From the start of our extra-long spring break in 2020 to now, internet access has been an essential resource to nearly every student at Coral Gables Senior High. Even when students returned at a staggering pace back in the fall of last year, the internet connection was up to par. Necessary for joining a Zoom meeting and keeping Word documents or websites open in another tab or on a smartphone, internet access still plays a pivotal role. However, after the first few days of the 2021-2022 school year, it is clear that all good things must come to an end: the internet connection is now worse than ever at Gables.
“Since the start of school, the bad internet has been extremely noticeable and a hindrance in almost all of my classes, ” senior Aidan Thompson said.
For many students, an essential coping mechanism for the stress of school life is listening to music during the day. While walking around the school or trying to avoid paying attention during class, students rely upon the sweet sounds of the latest hits to make the seven-hour school day pass by quicker. And if it is not music, students utilize the internet to access apps and sites such as TikTok and Instagram to waste the time away watching pointless videos that will later escape our memory forever. However, the current situation at Gables paints a different picture as students now face the despair of an eternal loading symbol.
The slow internet connection has not only affected student access to entertainment but has also impacted learning and the ability to upload classwork and exams. The school internet has raised an obstacle, for we can neither use the search browsers to research answers nor will our good old friend Microsoft Teams ever work. Students are forced to find solace in the dinosaur game Google presents to its offline users as this gives students time to improve their high scores.
“I was super excited to go to school physically this year but the internet problems in my classes have made learning frustrating and difficult,” senior Austin Schulte said.
However, the main victims of the slow internet at school are definitely the teachers and staff. Sending emails and grading homework has never been harder for teachers at Gables. Most of a teacher’s daily activities, such as taking digital attendance and finding supplemental Youtube videos and online instructional tools require a stable internet connection. To make matters worse, in times when the teacher cannot access something due to poor internet connection, the other alternative often requires students trying their luck at dancing with the Wifi devil.
Both sides of the Gables are stressed by the instability of the school WiFi, but we must persevere. Paired with the air conditioning issues faced by many classrooms around Gables that either make it a sauna or an arctic tundra, the internet issues have contributed to a less than pleasant learning environment. But in the coming weeks, students at Gables will have to patiently wait for the Internet Technology department to fix the internet issues as beads of sweat run down our faces and we refresh our phones endlessly hoping to be met with the latest addition to Kanye West’s discography.