the tone for the rest of the school year.”

Kristina Voskanyan, owner of Milky Way Child Care & Preschool and mother to two Hoover students, including Laura, had mixed emotions. With her children, she felt as if there was no need for her guidance as they were mature enough to participate responsibly. However, she felt that “younger children are not able to behave accordingly with such a big change in environment and routine.” 

Voskanyan deals with the mischiefs of her students daily, and listens to the shared experiences from parents, which only further allow her to believe remote learning will be a struggle in elementary school children.

Peer Varantsov Gevorgyan believes that remote learning has been a positive change in his routine. He finds many advantages, such as time being spent more efficiently, and “everyone having a front seat in the class.”

Kristine Mikayelyan, mother of Varantsov Gevorgyan, is in awe from this experience. “It’s heartwarming seeing my child still trying to learn and prioritize education despite everything going on. It has definitely made me proud,” Mikayelyan said.