How (and what) Are Mustangs Doing During the COVID-19 Quarantine?


Photo by Huseyn Kamaladdin from Pexels

Julia Westwood, Swim Staff Writer

Like other teenagers around the country, Kingwood students find themselves confined at home trying to find ways to stay active, remain connected and not weighed down by boredom or isolation. I was intrigued to know what other KHS students are doing to stay busy during this self quarantine period and how students are adapting to this new teaching/learning schedule. Many mustangs are laying low, choosing to obey the restrictions in order to keep others in our community safe.  I asked students from all grade levels to let me know how they’re occupying their time.  

Everyone was asked to respond to the following questions:

  • How are you staying busy during the social distancing? And, have you developed new or rekindled any previous hobbies?
  • What has it been like for you to adapt to this new schedule and learning style during our last semester?

Note- some responses have been edited for space.

Andy Steinkamp (12)

  1. “I’ve definitely been riding my bike more. I play video games here and there, but some fun new hobbies I’ve rekindled have been to start being more creative with solving issues around the house, and to delve more into carpentry and woodworking. I’ve loved it.”
  2. “Personally, since I homeschooled for 2 years or so, this is nothing foreign and I’m a huge fan of it. I love the freedom I have with my time to get other things done I wouldn’t normally have time to do.” 

Lucas Bush (11)

  1. “I’ve been keeping busy by spending more time with my family, doing activities such as movies and walks. I also am keeping busy by doing puzzles.  I actually just ordered a 2000 piece puzzle that I’m looking forward to completing.”
  2. “My schedule has changed quite drastically as I wake up around noon and go to bed super late. However, this has allowed me to develop my own routine and take a greater responsibility for completing my daily tasks for school at my own leisure.”

Madison West (11)

  1. “I’ve been watching lots of TV and reading books to keep busy, but I did start painting and drawing again.”
  2. “I don’t really mind online school, I’ve done it before.  But this way is so much more preferable, since it’s more of a flexible schedule.”

Garret Gowen (11)

  1. “To stay busy, I’m doing more work around the house, school work, and I’ve picked up kayaking and running again.”
  2. “It has been pretty easy to do the school work, but it’s been hard to stay motivated.”

Ben Piña (11) 

  1. “For the beginning part of the social distancing, I started to play basketball with some of my track friends (and I know we probably shouldn’t have been together so we have now stopped), but now I’ve relearned how much fun playing basketball is. The break was still pretty boring until March 20th when Animal Crossing New Horizons came out; I’ve just been cranking out hours on this amazing game.”
  2. “Pretty difficult? Not because of the material, but the total confusion and constant information about online plans from all my teachers.  Also my motivation. It’s hard not to turn on summer mode, as for now it pretty much is summer, knowing that we’re most likely not going back to school.”

Trevor Purgahn (11)

  1. “I have been doing work on a family friend’s farm–feeding cows and boiling crawfish for people. I’ve gotten back to riding horses and operating heavy equipment again.”
  2. “It’s been hard, as I have been working on school work.  The Zoom times are too early during the day. I don’t have time to attend many and most teachers do not post recordings of them after the tutoring session or lesson is over. Other than that, I am excited to see what this new learning opportunity will bring.  I think it will prepare me for college.”

Paige Daniels (11)

  1. “I’ve taken up reading books again for leisure because I’ve missed that, and I have been going outside a lot more for bike rides and doing a lot of baking.”
  2. “I personally don’t like the new schedule because school provided me structure and I have lost motivation. I’m also more of a visual / tactical learner so this has been a struggle.  I don’t feel like there’s a curriculum to follow.”

Phillip Crane (11)

  1. “I’m running for XC in the morning and I’ve been playing the guitar a lot more. I also started playing Minecraft more.” 
  2. “It’s honestly easier to work on school from home if I can get in the right headspace for learning. Most of my teachers have sent out a lesson plan and/or are doing Zoom tutoring sessions. There is some education being lost with us not being able to interact with a teacher as much, but for the most part, learning at my own pace has been nice. Also a bunch of my classes aren’t really going over new material because we are just going to review for the AP exams.”

Alex Richmond (11) 

  1. “I have used this time to rekindle my creativity! I’ve been doing loads of activities that I’ve always enjoyed, but typically never have time to do, including embroidery, painting, writing, and playing my cello. On day two of my quarantine I tried to start a 1000 piece puzzle, but I have realized I am not a puzzle person and have since given up. I have also started tackling my ‘To Be Read’ pile of books on my shelf, and I am now reading The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman.”
  2. “It has honestly been extremely difficult for me to adapt to this new structure of learning because I have been suffering from a lack of motivation. I think this is exacerbated by my desk’s proximity to my bed, which makes me want to lay under my covers all day rather than getting my work done. Even though it has been difficult to get used to this new way of learning, developing a somewhat loose schedule for myself has helped immensely. Having the routine of getting up at the same time every day really helps to make me productive.”

Sabrina Reyes (11) 

  1. “I have mainly been doing homework and playing A LOT of Candy Crush. I have also rekindled my old hobby of coloring and drawing which has been really nice.” 
  2. “It’s been a bit of a learning curve and I miss the routine of school every day. I have no motivation during the day and I do all my work past midnight. However, I have been able to sleep in and stay in the comfort of my bed all day.”

Kaylee Corbin (11)

  1. “During this time of social distancing I’ve kept myself busy by doing schoolwork, practicing my violin and piano, as well as just being able to spend time with my family. One hobby that I’ve been able to rekindle is reading. When I read for fun I really enjoy it, but I don’t always have time during school to read.” 
  2. “This new schedule has been a little weird to adopt at first, but I’ve come to enjoy it. I’ve been able to get more sleep as well as get more freedom regarding when I want to do work and when I want to relax. I feel like I’ve been able to adapt easier than I would have had we not gone to Summer Creek for freshman year. That school year, I had to really learn good time management skills. These skills have helped me with this schedule because I am able to avoid procrastination.”

Julia Paraskevas (11) 

  1. “I have been staying busy by doing a lot of exercise, staying on top of my school work, and doing a lot of painting and baking!”
  2. “I think that this new learning style has been difficult to adapt to since it doesn’t provide as much structure as we had before, so it requires a lot more self discipline! However, I do like that we can now learn at our own pace and at any time of the day, which has made my schedule and workload a lot more flexible and easier to manage.”

Kelsie Grassman (10) 

  1. “To be honest I do spend a lot of time on social media to stay busy, but that gets very boring very fast, so I have been trying to do stuff to stay active.  I’ve been revisiting old hobbies like rip- sticking and ukulele, and developing hobbies such as painting. I also rearranged my room for something to do one day.”
  2. “Adapting to the new learning style and schedule hasn’t really been difficult, per se.  But it’s been frustrating. I feel like it’s a lot harder to time manage when there are so many more distractions in my house than at school. I find myself now doing the work as fast as I can so I can have free time, rather than doing good work to understand the subject.”

Lindsey Carter (10) 

  1. “I am trying to FaceTime at least one of my friends every night and doing my homework. I found old sketch books and have started drawing again.”
  2. “I am having trouble adapting as I’m looking to teachers for information that they are still deciding at the moment. I also know of other students, including myself, who are worried about the AP tests.”

Jonathan Porras (10)

  1. “Really just being on my phone, maybe talking to friends. I try to work out a bit and do some cleaning and organizing. No new or rekindled hobbies however.” 
  2. “It’s been stressful not knowing the future, but for what work I have right now I’d say it’s very laid back and it’s nice to work at my own pace. However, not being able to work with a group is a bit hard. Sometimes you don’t have someone readily available if you have a question or need help.”

Meredith Fagen(9) 

  1. “I’ve been painting and doing a lot of self care, I have been bonding with my little sister, cleaning and even though it’s hard to hang out with people, I still FaceTime people all the time.”
  2. “I honestly love online school, because I have so much time in the day to get everything done and there isn’t a very large workload. I also feel like I can go at my own pace.”

Cameron Flory (9)

  1. “I usually keep busy by walking my dogs or working on my soccer skills.” 
  2. “The new routine has definitely been different.  The only thing that isn’t so great is that I can’t see my friends as often as I would like.” 

Moyu Yumoto (9)

  1. “This quarantine period has been making me more productive than ever. I’ve been spending more time crafting now that I have the time, and I got back into playing piano!” 
  2. “It’s been tough already trying to transition to the distance learning style, but I really like how flexible the schedules are for each class.”

Natalie Westwood (9)

  1. “Like everyone else, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my family because we are ALL at home ALL day.  Our dogs are probably happier than anyone. I’ve been running and exercising to stay in shape. I’m also trying to get back into baking but some of my experiments with recipes haven’t gone so well. This also makes the dogs really happy.” 
  2. “I don’t know how I feel about online school yet. It’s new for everyone so it’s going to be confusing for a little bit. But, we’ll get the hang of it.”

From this information, we know that each student is finding his or her own ways to maintain activity and connection. The opinions on the new teaching and learning schedule vary from person to person and from class to class.  It’s an adjustment for students, for the teachers and parents. We’ll get through it. Stay well, Mustangs!