“Solitude in Zoom”

Nothing but silence is heard. Checking our systems again, my partner DC, and I looked to see if we could get anything from the students we were there to help. We mentored over a group of students at _____ High School, only to find disorganization and the toughness of quarantine getting to everyone. I’m reflecting on this to hopefully bring more attention to our students and each other during these trying times.

With students seemingly uninterested, as well as isolated, we were met with a very real problem that these students were trying to solve. “My worst fear is to end up like everyone else”, was written with surrounding dialogs about the sadness that is faced in the midst of quarantine. Also found there was our problem statement, which was meant to solve the isolation within a student’s home from their own siblings, “Now that we are home all the time my twin sister, and I don’t talk”. This moment just really opened my eyes to what kids are going through, I had already imagined it in part, and how the school can be an extremely crucial escape from home, but now I was staring down the magnifying glass. I can only imagine the troubles students are going through who are younger.

After about 45 minutes of trying to figure out what it is these students might need help with, we finally figured out the requirements and gist of their assignment and ideas. We tried to get assistance from both teacher and mute students, in which the mute students were more helpful. The disorganization in both the homes of the teacher and the homes of the students was made evident to me, as the teacher sends us the wrong link and explains the wrong information as to what it is her students needed to get done. While getting only a few messages in zoom chat, and students moving their arrows over sections of text is what ultimately helped us figure out what was needed. But I wish we could have helped more, if one student had spoken we would have been able to be 100 if not 1000 times more helpful. With the time coming to a close I gave the students my email and let them know they can message me asking for help whenever they like… though I doubt they ever will.

Only being a little older than these students, I could completely relate to how they felt about class and how much they felt that any of it even mattered. I hope that those kids will be well off and that they do message me if they have any questions regarding tech or business. Because what I saw was a slimmer of hope left… and if that is crushed I worry about what the future will hold. The goal for those reading is to be more engaging with your kids, siblings, or etc. We need to be there for one another and recognize that we are all in the same boat. Before you want to judge, hate, discriminate, or whatever other ignorant acts, consider that there are a lot of problems in the world, and we can change them if we all worked together. Just think of how much easier it will be for teachers who feel like they are talking to a brick wall, to know that their students are there and present. Imagine how much better you and your sibling will feel hanging out with one another instead of suffering separately in solitude. We are all in this together, and tho I feel like I’m repeating myself now, it’s important that we change this world together for the good that we want to see in it, rather than tolerating or self-loathing. I want to encourage you! Be strong! You got this! I know it’s been rough, but there’s a long way to go to make things better, and it can’t be done alone. Now I will go hang out with my friends and make sure they are doing well.


I code to create. I code to be challenged. I code for Fun. Cloud Solutions Engineer

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Anthony S. Protho

I code to create. I code to be challenged. I code for Fun. Cloud Solutions Engineer