Going to School During a Global Pandemic

Matthew Goff, Radio Host

March 13, 2020, a day that will live in infamy…or so the paraphrase of F.D.R. goes.  From that day, school as we knew it, was changed drastically.  From that dark Friday the 13th, we have learned many lessons; however, these are probably not the lessons anyone really expected or wanted.  The powers, for many years, that govern education in America have thought that our generation is a “digital generation,” and my father’s generation were “digital dinosaurs” doomed to either adapt or fall into the quagmire of some proverbial tar pit of uselessness.  They predicted that we would eagerly and seamlessly flow into a technology-based curriculum.  Not only that but that we required this as this would be how we would learn best.  They surmised that the old-fashioned days of teacher-led instruction were as lost on us as the horse and buggy to modern America,  Surprise!  Many, and I daresay, most of us are not this version of students that they believed.  In fact, many of us have struggled in this new technology rich platform.  Or better put, and this is the lesson that most of the “powers that be ” do not want to face.  Education has failed many of us.  The distance-learning has only been a success in that it has distanced us from receiving an education.  As Norman Rockwell-esque as it may seem, we long nostalgically for those long ago days of sitting in class, reading together, discussing and debating with our classmates, and for a few brave teachers, with them.  We miss the feel and smell of books, where the only mouse was the occasional one that ran  from Mrs. Lambert’s room to the hallway.  We miss lectures on the merits or drawbacks of decisions made in history, the meaning of a poem, or how to solve a crazy equation.  We miss the camaraderie of fellow students and teachers who greet and challenge.  As corny and old-fashioned as it seems, we even miss taking a quiz or writing an essay, turning it in and waiting for the comments from our instructors.  A simple smiley face, as insignificant as it can be once lit up our days more than any flashing lights or funny bings and buzzes from a computer program.    Most of us really don’t want to sit in front of a video monitor except to be entertained with mindless videos and games.  Perhaps this is way overdue and way overlooked but to our teachers we say we miss you!  This new world of computer school and what it has brought, seems to me, not one I will much enjoy, and I wonder that this must be what early Homo-Sapiens and dinosaurs must have thought when they looked upward to the old familiar evening sky and saw a bright, burning meteor heading towards them.