RANDOLPH, NJ- The COVID-19 pandemic has put much of the United States in lock down for about two months now. This has caused physical schools to close and online schooling to open, which has been an adjustment for all. After approximately two months of distance learning, the two Randolph High School students who wrote this point-counterpoint article are having polar-opposite experiences; sophomore Danny Kaiser praises its benefits, while sophomore Ben Wolf struggles to adjust.

DANNY KAISER: Transitioning to distance learning was a difficult change for me at first, but I have been able to get the hang of it now and have really seen the positives of distance learning. For example, we students are now able to work in a wonderfully comfortable environment. If I ever get stressed out with classwork, I can always take a break in the comfort of my own home.

BEN WOLF: I agree that this has been a tough adjustment, but I have not enjoyed it at all. I see your point that being able to work at home is comfortable, but I feel that it also makes it harder to concentrate. This is because now there are multiple distractions around me, like my phone, television, computer, and gaming consoles, that can entice me to stop working, and I end up falling behind. Another concern I have about distance learning is that, for some classes, I feel like I’m teaching myself the new content that teachers post for us to work on. This is not the case for all my classes, but it is for a handful of them.

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KAISER: Even though you may have to self-teach for some of your classes there are quite a lot of resources that you can use to help you out. You can send a message to your teachers asking them for help on the aspects of the topic you don't understand. You can also ask your parents or siblings for some assistance with your work. Lastly, you can use websites like Khan Acadamy and YouTube to watch videos that go over the concepts that you're struggling with.

WOLF: That’s a very good point, Danny; we do have access to a lot of resources to help us with our work. Even though most live classes are actual lessons, it just obviously isn’t the same compared to learning in the classroom.

KAISER: This is a point that I must agree on, but let’s look at another positive of distance learning, and that would have to be that there is less homework. That is something every student would kill for.

WOLF: While I do agree that there is less homework--and who doesn’t love not having homework?--this also seems like a matter of perception that depends on a student’s work ethic. What I mean is, higher-level, more motivated students are more likely to budget their time better, so they can have some homework-free days.

KAISER: The last positive point I have is that distance learning allows me to spend more time with my family, which is key because they are the most important people in my life.

WOLF: This is a point that I agree with. Family should be a priority in life, and most kids don’t realize that anymore and become distant from their families. This is a time where families can get close again.

KAISER: Yes, family bonding is key. Despite that, I don’t want to paint a picture that’s too rosy. The situation is still is tough and, of course, very unexpected, but I’m getting through this the best I can, just like everybody else. I only hope that everybody is safe.

Editor's Note: Ben Wolf and Danny Kaiser are sophomores participating in a journalism program at RHS.