A Letter from the Editors

(From awkward classes to silent Breakout Rooms, it’s time to put conscious effort into socializing.)

Sarah Liu, Claire Hardesty, Editor-in-Chief

Although many classic annual expectations for PV High students seem to have disappeared right in front of our eyes, one high school tradition has transcended time and location: feeling awkward. 

Beyond changes to in-class curriculum, the shift to online schooling has undoubtedly changed many aspects of students’ lives. Among the most discussed is the dramatic decrease in social interaction for students and teachers alike. 

A huge change can be seen by simply sitting in on one of the many daily Zoom calls. It must be noted that there are no side conversations between classes, and working together on group projects seems to be a thing of the past. It is no wonder that Breakout Rooms more often than not appear to be an experiment in how best to survive awkward silence. 

We have every reason to be concerned that the antisocial behavior observed in online classes now will become a breeding ground for escalated antisocial behavior in adulthood. While not all teenagers may thrive on social interaction, school is the ultimate lion’s den- interactions are not limited to friends, but with our peers and other school community members we may not have the chance to interact with outside the classroom. 

Although Zoom offers the opportunity for Breakout Rooms, these groups are more of a painfully awkward experience than an educational one. It seems to be harder for teens to communicate properly through these online classrooms, both with each other and teachers, but it isn’t a problem we can’t fix. Students can no longer rely on the “talkative” kids when there is no guarantee of them even being in their Breakout Rooms. 

The need for in-class leadership has never been more apparent, and it is a skill that can be practiced in small groups. Break the ice and keep microphones and cameras on- it wasn’t like we were able to turn off our voices in class to begin with. 

The fact that the technology is there to virtually be not present can and will lead to a dangerous complacency with non-participation. Be the one to foster conversation. We always knew high school was going to be awkward. But, the solution to uncomfortable group discussions may require more discomfort before it gets any better.