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Remote Student: An Emulation of Kincaid’s “Girl”

By Yolanda Zhou, III Form

Remote Student: An Emulation of Kincaid’s “Girl”

Editor’s Note: In Writing Workshop, III Form students read and analyzed Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl.” They then composed their own emulations of the story to capture life as a St. Mark’s boarding, day, or remote student while employing the style of Kincaid’s writing. This piece describes Yolanda’s experience as a remote student during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wake up at nine or ten in the morning, do your morning routine: brush your teeth, wash your face, eat breakfast, and then do your homework; make good use of the time zone difference: assignments due 12am there is next day’s 1pm your time, so be sure to sort out which ones you’re doing first; don’t leave your stuff till those three to four hours because you’ll be sleeping late at night and won’t get much time to do them; but do use this time effectively if you feel overwhelmed; use the “Modules” function and “Week Overview” in each course on Canvas to sort out every assignment in the week using the academic planner; it shows you everything that’s due this week so you don’t have to waste time or miss assignments; color-code your planner: use red for unfinished homework and black for completed ones; don’t procrastinate, it does no good to you; focus on one assignment at a time; eliminate outside distractions; get everything done as quickly as possible so you have some free time for sports, instrument practice, or relax; How am I supposed to balance all these things with so much homework?; you’ll have plenty of time to do so if you listen to and follow instructions; don’t miss your classes, don’t forget to do your homework; email your teacher and explain if missed your class; create alarms on your phone and calendar if necessary; make sure your Wi-Fi connection at home is stable for your online class; install Zoom and log in with your St. Mark’s email address and password, that is where you go to all your classes; install multiple VPNs on your phone and computer before school starts so you’ll know which ones work and which ones don’t; set up everything your teachers ask you to set up in the beginning of the school year; use passwords and accounts that are easy to memorize, you don’t want to forget your login information the first day of school; this is how you interpret your schedule; this is how you deal with internet issues; this is what an asynchronous class look like; this is how you find the links to the synchronous sessions; this is how to find the replays after classes; this is how you explain to your teacher if you missed your class; this is how you write an email if you submitted your homework late; this is how you should reach out to your advisor; go to bed immediately after class, your classes will end early in the morning; don’t do your homework after your last class, you won’t be able to wake up the next day; do your homework earlier, don’t save them till 1 o’clock in the morning; play sports and work out every day, it helps alleviate pressure and keeps you in shape; look for something to motivate you if you feel bored, like watching Formula 1; treat your homework seriously; don’t submit things later than they should be; But what if I submitted an assignment only a few minutes late?; you think anyone is in the mood of caring whether you’re late for a minute or an hour?; late is late, don’t find excuses for yourself; there’s no guarantee that submitting things late will leave bad impressions to your teacher or if they’ll deduct points in your work, so you’d better get them in on time; maintain high quality and efficiency when you’re working; take a 5-minute break for every hour of work; push yourself so you can learn; balance it with relaxation and exercises so you don’t go crazy; reach out for help whenever you need them to whoever can help you; good luck in your time at St. Mark’s!

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Advice to a “Girl”–What I Wish I Knew

By Mary Hoffman, IV Form

Advice to a “Girl”–What I Wish I Knew

(Based on Jamaica Kincaid’s short story)

Always be aware of your surroundings; never ignore your gut feeling; when you don’t feel comfortable in a situation- leave; the police are always there to help; nothing good happens after midnight; learn from your mistakes; you deserve what you tolerate; treat people how you want to be treated; make your bed every morning, it teaches smart habits; clean your room; dress to impress, people will treat you better when you look nice whether that’s right or not; never slut shame- girls are supposed to support each other; friends and family are more important than romantic relationships; don’t gossip; don’t burn (more…)