The Very Legitimate Reasons Students are Late to Zoom Classes

By Sadie Mank ‘23, Staff Writer

The lack of a commute and the fact that students are physically confined to their homes should mean students are consistently on time to Zoom classes. Yet as our first hybrid-learning school year continues to unfold, students are plagued by strange and mysterious phenomena that prevent their on-time arrival to Zoom school. 

The World Health Organization recently released statistics revealing that since the first lockdown in March, dogs’ appetites for children’s devices have increased by an astounding 300%. The report included the caveat that the data was collected solely from teachers, who spoke from anecdotal experience. Indeed, it appears that dogs’ appetites for children’s homework is among the many things that have adapted due to the pandemic. Heschel teachers report having heard this excuse often, with the number-one explanation students give when joining a Zoom class late being “Sorry I’m late, my dog ate my computer.”

There has also been an uptick in Heschel students experiencing traffic this school year, as teachers report an average 92 students per week telling them they were late due to traffic. Teachers say a majority of this traffic occurs in the afternoon, rather than during first period. Some say these findings are particularly baffling, as car traffic tends to afflict only those in cars, and data reports that 98% of Heschel students avoid moving more than a 10 foot radius away from their Zoom seat during five minute breaks. Still, “Sorry I’m late, there was traffic,” is a sentence heard frequently this year. 

A third recurring reason for lateness is getting lost on the way to class. Before the pandemic, getting lost in the building was common among still-adjusting freshmen. After ninth grade, though, most students didn’t have this issue anymore. But the first semester of this year marked a shift as more and more 10th, 11th and 12th grade students got lost on the way to class. Teachers say the classic “Sorry I’m late, I got lost,” explanation comes as a surprise this semester, considering that students join classes from their homes, which they should know how to navigate well. Students report taking the imaginary building in which they are learning this year a little too much to heart. “I just feel so connected to the old way of having a multi-floor learning space, so I often get metaphorically lost on the way to Zoom class,” explained one student. In any case, one thing remains true: No matter how convenient it is to show up to class, students still won’t do it on time.

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