Learning new skills for the new year

Teachers, students make use of free time during quarantine


Louis Hardaway

AVID English teacher Louis Hardaway picked up painting during her time in quarantine.

From strumming to baking and drawing, COVID has brought the creativity out of a bored and quarantined community. There was no school, no work and nowhere to go; everyone was restless. They scrummaged their belongings, opened a YouTube video or explored the natural outside world that now looks empty. Quarantine boredom expanded the skills of a new empty-scheduled society.

Leaving 2020 at the door and stepping into 2021, students and teachers alike have brought with them new skills and hobbies. People took to the internet and tried their hands at a variety of new things.  

“I started finding an interest in painting,” junior Madison Sites said. “I thought it would be a really cool skill to have. I bought some supplies and I started messing around.”

Sites along with AVID English teacher Louis Hardaway both picked up painting in their free time. They expressed although they enjoy painting, it has become a financial burden, and they don’t have the budget to pursue it as far as they would like to.

“It’s just since it’s painting, the supplies are really expensive, so I haven’t been able to get back to it,” Sites said. “It is a source of both frustration and relaxation because painting is relaxing. But it’s so frustrating because sometimes I don’t get the results I want.”

Due to the quarantine, Hardaway had to rely on YouTube to grow her painting skills. She expresses it was quite hard and a learning experience.

[I watched] videos on YouTube because I have questions and I don’t feel comfortable typing questions in [the YouTube comments section],” Hardaway said. “So I can’t ask questions, and if I want to paint something different from what they’re painting, I can’t just ask, ‘How do I paint that?’”

Aside from the painters, beginner guitarist senior Spencer Boyd also had to depend on the internet to improve his skill.

“I had to rely on apps like YouTube to learn how to use the skill,” Boyd said. “It was because I figured I have a lot of extra time and I figured I’d try to work on something I haven’t had a whole lot of time to do before.”

All of the time that landed in their laps provided them time to practice. Senior Ketia Ifulu made use of this time and worked hard on her cooking skills.

“I wouldn’t want to go into culinary, but now I know how to cook for my [future] husband because I cook every day,” Ifulu said. “[Since] I’m going to college, [I’ll] have to cook on my own.”

During this time Boyd, Ifulu, Sites and Hardaway all managed to substantially make use of the time they had during the lockdown and enjoy their newfound skills. 

“I had always wanted to start painting,” Sites said. “But I just never took the time to do anything about it so even just starting, I was proud of myself.”