Writer: Solenne S.
Visual: Somya D.
Editor: Lucas V.
In light of the enhanced community quarantine, several members of the ISM community have repatriated to their home countries. While this may bring benefits such as freedom from quarantine or being with family, these Bearcats will have to deal with time differences of more than half a day. BT interviewed two of these Bearcats, one student and one teacher, to gain some insight into their unique experience with remote learning.
Ms. Stetz is a new member of the ISM community recently made the decision to return to her home in Boston. She says “My decision to leave the country was not an easy one knowing my own needs in terms of mental health.” Her home country’s lighter lockdown and her family’s concerns were what pushed her to make the decision. She acknowledges that the biggest challenge was adjusting to the time difference, saying, “Being 12 hours behind in Manila, my working hours are from 7:00 PM to 3:00 AM.” She has moved some of her meetings to the morning since it is when she feels most active and effective. She believes“ it is important to not allow ourselves to become run down and to keep to a consistent routine.” Work concerns aside she says some of the benefits are “the ability to have more access to the outside and having the company of some friends and family.” While she is indeed enjoying the comforts of home, she feels that she is losing time to immerse in the Manila culture and enjoy her new host country. When she gets back, she plans to re-integrate into her life in the Philippines.
Freshman Kioni S. is in a similar situation having returned to her home in Canada. Like Ms. Stetz, Kioni’s family decided to risk flying back because of the more relaxed quarantine rules. Also like Ms. Stetz, the time difference has severely altered her schedule. Since Canada is 12 hours behind, Kioni starts her classes at 8 PM and finishes around 2:15 AM. She says, “Now I wake up at around 7 PM and try to do any of my homework before class. I usually eat dinner at 6 AM, which is the time people would be eating breakfast back in the Philippines.” Kioni enjoys being outdoors, therefore she sees being able to go outside as a major benefit of being abroad but she says, “I have mixed feelings about the situation because while I can go outside, the time difference has been a challenge and I would have much preferred staying home with all my things.”
Definitely, Corona has taken a toll on all our lives. All around the world, people are hoping for a cure so work, schedules, and our lives can return to some semblance of normalcy.