Online classes and going back to school in the midst of a pandemic

Finally were back in the classroom!

Hello WordPress! It’s me once again!

Finally, I went to school last June 1 after not going out of our house since March 4 (going for groceries and my trip to the park to see the sakura bloom doesn’t count). For some reason, it is still mind blogging to me that Japan is able to get through somehow without imposing strict lockdown conditions. The economy suffered, the Tokyo 2020 also suspended, but the government gave 100,000 yen (roughly little less than $1,000) to each individuals including babies regardless of nationality as long as they live here with a non-tourist visa.

Well, one week of going to school. Except the wearing of the mask and the humid weather now, nothing has really changed in going to the train station. Well, the public smoking area was abolished! In my first day, upon entering the school we have to have our temperature checked by a school staff, have our hands disinfected and go to the classroom with tables and seats arranged with a gap. The windows were left open though there is a construction ongoing nearby.

The no-touch alcohol dispenser

It’s refreshing to finally see our teachers and my classmates, especially my former classmates. We have a homeroom teacher and she gave us a face shield which is provided by the school for each student. The face masks will be used during our conversation activities.

Our Nihongo classes was suppose to start last April 15 but was suspended due to the state of emergency in Hyogo prefecture. We didn’t have any classes last April but a teacher schedules a Zoom meeting once a week to follow-up on our assignments which were sent to us via mail. Lazy me, I didn’t do my assignment. Then comes the long Golden Week break here from April 29 to May 5. We were again supposed to report in school on May 6 but because the state of emergency was not yet lifted, our classes remained suspended. Finally, our school decided to just use the Zoom application for our online classes and we had it last May 11 from Monday to Friday. Not only that, the Zoom meetings were super secured as the school bothered to make us our own school email accounts via Gsuite.

Funny that I haven’t taken a shower yet when our class starts so when the teacher checks our attendance and asks us to open our cameras, I would wear a cap just to hide my bed hair. During the class, I was twice disconnected but I think no one noticed it due to our poor Wi-Fi connection. I don’t really know what to do with our internet connection problem here. At one time, I was forced to use my phone because my notebook (computer) crashed before I joined the Zoom meeting on a Wednesday. Twice also, I went to the toilet and of course no one noticed since I’m muted. One problem with this online class: the student can pretend to be present but actually be doing something else once the camera is off and is muted. Another is that I was not the only one having connection problems. If one of us have technical difficulties, the whole class is held until it is fixed. Many times, I would just help our classmates through the Line App by just sending them the Zoom meeting link. There were cases of Zoom meeting hijacks and the school is well aware of that hence the added privacy and security brought to us by our Gsuite accounts. Only those who were invited where allowed to enter. I don’t know how that works but that’s how I see it work and maybe I might be wrong in this one. In a Zoom meeting, the one created the meeting shouldn’t go offline so during the lunch break, we can go off the meeting and just come back after an hour.

Summertime flower blooms

So in just five days of the re-opening of schools, we took our assessment tests: listening, writing, reading comprehension, and grammar. We still have one to go on Monday: the conversation assessment.

Since today is the Feast of our Founder, St. Marcellin Champagnat, Happy Feast Day!

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