As a whole, the sophomore class is doing well thus far into the year. We have come a long way from just a year ago. Every day we are growing and learning with the help of the Lachsa staff but here are some things that we have been facing. We as a class have had a few hardships as anyone could assume with the transferring to an online school style curriculum. As this being our second semester online we are faced with new challenges than we have previously. Things such as making the switch between being a freshman to a sophomore as well as all the responsibilities that come with being older, and the challenges with zoom and trying to learn through a screen.
LACHSA decided to use zoom as our main form of online education. Zoom is quite an unpredictable and meticulous process, especially for a dancer. From unexpected wifi issues to setting up for a day of dance. Dancers are expected to have everything they need to have a successful class. This includes setting up a clear open space to work, being dressed in proper dress code as if we were in person, getting the right camera angle for the teacher to be able to see what we are doing, being attentive, and trying to make the best with what we have. As you can see logging onto zoom classes for a dancer isn't as easy as it may seem. For example, getting ready for a ballet class online for me would consist of me moving furniture to achieve an open work space, then taking out the equipment needed for the class in this case being a ballet barre and Marley flooring, (which our LACHSA Dance Department has so graciously given us the opportunity to borrow, free of charge), and lastly stacking books and other things to put my computer on to ensure that the teacher is able to see my whole body head to toe clearly. We do all this to ensure we have a frictionless and best class we can possibly have. We can control that and make sure we have the necessary set up, but what we can't control is unpredictable wifi issues. With being online we must use the internet as the name would suggest, but the internet doesn't always work as smoothly as we would hope. When this problem arises it causes an inability to get onto the zoom call or sometimes we can manage to get on the call but with unstable wifi that might freeze or kick us out of the meeting completely. If this were ever to happen to a student our teachers have given us a backup plan/option. If a student's wifi isn't working the teacher will have suggested that said student with internet troubles should call or FaceTime another student on their phone and take the class through the FaceTime call. But for students, where the teacher sees they’re having pretty constant issues they will recommend asking and retrieving a wifi hotspot which can be given by LACHSA for free to all students who need and request one. These are just some of our main challenges with zoom, but we are in a constant state of adapting and growing so we learn to just roll with the punches.
The next challenge we face comes from the transition from being a freshman to now a sophomore. We all individually had to realize that we aren't a freshman anymore and that things were going to start to get harder and how we now hold more responsibility then we once did. In school, we now have a more rigorous academic life than we did the year prior. The teachers now expect us to keep ourselves accountable and stay on top of things without holding our hand as much as they did before. In dance if we are absent/tardy to a class or leave due to wifi issues or an emergency they teachers make it our job and our responsibility to let them know what is going on because then again they are teaching a class and have to give more attention to the students there then the one not. This can be hard at times but ultimately I really appreciate this because since online school has started my communication skills have advanced so much and by the teachers holding us to such a high standard it is training me for how life would be in the real world while still having the support needed to succeed.
This was just a look into how the LACHSA dance sophomores are doing, during the first couple of months this virtual school year. I hope you enjoyed getting this inside look into just some of the things we face with this new reality of online learning.