Students across Kern County are facing the challenge of completing coursework at home. And it's not always easy, as our community's young people share here in their own words.
Being at home is something that is taking some time getting used to. Yes, of course I prefer being able to go to sleep later and wake up later as well, but I think I’d rather be at school. I find it harder to complete my assignments because I can’t stay focused and I have little motivation to get the work done.
I also miss going to softball practice every day after school and making jokes with my teammates, but most of all I miss my friends. I have kept in touch with some friends by texting or calling them, but it just isn’t the same. Being at school gives you something to do, rather than being at home stuck on your phone or the television.
— Alyssa Montes, 16, East Bakersfield High School
It feels different to be home and away from peers and teachers because you get used to seeing certain teachers every day and building that friendly relationship with teachers and your peers. You’re used to seeing friends and teachers who educate you on a daily basis and to all of a sudden not see them ... Just not used to it. Also, not knowing if I’m going back this school year, which is highly unlikely. It’s like college. Now you take online stuff as well as a packet that’s given to us by Bakersfield City School District.
I’m missing some of my friends but knowing we are able to text is better than not seeing them or talking to them at all. Now that the school shut down I’m unable to see any of my teachers in person so I’m only able to message them through Google Classroom or Jupiter Ed, the website we use to check our grades and missing assignments and message staff. I am missing a few of my teachers by not knowing if I’ll see them again.
I plan to stay connected to my teachers while school is shut down by using Google Classroom and Jupiter Ed to contact them if I need to. I plan to stay connected to my peers by texting them or calling them. It’s better than not talking to them at all. Especially for what’s going on right now in the world it's good to check in on them.
— Ian Martinez, 13, Walter Stiern Middle School
Hi, my name is Elijah Gonzales. I am 15 years old, and I live in Bakersfield. I am a freshman attending Bakersfield High School. We already started our school closure that will last for about four weeks.
I do miss all my amazing teachers at BHS who take the time to make each day an amazing learning adventure for me. I miss all the creativity in each class. Most of all, I miss seeing and hanging out with my friends. It honestly is a needed break for not only myself but for the entire world. We need to learn how to slow down and appreciate the people who surround us. Life was moving so quickly, at times I felt like I went to sleep on Monday and woke up on Friday. The circumstances of this break are hard, but it had to take something grand to slow the world down.
I reach out to my friends in numerous ways such as FaceTime, video games through party chats, and text/social media. The only hard thing about finishing the GATE class assignments is it's a lot of work, more than usual. Also, if I or my classmates have any questions we either ask each other for help and better understanding or emailing/texting the teacher on the Remind app.
This epidemic affected me by baseball, mainly. I’m a freshman who made varsity and I was supposed to play my first league game against Stockdale. But coronavirus ruined it. So, all games and practices have been canceled.
I have kept perfect attendance since I first started school. I could honestly say this is my first break ever from my busy schedule. Balancing school, baseball and extracurricular activities was all I knew. Now that time has slowed down for the entire world, I don’t feel guilty to say I enjoy it. I have two extra hours of sleep, I work out, practice, do classwork, practice my instruments. Read a little. Do mindfulness/meditation. Then I have a little free time to chat with friends. I have faith in God and I believe he will help all scientists find the perfect vaccination against coronavirus. But in the meanwhile, we all need to do our part and wash our hands and stay calm and help each other because, in the end, we are in this together. Have faith people.
— Elijah Gonzales, 15, Bakersfield High School
My name is Hannia Hernandez, I'm 16 years old and I go to South High School. My experience studying at home so far is going well. Although I prefer 10 times to be at school than doing work here at home.
I think I focus more at school because it keeps me on track and I don't feel unorganized. I feel more stressed because I have to complete a lot of homework from each class at a certain time.
I get distracted a lot here at home and sometimes I don't finish my homework and just leave it for the next day. School motivates me more to get all my work done and complete everything I need to do.
— Hannia Hernandez, 16, South High School
The coronavirus has impacted me in such a bad academic way. I don't feel motivated to do school work. Any time I join an online lecture, there is always some sort of problem.
As a swimmer it sucks that they could postpone/ cancel our season because it was my last year as captain, and I won't be able to experience my final season.
My family does not really understand when I'm doing work because I'm on my phone so I don't have my space. The only benefit is I'm able to take a break when I want.
— Jesse Arredondo, senior, South High School
Being away from school makes me feel free from extra work. As if I ain't being weighed down by all the work having to be done. Now I can get chores done and then finally relax. Also, I am learning from my parents so I don't become dull in math, neither history or English nor science. So I think this is a change for the better.
Communicating with all my friends and teachers is hard, but it gets easier as I go. The problem with the internet is the cyberbullies. Cyberbullies are like bullies online, but you can block them. But still it is hard not talking to teachers in person. It is still hard and different for me. ...
— Zachary Phillips-Ramirez, 13, Cato Middle School
... I can ask my older brother for some help or I can ask my mom if I can use a cell phone or a Chromebook and watch some math and language arts videos or maybe go on Google and search some things. .. And I can study a lot for next year.
— Bellarae Ramirez, 10, Williams Elementary School