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Doing School on the Opposite Side of the Country

by Marlowe Demisch Salerno

First photo by Marlowe Salerno in California, and second photo by Savannah Torres in New York.

In these times we might all feel like our life is on repeat every morning when we wake up. Over this Easter vacation, I had a happy experience that taught me life could be different. In normal times I would go to California, and visit my best friend Sonny and then come back before school started up again. Me and my step dad Shawn did just that, except, we DROVE to California instead of flying. I then stayed there for three weeks and did online school. Since it has been incredibly difficult for everyone that has to be on Zoom 65 percent of the day, I hope this sparks inspiration in your own lives to change up your online learning and working experience.

Starting on the weekend before Easter, I drove all the way across the country with my step dad in the car— from Manhattan, New York to Santa Monica, California. That Friday was the beginning of a 50 hour car ride, in which we would drive almost 2,800 miles. Little did I know that I would stop and see some of the most beautiful mountains, canyons, and deserts. But, there were also boring parts too like Nebraska and Ohio. Each day in the car, I would research skate parks to go to in different states. I read The Great Gatsby, and even looking out the window was super interesting, so it took up a majority of my time. I saw beautiful states like Utah with huge boulders bigger than you can even imagine. The states I went through in order were: New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah (personal favorite), Arizona, Nevada, and California.

The beginning of my California experience started in Ojai, where I would meet Sonny and stay there for a couple of nights. We would then drive to their house in Mar Vista. I was only supposed to stay there for a few days after school started, and then drive back, but we realized that since I was doing online school, I could stay here in California as long as I wanted. So here I am, both my parents are in New York, and I'm living it up on the opposite side of the country and staying at Sonny's house. I don't even have an official time that I’m flying back.

In this time, I've skated at new spots and learned to surf a lot better. This is all made possible by the ability to do school at home. The only downside is that I have to wake up at five in the morning. I would do school in the dark for an hour or so, and then everyone would start waking up. By the time everyone is fully alive, at about eleven in the morning, I’d finish school. After school, I would go surfing with my best friend, Sonny. Once we did that, we would find other small activities to do for the remainder of the day. My online school felt a lot more lively, because suddenly I wasn't an only child anymore, and was doing school with three other kids.

I know that this was a unique experience, but I hope that reading this somehow sparks something in your own life, so that you can have new adventures during remote learning. Even if it's just an hour or two away from your home, or even down the street, you can see new things and make memories. You can go anywhere and do anything while you're online.

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