Corona – Crazy last day of school 2020

Reading time: 7 minutes

File:Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.jpg - Wikimedia Commons


SCHOOL STORIES School days are sometimes pretty strange. Especially when you get your school report and have a maths test straight after – under corona conditions.

Haven’t read the beginning of the story yet? Well, let’s get to it! Otherwise you will miss some funny corona moments …

Model students

In the next lesson, we have physics. Much to my displeasure, I have to follow the lesson from the second last row, because all the two-person benches have to be divided up by corona. But what am I complaining about? We have physics. Quantum physics. As you know, I love quantum physics. These incredible sounding theories that waves can be made of particles (and vice versa!) are beyond imagination. I mean, we’re sitting here calculating numbers of 9.1*10-31 kg (which is the mass of an electron and about 0.000000000000000000000091 kg). The first 70 minutes fly by.

Corona: Quantum physics
Is this how the quantum world looks like?

Just then, our physics teacher – who always addresses us as ‘kids’ or ‘people’ – is starting to read out the usual monthly instructions. It’s always interesting to hear what crazy facts they want to warn us students about. But someone must have looked into an unexploded New Year’s Eve rocket to find out if it still works. At least we don’t have this problem because of Corona this year …

Physics is also often brought up, for example when it comes to lying flat on ice in order to exert as little pressure as possible on the ice layer and not to collapse. Whether there will be any ice and snow at all this winter remains to be seen. But we don’t want to talk about climate change in Corona times … (By the way: It turned out that it snowed a lot this winter.)

Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for is arriving. ‘‘So, people’’, our physics teacher is saying, ‘‘let’s hand out your performance records’’. Performance records. Quasi school reports in the upper school, whose grade points also flow into our A-levels. He calls a few people ‘model students’ whose grade points he has found to be good after a quick glance. I’m not looking closely at my performance record again. I have been calculating what it says one by one for the last few weeks. And I was surprised when a teacher’s mistake at the last moment gave me a better grade. But that’s another story (which, by the way, can be read here).

Moved up

12:30. Lunch break is in 5 minutes and we are supposed to stay in the physics room until then. Without saying goodbye, I’m turning my back on the table in the second last row and going to the front row to Vini and Philip, with whom I am about to write the maths test. Philip is coming up to me and asking, ‘‘Have you read the maths chat yet?’’ Astonished, I’m looking at him. What news should there be? Our maths teacher would never skip the test. ‘‘We’re supposed to be in the room in ten minutes. The test has been moved up.’’

My pulse rate quickens. I’m reading the chat. It seems like our maths teacher has forgot about a doctor’s appointment at 2:15 pm and unceremoniously decided to just start class 20 minutes early. Great, Corona and now this … Okay, stay calm, Maja. You can do this, you’ve practised more than enough. So we’re going straight to the maths room.

Since I’m sitting right in front of the door and thus in the corridor where our headmistress and her deputy have their offices, I’m turning around to the back. I don’t want people to see that I’m secretly eating something (despite the Corona hygiene rules!). I don’t want to go outside and possibly miss the start of the test, nor do I want to start work hungry.

Slowly the room is filling up. ‘Why doesn’t he just cancel the test?’, I’m hearing some classmates ask. After all, this was the last lesson of the last real school day in 2020 – and there was still this virus called Corona. But this question will probably remain unanswered forever. My surprise is definitely huge when the task sheets for the test are finally handed out. The questions are looking very familiar. In fact, this is a shortened version of the same book problem that I had already painstakingly worked through yesterday and today.

Beaming with joy – which of course cannot be seen under my mask (which hopefully will protect me from Corona) – I’m beginning to calculate. And sure enough, I’m coming up with the same results again. Did I make the same mistakes twice? No, I’m reassuring myself. I have checked the results with ‘desmos’ (a totally cool function graphing programme). Everything should be correct. Ten minutes before the deadline, I’m done. I’m looking around, everyone is still writing – even Philip, the maths genius. I’m leisurely checking the assignments again – checking them twice has already saved me from handing in a few mistakes.

Corona: mathematics
The mysterious world of mathematics …

Missed bus

Still in a good mood, I’m handing over my written sheets. That’s a good start to my last term at school. My first grade points in 12/2. ‘‘That was an easy test, wasn’t it?’’, I’m asking Vini. ‘‘What did you get for a turning point?’’, she’s interrupting me. ‘‘Mmh… (3/3.57) I think.’’ ‘‘Crap’’, she’s saying, turning it to our teacher. ‘‘Um… you’re probably giving follow up errors again. After all, Christmas is coming soon.’’ ‘‘But that was an easy test, wasn’t it?’’, he’s retorting. ‘‘Well’’, Vini is saying, ’’it could quite possibly be that I have calculated the wrong turning point…’’ ’’That seems to be happening to you a lot lately’’, the teacher is observing.

Indeed. Since her 15 mark points in the last maths exam (which is an A+), Vini has made many an awkward mistake in her tests. ‘’You won’t get such an easy test from me again. It was quite possible to write 14 and 15 points here’’, our maths teacher is just telling us. This is his kind of Christmas present then, I think.

But my good mood is getting a damper when the teacher’s adding: ‘’We’ll do five more minutes’’. He’s mentioning two book pages. That’s actually good, isn’t it? 40 minutes early closing time. Not for me, unfortunately, because if I ran now, I might still make the bus an hour early at the station. Of course, I could also ask if I could leave earlier. But some feeling is telling me: Hey, you don’t have to rush off. So I’m staying, not finding the motivation to start with the aforementioned tasks.

By the time we’re finishing, it’s actually 2:00 pm. Vini and Philip are sprinting off, they still have a realistic chance of catching their bus. Nice farewell, I’d say. I’m laughing. We couldn’t hold each other in our arms anyway because of Corona. 15 minutes later, Vini is texting me that they are on the bus. I, on the other hand, am sitting in the now almost completely empty common room for the second time that day.

Fortunately, I’m not completely alone. After a few minutes, a classmate from my maths class is coming in the door. ‘’It’s funny’’, I’m hearing myself saying, ‘’that we’re sitting here alone in the common room in the last lesson of the last school day of the year.” At that moment it is occuring to me that what I have experienced on this corona day might be worth writing down.

Tip: You are interested in the topic of Corona? Learn more about how Corona has effected learning on the whole world. Click here. Or learn more about me and my 2020. Follow this link.

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