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What I Wish My Teachers Knew

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Jason Harianto, George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science, Class of 2023

Quarantine was an Eve's apple. Honestly, physically not going to school sounded great at first. We all needed a break after all. If you were stressing out from school after over half the school year, and suddenly you find out an epidemic happened, so you no longer need to go to school for a while: you would be excited. No need to wake up at 5 or 6 in the morning, no need to wait outside during a heavy rain for the bus to come, and no need to have exams. But in exchange, we were confined to yet another box. It really gave someone a first-hand experience of absolute boredom. I wonder how many students felt the same: the feeling of doing something you liked for so long, so much you might even pull an all-nighter for it. It's like that one stress-reliever you have. Then when you are actually doing it all the time, you lose your excitement. I mean, I myself never would have thought that there would be a day when playing video games would become boring before quarantine.

Then you find out virtual learning is harder than learning normally: the directions are less clear, it's harder to pay attention, and the whole process is new to pretty much almost everybody. In addition, not everyone has access to good internet, which  significantly affects a student's learning curriculum.  

On top of that, people who are outside face certain injustices, whether it is the racist remarks about Covid-19 or the wrongful killing of people like George Floyd. So we are either birds in a cage or hawks fighting the prowling tiger of injustice: boredom, stress, fear, and anger. Not really what I expected for a long spring-summer break. 

Situations such as blaming the whole virus on China by calling it the "Chinese virus" and even people killing other people just because they look Chinese occurred after the spread of Covid-19 . As an Asian American who also has some "Chinese blood" in my veins, I feel offended that some people would call this virus, the "Chinese virus.” There is no need to make relationships between two countries more difficult, yet people did anyway. One example of attempted murder against Asian-Americans was on March 14th, at Midland, Texas. The aggressor, Jose L. Gomez, who was 19 years old stabbed a family of three at a Sam's Club. Some sources (, and ABC news for instance) had reports from the FBI that the reason why Jose stabbed the family was because "he thought the family was Chinese, and infecting people with the coronavirus.” In my opinion, the way to solve this Covid-19 problem isn't through discriminatory actions, inciting violence, or placing blame, which leads to a broken society full of hatred for one another. It is by taking quarantine seriously, and avoiding actions that could possibly lead to conflict. Virus outbreaks happen frequently when you think about it; it's just the lack of attention that has allowed it to spread so much.   

On the other hand, I do feel a little bit of hope despite all of these problems. People use social media's power to the viewers, making it an efficient way to protest. For instance, there are many posts that talk about these injustices, and other posts to show you support the cause of #blacklivesmatter, especially on Instagram (#blackouttuesday trend on June 2nd for example). Trends like these on social media tend to spread like wildfire so it shows how it can influence people. And many kids and teenagers are a part of the protest movement (since they're the groups  posting and spreading the word), showing the importance of the younger generation. I hope that our influence as the younger generation will be able to change society for the better, and help resolve our current problems in the world.