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CONTRIBUTED BY SONIA PROVOST

Sonia Provost

October 22

Freshman Sonia Provost attended school on Thursday, Oct. 22 for a 30 minute orientation where she learned about the safety procedures and got to see the school for the first time. Although everything didn’t go as smoothly, at first she couldn’t find her cohort, she is excited to see everyone in person.

What were your first impressions of OLS? Did you think the “familiarizing” was well organized? Did everyone wear masks and keep a 6 feet distance?

It was fairly organized. They accidentally sent me with the wrong cohort but I found mine later. Everyone kept masks on but the hallways were a little too small to stay six feet while walking in groups of 15-20 people. I think that once we’re back for typical classes it’ll be easier because there are only 12 people in classes at a time at the very upper limit.

What are you most nervous for or most looking forward to in terms of going back to school on Thursday?

I can’t say I’m especially nervous about entering hybrid, for the most part, I’m excited to meet everyone in person and I’m happy to have a change of scenery after all my time spent at home. My only concern is getting to crew on time; I’ll be getting out of school at three and I have to be to the river by 3:30, which was already a bit tight when I was at home. I expect that because of this I’ll have to change in between periods; I won’t have the time to go home. An update on hybrid based on what I saw today; all electives are remote, I’m taking a 10th-grade world language class so I don’t know how that changes if it’s for 9th grade only, and some core classes have been asynchronous on the days that we’re remote, while others have a mix of zoom and live classes at the same time. The latter of those essentially entails 1/2 the class being on zoom as per usual, and the people in person signed onto zoom without video (really just so that they have audio) and the zoom screen with everyone remote is projected onto the whiteboard (which they should have told us before we started making faces at each other). The teacher teaches the in-person class as he/she/they normally would, only in front of a camera so that everyone at home can follow along. I don’t know if this will continue to be the case, models might shift little by little.

October 26

Provost had her first full day of school a week from orientation. She found that people were trying their best with safety precautions and felt safe in the building.

How was your first day of school back? How was it different from regular school? What precautions did teachers/people take? Did you feel safe?

My first day back was pretty much as expected, really the only differences from normal school were in class size and distancing is always in effect. Precautions were just what you’d think; 6ft of distance at all times, masks can come off only when you’re at an even greater distance and only outside for 5 minutes, and lots of hand sanitizer — I have a cut on the back of my hand so that wasn’t fun. I felt safe, I know teachers are doing their best. The only thing I noticed was that in the hallways in the 20 minutes between classes some people weren’t socially distant, but teachers were doing their best to enforce this when they noticed people getting too close. I think that as we get more used to hybrid and being in the buildings this will happen less, but this is a big adjustment for all of us and it might take us a little while to proficiently follow COVID Safety guidelines. Everyone is doing their best, I will say that much, but it can be easy to forget at times.

November 12

After being in school for a couple of weeks, Provost found hybrid much more enjoyable than remote.

Since you’ve been doing hybrid for a few weeks now do you have any new opinions? Are you liking it or did you enjoy remote better?

Honestly it’s same as before. I like it better but that’s really just me personally because in all honesty, I talk a lot. I don’t know if you’re interviewing other freshmen but I’ve definitely heard mixed opinions. We just started phasing into 115 this week, so I had my first class there today which went quite well.

This article was updated to include a correction on 11/18/2020

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