The new normal – Day 52

May 7, 2020

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Photo courtesy of Ian Landry

Krys Shahin, Editor-in-Chief / @Krysshah

Editor’s note: “The new normal” is a continuing series that looks into how members of the Los Medanos College community are coping with a shelter-in-place order amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Los Medanos College students are still reeling at the news that their last few weeks of the spring semester will be strictly online. While uncertainty clouds the future regarding the potential online status of the fall semester, many students are also struggling to plan out their prospective courses at LMC accordingly. 

Student Reyna Pineda is currently deciding between transferring to San Diego State University or the University of California Berkeley, but is intending to stay near her home in Clayton. She is among the many concerned about spending the next steps of their education at a four-year online. 

“I heard things might just go all online for next semester and I really don’t want that,” said Pineda. “I really don’t like online classes.”

The computer science major is currently taking two computer programming classes, along with a Japanese language class this semester- all of which are online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Programming was relatively easy to move online as it’s computer-based anyway, but language was hard,” said Pineda. “The teacher was also unfamiliar with how the online programs worked.”

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pineda’s Japanese course provided no access to online materials for students. Similar to many other courses, it also lacked instructions regarding how to move the course online in a timely and smooth manner. 

As she continues to work at Starbucks during the pandemic, Pineda says her work hours are now being reduced, which is allowing her to focus on the courses that have “lots more homework.”

Between working and attending school, Pineda says that the short amount of free time that she has is spent either “cooking or [doing] home chores.”

Now 52 days into the new normal, Pineda admits that her classes are “getting easier but, at the same time, it’s getting more difficult to focus” during the home stretch of the semester.