The first day back for in-person learning was unexpectedly exciting

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Photo courtesy of Casey Rowley

Kate Kotlyar staff writer

Remember that feeling when it was the night before the first day of school? A feeling of being simultaneously scared for what the day ahead of you holds but also really excited about starting a new school year and meeting new people and making new friends? I felt that when I went to bed on April 8 and when I woke up on April 9. I felt excited to go back to school. 

I typically don’t feel that in April because I’ve already been in school for eight months. But today, I felt like it was the beginning of August all over again. I felt excited to go back to in-person learning for the first time in over a year, I wanted to see my fellow Cohort B peers and meet new teachers, and reunite with some old ones. 

Today was a great first day.

March 12, 2020, was my last day of in-person learning. School was supposed to return for in-person learning on April 6, 2020, but things didn’t go to plan and our one week-long spring break extended into over a year-long quarantine. 

There were small things about school that I didn’t expect to miss, but I did. The bell. I really missed hearing the bell, that F# note. It serves as an auditory indicator to move onto your next class. That was another thing I missed––I missed walking in the hallways and waving or stopping to talk to a friend at their locker. I missed putting textbooks in my locker. 

One thing that I missed that was shocking to me was clapping. After Ms. Kim showed a video in class today, my two peers and I clapped. Hearing other people clap in the same space as me got me really excited. I’ve only heard myself clap for a year, so hearing other people’s hands smack together was amazing.

While today wasn’t the first day of the school year, it acted as the first day in every way. I saw and spoke with my old teachers, met new ones, had to find new classes, and even made a new friend. 

Even though there were a total of three people in every class period I had today and there were some minor technical issues, today was a great day at school. Kudos to my administrators, the high school staff, including our wonderful teachers, the district staff, the Board of Education, and to my peers for helping make April 8 and 9 enjoyable days for students. I look forward to the rest of the year and more in-person learning.

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