Sit Down With Singh: Tarun Kaul

Continuing the series of discussions between teachers, students, and Editor Gurdeep Singh.

Gurdeep Singh, Editor

Continuing this series of interviews with teachers and students regarding distance learning, we now transition to our next subject. It is important to understand multiple perspectives in order to work together and achieve empathy for one another. This series is about gaining insights from each other’s experiences.

Tarun Kaul, a high school junior, is a “very easy-going person” according to himself. At nine years old, he moved from his home in India to Sacramento. One can only imagine the amount of reconstruction in his life after such a transition. He lived with me and my family for a while to get used to living in the United States before his parents found a home the next summer. They adjusted well to the culture and found a place in the community, and Kaul went to school in Madison, Oakdale, and is currently attending Foothill. He has made quite a smooth transition; however, living in America doesn’t prevent Kaul from contracting Covid-19. Kaul, like many others, has faced a litany of problems during the pandemic. Most notably, distance learning has had a major impact on his school work. Kaul faces many difficulties, but keeps his head strong in the face of what he describes as an unfair workload.

“A lot of unnecessary homework and busywork is being assigned by teachers,” said Kaul. “I did have issues with my computer going black during class. Time management for classes and work. Also, some teachers take a little while to grade homework.”

Technological challenges is another issue that Tarun faces, like everyone else. “I had internet connection problems, and when I participated the internet cut off. Last week, I had internet issues and the teacher couldn’t hear me.”

Since online school is an experience separate from in-class sessions, Tarun is unable to tackle school the way he usually would, so he has been making drastic improvements to his daily schedule.

“I had to be more efficient on time management,” said Tarun. “Teachers also understood the struggle of assigning homework, and started to assign less homework.”

Like all students, homework has become a huge issue, and his response was very revealing when asked if teachers assign more or less homework.

“Compared to last year, we have more work, but the work has been easier compared to last year.”

Like homework, Tarun is not a big fan of Zoom classes. His response was very serious when asked if distance learning by Zoom is an efficient way to learn.

“No, because in-class classes are better at explaining things than online classes.” 

When asked if he felt safe returning to campus, he couldn’t help but respond with a widening grin.

“The Vid!” he exclaimed laughingly.