Half-Way Through Sophomore Year

Hi everyone! I haven’t written on here since early September when I first started sophomore year, virtually, so I decided I’d do a little update on life.

I’m still in virtual school and I’ve gotten pretty used to it to be honest, though I really miss the old high school days where COVID wasn’t even a thing and we could hang with friends all day. I remember the first time we talked about COVID was about a year ago at the end of January, in Algebra, when our teacher used it as an example of exponential growth charts. It’s crazy how much can change in a year.

It’s almost the end of our semester and exam week is looming but the administration gave us a break and we’re doing small projects and tests instead of course cumulative exams like usual. In addition, it’s not going to count for as much of our grade which is great.

I’ve been rereading some of my old posts on here from the beginning of the pandemic, and it’s pretty crazy how much has changed both on a worldly scale and just in my own life. Like I mentioned in the start of sophomore year post, we started doing all synchronous learning, unlike last year where we just worked asynchronously. There are parts of asynchronous I miss, like being able to wake up whenever and do my work whenever I wanted, but I also feel like, in certain classes, such as French and some of my harder subjects, it’s more beneficial to have a teacher actually teaching you instead of just reading something about a topic off the internet. In addition, I’ve been able to start learning to drive now that I got my permit which has been exciting.

As for on the world scale, so much has happened. Whereas 20 COVID cases in our state seemed like an insane number, nowadays it would be a miracle. A lot of really terrible things happened in 2020, but there were some bright spots in all of it. I personally felt like we were able to bring more attention to issues like racism in our society this year with the protests that occurred over this summer for George Floyd, though we definitely still have a very long way to go. Below is one of my favourite poems that went viral earlier on last year, and I think it perfectly sums up 2020:

“What if 2020 isn’t cancelled?

What if 2020 is the year we’ve been waiting for?

A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw –

that it finally forces us to grow.

A year that screams so loud, finally awakening us

from our ignorant slumber.”

~ Leslie Dwight

What were some bright spots in your 2020? Comment below!

Second Day of Sophomore Year

Since our classes are split half in half this year, I’ll also give a second-day report as well!

Tech Theatre

Tech Theatre started with our teachers having tech issues in the theatre at school ironically. Our first day was them telling us what we would be doing this year and it actually sounds pretty exciting from sewing to painting sets to doing stage makeup, they’ve figured out a way to do it all from home. I originally took tech just to fill my art credit but I’m actually excited for it now.

Career ED

For our career ed class we did a survey so our teacher could get an understanding of what kind of job field we are looking at, for me that probably going to be something that’s not an office job. I want to do something on the go, and two things that interest me at the moment are Disaster and Crisis Management and Global Medicine/Health.


We watched another video today in resource where we learned about good Zoom behaviour and also things that are happening in our society today and how our school is supporting those causes, which is really cool.


A good portion of our English class from last year is in our English class this year as well. We had to make virtual lockers where we took pictures off the internet of things we liked and copied it into a digital photo of a locker and shared it with our class so we could get to know each others hobbies.


To start of the year we had to do breakout rooms and interview one other about things related to math and how we used it in our daily lives and then we shared what our partner said with the rest of the class. We then split into groups again and made assumptions about our teacher and she told us if they were true or false. Thankfully, there was no actual math done today.

That was my second day of school and it’s going well so far and I like all my classes but I dislike having to be in front of a computer all day. Thanks for reading!

First Day of Sophomore Year

I have not posted here since late May, but I did graduate freshman year, and with a 3.95 GPA no less. We started school virtually again today, but I have to say, our school still made it a memorable first day of school experience. However, they made some big changes from what we were doing in spring, so here is a little recap of what spring learning looked liked and what they changed for fall.

Recap of Spring

We were assigned a set amount of work at the beginning of the week and had due dates throughout the week to turn everything in on. For example, we would be assigned two P.E assignments on Monday, and then have one which was due on Wednesday and the other due on Friday. In addition, most of our work was done asynchronously, though if we had questions we could Zoom or Google Meet with our teachers.

Changes from Spring Learning

Instead of having our seven forty-minute classes every day we now have a block schedule. That means we have three or four classes every other day but for eighty minutes each. Mondays and Wednesdays I have three classes, a 30-minute homeroom, a 30-minute lunch, and then two forty-minute enrichment blocks at the end of the day, where we can have clubs and meet with teachers. Tuesdays and Thursdays I have four classes, a 30-minute homeroom, a 30-minute lunch, and no enrichment blocks. Fridays, we have all seven classes but each is thirty minutes. We have no resource and a 20-minute break. In addition, all of our classes are on Zoom and synchronous this year.


In Chemistry, we did icebreaker activities in Zoom breakout rooms, which is where the class automatically splits up from being a whole group and into small groups of 2 or 3. We introduced ourselves and then once we were back in the group Zoom we had to introduce our partners. We also did a small experiment which we followed along with while our teacher did it in the classroom.


I moved up to French 3 this year and during our first day we read our syllabus, watched a French music video, and learned about what we all did over the summer (not much,) though a lot of people took road trips as a way of travelling during the pandemic. Since the French classes are so small we already knew everyone else for the most part.

Environmental Science and Outdoor Pursuits

Outdoor Pursuits is a class where we basically do kayaking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, rock climbing, etcetera and it’s my P.E class for this year. I don’t know how we’ll do this from home just yet but the teachers seem like they have a plan. Outdoor Pursuits comes with Environmental Science, so I’m taking an extra science credit this year. I think I’m most excited about these two classes this year because they are both things I love.


Our resource period today was us doing a small icebreaker activity during roll call, and then our resource teacher going on to explain to us about the new schedule since none of us have had a schedule like this before.

Enrichment 1

I only had one enrichment period today and that was spent in resource where we watched the school’s Hype Video, to get us excited for the school year. Then we had virtual activity fair and so far I’m doing five clubs this year from newspaper to student council.


I don’t mind doing school online, it’s nice to be able to work from the comfort of my own home. I do wish though that we didn’t have to sit in front of a video screen all day because it’s exhausting. The biggest thing I will miss about being in person is the social aspect and having fun events like Friday Night Football and Hoco. Overall though today was a good first day and they even maintained the tradition of having a red carpet by doing it virtually through a YouTube video.

Thanks for reading this first post of the 20-21 school year!

Days 42 – 45 of Online School

Only 8 days left of school (2 weeks!) I’m so ready for summer by now especially after how nice it was this weekend.

Tuesday, May 26

Today, it was still pretty nice out and my big accomplishment of the day was finally finishing All the Bright Places after like three months. I honestly probably read at least half of the book in the last two days too. I did Drivers Ed like usual this morning and we learned a new tense in French which we’ve been doing like every week now. Thankfully it’s been pretty easy. I also had algebra and biology today and we’re learning about solving equations (again) and genetic engineering and stuff. I also want on a long walk today.

Wednesday, May 27

Another warm day! I only got out for one walk today because I was busy in the morning and I had to go to the orthodontist in the afternoon. I had Drivers Ed this morning I got 100% on the quiz which was good. I also had global today and we had to write about the Treaty of Versailles which I did a project on last year. I also had to do my own workout video for P.E and it turned out pretty good. I had to film part of my video for English and I’m adapting this book about penguins because it was the only thing I could think of. Unfortunately, I don’t have a penguin so I had to use a chihuahua to play the role of the penguin so yeah. As I mentioned, I went to the orthodontist today and they had all these glass windows up and they had to check your temperature and you had to wear a mask when they weren’t working on your teeth. Interesting times!

Thursday, May 28

Today, it was relatively warm until it rained again. I got out for a walk in the afternoon and I went to Starbucks today as well. Both my parents had to work for at least part of the day (in-person) today so I had to make myself lunch which was kind of a struggle but it worked out. I helped one of my friend’s with her final project for one of her classes today and I did my final math lesson of the year which was a relief. I don’t know if I already wrote about it but I got a 100% on my final paper for global this year which was really good! We had almost 600 cases here in the state and almost that many today as well.

Friday, May 29

I didn’t actually do like any work today until around 9:30 and I did my Driver’s Ed first. Then I had P.E. and global as well, and we had to write about the agreements that took place in the Middle East after World War I and have borders made by Western powers then affect the countries in the Middle East today.  We went on two walks today and it was a little bit chiller out than the past couple days have been. In the state today we had the most cases we’ve ever had – 733 cases and almost 500 in my county alone! There were about 18 deaths today and 9 in my county which is very sad.

I hope you all had a decent week and I don’t know about you but I’m ready for summer!

Eleventh Weekend in Quarantine

Just another quarantine weekend down – who knows how many to go!

Saturday, May 23rd

Another eventful weather day in Wisconsin. To begin with, we took two long walks today and we learned one of the schools I went to might close. In our town, there are two school districts so there’s two elementary schools and two middle schools that both go to the same high school. The school district I didn’t go to only has about 50 kids per class and lately, there’s been low enrollment at both schools. They want to make the other district”s elementary school the K4-K5 school, the other district’s middle school the first to third-grade school, and either the elementary or middle school I went to the fourth to eighth-grade school. It’ll be interesting to see which one they choose.

Besides that, there have been two confirmed tornados so far here in Wisconsin today because of a big thunderstorm but none of them have been very close to here so far which is good. There were more than 230 COVID cases in my county today which was a lot and more than 400 in the state. It’s definitely been bigger numbers recently which isn’t good and it’ll be interesting to see what happens over Memorial Day weekend.

Sunday, May 24th

It was so warm out today and it got up to 80 for the first time this year! We went out for a long walk this morning and will probably go for another one or two later this afternoon. My dad got his mulch delivered yesterday so both my parents have been busy weeding and mulching the yard today and yesterday. We are grilling out tonight and having s’mores which makes it really feel like Memorial Weekend and all. Today, the NY Times front page was of 1000 names of people who have died from COVID n the United States, which represents 1% of deaths here. In addition, there have been a lot of people out and about in all these states that are opening up. Here in Wisconsin, a lot of people from Illinois (which is still under lockdown) are coming up and going out in public here, spreading COVID more here. In addition, there have been a lot of photos of people not wearing masks and hanging out in places like Lake of the Ozarks and Ocean City. Crazy!

Monday, May 25th

Happy Memorial Day! Today, was so warm and the realfeel was like at 97 degrees at some points in the day but it was mid 80’s for most of the day. It was really hot for us Wisconsinites though. We went on like a 3.5 – 4.0 mile walk this morning and I got 8,500 steps from that alone. Besides that, my parents worked in the yard and I read All the Bright Places in the backyard which after two months I’m still not done with it. We had bagels for lunch and those were the interesting parts of the day. I definitely don’t want it raining again anytime soon after it was so nice today and all.

~ Mara

Days 38 – 41 of Online School

I can’t believe there are only 3 weeks or basically 12 days of school left for us – May has gone by so fast and so did April.

Tuesday, May 19th

I had a very productive morning today and it definitely isn’t always like that. I woke up earlier (that’s like 7:45 now) and I did my Driver’s Ed, biology quiz, algebra, and French in less than two hours. My grades really haven’t changed at all over quarantine break which is good because I think my lowest is an A- in Algebra and my best is probably P.E or English. We have to make a movie for our English class which I’m kind of not excited for because we have to adapt our short story and my short story is not very – adaptable. The cases here in Wisconsin haven’t gone up a lot in the last two days which is good – hopefully it stays that way.

Wednesday, May 20th

Today was another pretty normal day but at least there was no rain. I did my Driver’s Ed this morning and it was really easy thankfully. I also did my health, P.E, and I wrote a paper on Convergence and Divergence in World War I for Global. I went on two walks so far since it’s so nice out and we’re ordering pizza for dinner so those are the two most exciting things that have happened. We’ve had the most cases today in Wisconsin so far with over 520 and 300 of them in my county – it’s crazy how some days there aren’t a lot and other days there are a ton.

Thursday, May 21st

We had a more unusual day today but not as crazy as last Sunday either. I woke up and did my Driver’s Ed, which was really easy today, and my classes as well. We decided to get Starbucks for lunch except it wouldn’t let us mobile order at any of our local ones which was so weird. We decided to go anyway because if we had to order in person we would (we’re desperate.) However, it finally worked on the way over and we ordered mobiley but once we go there they said their mobile order hadn’t been working. We got our drinks and all in the end so it all worked out but it was different. We also saw that our local garden store was packed – it was so busy today! We went on a long walk this afternoon because it was pretty nice out and we also started the Project Runway Season 15 Finale. There were 472 cases here today and a bunch of tests were done as well which is good (the test part.)

Friday, May 22nd

I can’t believe it’s Memorial Day weekend already – that’s crazy! It definitely doesn’t feel like the “summer” that comes along with Memorial Day, usually, yet. I did my Driver’s Ed like usual today and I only have 12 lessons left. Today, my Global teacher said that my summary for World War II was really great which was high praises from her and my French teacher said I’d improved tremendously. Today, I wrote about the Russian Revolution which wasn’t that hard and I also did P.E, Health, and started my storyboard for English. We went out to see my Grandma this afternoon since my mom made her rhubarb strawberry crisp, and that was fun. Besides that, we didn’t do anything else out of the ordinary today except go on a walk.

Have a good Memorial Day weekend! 🙂

~ Mara

Tenth Weekend in Quarantine

Wow – tenth weekend, that’s crazy! I know I say this ten times in like every post but the weeks go by so fast.

Saturday, May 16th

It wasn’t as warm as yesterday today but we still got out for two long walks – our one this morning was almost 6,500 steps alone which was great. Besides that, we really didn’t do a lot today. Like every Saturday night we watched Top Chef Allstars and this time they went to a summer camp in the mountains and cooked which was pretty entertaining. It’s been a really good season so far. Speaking of TV, I watched another very dramatic episode of Dance Moms today. Honestly, most of the day is centered around our two-three walks lately but it hasn’t been terrible – I mainly just miss my friends.

The news here has been reporting that a lot of people, especially in resort towns like Lake Geneva, have been out and about like normal. Most of them aren’t wearing masks or social distancing at all which is not good. Because of the whole ordeal with our state supreme court, they overruled the governor’s stay at home order. Basically, they said that he doesn’t have the power to make a stay at home order or something like that.

Sunday, May 17th

Today was so crazy. I woke up and it was already raining hard and one of our windows was leaking in the kitchen. We had to put up towels to stop it from flowing and it helped catch the water. It’s been raining really hard all day and it’s supposed to all night and into tomorrow morning as well. My dad built up a dyke to try and keep all the water from flowing over and downhill into our neighbour’s house. It worked for the morning but this afternoon the water reached over the dyke and it started flowing into a river and then a lake all throughout our back yard. Unfortunately, our sump pump also happened to not be working and our basement has been flooding because of it. That’s it for the time being – well see what ends up happening.

Monday, May 18th

So basically after all the flooding drama yesterday afternoon we had a plumber come over and fix our sump pump – thank goodness. In addition, parts of our road were flooded over which was crazy. It’s never flooded this bad here before and it didn’t help that our sump pump happened to break either. It’s still been raining today but we were able to get out for a very wet walk. I finished and submitted my paper today for Global that I’ve been working on since March which is a big relief and started work on my French for the week. I also did my Drivers Ed today which was about rain and hydroplaning coincidentally.

I hope you all had a good weekend! 🙂

~ Mara

Days 34 – 37 of Online School

We only have four weeks left of school now before summer break, hooray!

Tuesday, May 12th

Today was actually a pretty busy day – I had a lot to do! I did my algebra and we started a new unit so the lesson took awhile. I also had biology and we learned about the types of DNA and RNA and the processes of transcription and translation. I had to draw a superhero for French but I ended up just drawing a cute penguin named Penn. I also had a Zoom today for English and we learned about camera angles and what it makes you think of – yeah, not super English related. I also had Driver’s Ed and I went on a long walk as well. My mom and I went to Starbucks after she got home from work and the whole process is super strange now. You walk in and they hand you your drinks and if they aren’t ready you have to wait 6 feet apart in line outside. In addition, Illinois had 4000 cases today which is insane. Crazy times!

Wednesday, May 13th

It was actually pretty nice out today – it was in the ’50s! Today, I had a Zoom meeting for one of my classes and my friend and I’s computers weren’t working or syncing with the class, so we tried logging out and back in but then the teacher didn’t let us back in for like 10 minutes. I had to write in my journal for English like always and my teacher said she liked my short story so that’s good. I worked on my French today even though I didn’t have that class because I didn’t want to have to do it all tomorrow. I studied for Health and took a practice quiz and went outside on a walk for P.E. I didn’t go anywhere exciting today, like Starbucks, but it was still pretty good overall. We didn’t have many more cases here today but probably in a day or so we will from all the tests they’ve been doing in the past couple days.

In addition, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned the State Stay-at-Home order issued by the Governor until May 26th today. That means bars, restaurants, and such can reopen but the Milwaukee County Health Department has denied for bars to open in Milwaukee County for the time being. Also, we got an F, as a state, on the Social Distancing Scoreboard – 😦

Thursday, May 14th

I didn’t do that much work this morning because both my parents had work in person today but I did do both my algebra and French project once my mom came home. I also started to work on my Global for tomorrow and I did my biology for today too. We are pretty much learning the same thing we learned last year in science so it’s been really easy. We watched Project Runway and it was an unconventional material challenge combined with an avant-garde challenge which was exciting. Besides that, we went on a long walk and I had to do this scavenger hunt for my P.E class so I had to take pictures of certain animals and things around our neighbourhood. I also started watching Dance Moms Season 3 tonight.

Bars have been opening up around the state and there have been a lot of photos of these packed bars in places like Port Washington and such. One interesting article is about how Google search results for bars in Wisconsin have gone up exponentially in the last day. It’ll be interesting to see the effects of all this non-social distancing here in a few weeks.

Friday, May 15th

Today was so perfect out! It was super warm in the morning and it was actually hot for like the first time this year. We took three walks today which was great. I finished writing my paper for Global today and I’ll edit on Monday probably before I have to submit it. I also did my Health and P.E today and I wrote in my journal for English. I also had to write a paper on Convergence and Divergence During the 20th Century which was actually pretty easy. Today, I kept watching Dance Moms and Project Runway and I also learned about winter driving for Driver’s Ed. We had 410 cases here in Wisconsin today which was a lot more – the testing has definitely affected it.

It’s been another fast week – thanks for reading! 🙂

~ Mara

Ninth Weekend in Quarantine

Ninth weekend?! That’s crazy. I can’t believe it’s been so long – I know I’ve said it in every single post but it sure doesn’t feel like it.

Saturday, May 9th

Tonight was Saturday night which means Top Chef and this week was Restaurant Wars! It was such a good episode and the team I wanted to win won which was great. We took a long walk this morning because it was pretty nice out. One thing I’m proud of is that I’ve stayed relatively active in quarantine. I’ve been doing a group of daily stretches for flexibility since I haven’t done dance or anything in that field in awhile now. I think that I’ve actually improved my flexibility so far which is great. I’ve also done some brief core workouts some days too.

Another thing that I’ve been doing is reading. One book I’m reading right now is called When Stars are Scattered and it is about a Somalian boy living in a refugee camp in Kenya and it is sooo good! It’s based on a true story and I love everything about it. Another book I’ve read is Breathing Room which is really interesting. It’s about a girl living in a Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Minnesota during the 1940’s and I was so addicted that I read in about 2-3 days. It was personal for me too because my grandpa had tuberculosis and stayed in two different sanatoriums. He owned a newspaper so he was a great writer – you can read his story here.

Sunday, May 10th

Today was miserable outside! It was rainy, snowy, and cold and we couldn’t even get out for one walk. Because of that, the day went way slower than normal. I Zoomed with some family both yesterday and today for Mother’s Day. I got my mom a book of her choice and a card because it’s kind of hard to get much else right now. I watched a movie this afternoon and Project Runway tonight. I also read All the Bright Places which I’m still not done with yet – hopefully I’ll finish by the end of quarantine. Besides that, we reached 10,000 cases and 400 deaths here in Wisconsin today which is crazy. Summer will be strange.

Monday, May 11th

We were able to get out for a walk today and even though it was in the 40’s it was warm because there wasn’t a wind. If you haven’t seen through my posts the weather is like the only thing to talk about anymore! There was obviously no school today but I still worked on my paper and did Driver’s Ed. We basically learned about road rage. I watched two episodes of Project Runway today and they were so good – we’re almost to the end of Season 15. They’ve started opening up more testing sites here in my county and over 800 people were tested in the afternoon at one of them which is great. However, over 70 people have gotten coronavirus from just one protest in Madison – not good.

Thanks for reading another weekend post! Stay safe and healthy and Happy Belated Mother’s Day!

~ Mara

Days 30 – 33 of Online School

It’s officially one month until we’re done with school, hooray! Quarantine has made it go some much faster than it would’ve if we were actually in class.

Tuesday, May 5th

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Today was a pretty easy day of school since I only had three classes that I had to do. For Biology, we had to take a quiz on the synthesis of DNA. For Algebra, we had to do a review of our unit because we have a test on Thursday and for French, we are learning about the superlative tense so we took notes and did an activity about that. I worked on my paper and I had a Zoom today as well. I also had Driver’s Ed today and we watched the instructor drive. Here in Wisconsin, they are waiving the drivers test but unfortunately, I haven’t done the behind the wheel so it doesn’t apply to me right now.

Wednesday, May 6th

Today was relatively nice outside but not as nice as last weekend was. I did Driver’s Ed today and we learned about driving on the freeway and how to merge and exit. For school, I had a quiz in Health and I had to do a workout for P.E. For Global, we compared global economies of three different countries based on when they industrialised and saw how they grew over time. In English, I wrote in my journal for the day and then I worked on my story which is due over the weekend. Like usual, we didn’t do anything to interesting today but my mom did make a rhubarb pie which was really good.

Thursday, May 7th

My grandma came over today so that was the one stand out part of the day. Besides that we watched Project Runway (a really good episode – lot’s of drama) and I did some of my work for the week for school too. I had Biology and we worked on DNA and RNA identification and I had a test today in Algebra as well. I also worked on a superlative activity for French which was pretty easy. It was super warm out early this morning which was awesome but by mid morning it was colder. There’s a freeze watch for tomorrow night!

Friday, May 8th

I can’t believe that it’s already Friday again! The weeks go so insanely fast now, way more than when we were in school. Today, I had Health and P.E and we pretty much just studied and did our workout of the day. For Global, we are working on our paper and for English, we submitted our short stories today after a couple weeks of work. Besides that it snowed here today (in mid-May!) but thankfully now, it’s the weekend and I don’t have any school until next Tuesday which is great. There have been an increasing amount of cases in Illinois and still in the rest of the Midwest, like in Minnesota. They are starting free tests for people of African America, Latino, or tribal heritage in Wisconsin because that is where they are seeing the most cases coming from. It’s a really great thing for them to do but it’ll definitely give us higher numbers. Today, we had around 375 in the state and 150 in my county.

Thanks for reading my posts of the week – have a good weekend! 🙂

~ Mara