MAIN STORYSeptember 2020

My Comic Relief: The Wonderful World of Virtual Kindergarten

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By Salomon Maya

Ah, the wonderful world of virtual Kindergarten. (Checks notes) Wait a second did I just write that sentence? (Checks notes again) Yup I did.

And I didn’t mean one second of it.

Because there is no wonderful world of virtual kindergarten. This past week is a testament to that very tangible fact.

Friday. Three days before start of virtual kinder.

I receive a text message from my Family’s CEO (which in this case is my wife) asking me to grab the laptop that was being provided to my son to start virtual-garten. We live about two blocks away from the school, so I figured “sure no problem.” Fast forward close to two hours of sitting in my car, trying not to go insane and being saved only by listening to an endless playlist of Yacht Rock radio. Finally, I was able to obtain this late 1990s laptop (which was later returned due to its slow processor and overall disgusting sticky keys). So goodbye two hours lost of my life. Never to be recuperated.

Monday. Day 1 of virtual kindergarten.

Be ready to go at 8:15 a.m.—sharp, the email read. Okay. No problem. I normally wake up at 6 a.m. anyway. But never has a time snuck up on me like this one. The wife is working in her office so I gotta put my Mr. Mom pants on and get my son dressed. Get him fed. Get him ready. By 8 a.m., only one of those had been accomplished. Working at warp speed, we got in front of my laptop ready to learn! Only to realize my WiFi signal was poor. Insert Charlie Brown arg sound here.

Wednesday. Day 3

Okay okay. Day 1 and 2 weren’t that bad. My son at times was in and out. I mean honestly kids his age aren’t into just sitting and learning in front of a computer screen. However, put him in front of his iPad and new LEGO Brawl video game and he could go weeks without food or water more than likely. But day 3 was not good. At first, he constantly wanted to unmute himself and talk. I reminded him he needed to raise his hand. Finally, he was called upon and informed the class that he had just received a new ant farm. And for the next, what seemed like 4 hours, every kid unmuted themselves to talk about ants. That poor teacher. My son relished in the attention and constantly wanted to partake in dialogue. I kept telling him not to unmute and then he just had it. He slammed the computer down and pouted. We’ve discovered something new in this world. A school you literally can slam shut.

Friday. Day 5.

We have survived the week. That particular morning my son sat patiently and quietly at the laptop listening to fellow students. I informed my wife that I needed to be excused from my duties to use the restroom. I was given my hall pass and went to the bathroom. I sat on my porcelain throne reminiscing about the week that just passed. Dare I say it, I sat there proud. Here we are, a family, sticking together during this pandemic and guiding my son through this strange world of online learning. Dad was ecstatic.

Just then, my phone received a text message from my wife. It read:

“Your son just raised his hand and informed the entire class that you were pooping.”

And Charlie Brown missed that football once again.

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