Brothers adapt to new order

CHESTERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Until the coronavirus pandemic closed schools statewide, and De La Salle Collegiate students began distance learning last month, brothers Joe and Jon Opolski normally studied in their own rooms. 

But the advent of distance learning has changed that. 

In the midst of social distancing, the two are working at the same table in the family basement, each with his own computer. 

“It’s nice to have another person around,” said Joe, a senior. “It keeps you focused.”

The two have established a routine during the stay-at-home orders imposed by Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer during the coronavirus pandemic. 

They wake up by 9 a.m., and begin checking their respective Google Classroom accounts for assignments. Both say their work takes approximately three hours to complete, including the time to upload assignments via PDF or photo to their accounts. 

Each day, teachers have established times for classes to meet for instruction and questions in Google Meet, and the Opolskis say most of their classmates are there. 

“I’d rather be in school,” said Jon, a freshman. “But you have to adapt to the circumstances. So far, it’s going really well for me.” 

Both boys praise their teachers. 

“Teachers have adapted,” Joe said. “Students are keeping up with schoolwork and learning from home. The teachers are doing a good job of giving help, adding videos, and tailoring lessons to the individual person.” 

He says that he often calls friends while working on homework, and the conversations help make things feel normal. 

The boys both say that it can feel cramped at home at times. A younger brother in the seventh  grade at Immaculate Conception, in Ira Township, is also distance learning. Mrs. Opolski is online doing paperwork for her job at a hospital. Mr. Opolski works at an auto dealer, and is the only family member not at a computer each day. 

NEW BALTIMORE, Mich. - Until the coronavirus pandemic closed schools statewide, and De La Salle Collegiate students began distance learning last month, senior Joe Opolski and his freshman brother Jon normally studied in their own rooms. 

But the advent of distance learning has changed that. 

In the midst of social distancing, the two are working at the same table in the family basement, each with his own computer. 

“It’s nice to have another person around,” Joe said. “It keeps you focused.”

The two have established a routine during the stay-at-home orders imposed by Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer during the coronavirus pandemic. 

They wake up by 9 a.m., and begin checking their respective Google Classroom accounts for assignments. Both say their work takes approximately three hours to complete, including time to upload assignments via PDF or photo to their accounts. 

Each day, teachers have established times for classes to meet for instruction and questions in Google Meet, and the Opolskis say most of their classmates are there. 

“I’d rather be in school,” Jon said. “But you have to adapt to the circumstances. So far, it’s going really well for me.” 

Both boys praise their teachers. 

“Teachers have adapted,” Joe said. “Students are keeping up with schoolwork and learning from home. The teachers are doing a good job of giving help, adding videos, and tailoring lessons to the individual person.” 

He says that he often calls friends while working on homework, and the conversations help make things feel normal. 

The boys both say that it can feel cramped at home at times. A younger brother in the seventh  grade at Immaculate Conception, in Ira Township, is also distance learning. Mrs. Opolski is online doing paperwork for her job at a hospital. Mr. Opolski works at an auto dealer, and is the only family member not at a computer each day. 

This spring, Joe had been looking forward to playing midfield for the Pilots varsity lacrosse team, and of course, the countdown to graduation. 

“I was looking forward to prom, graduation, the all-night party,” the senior said. “If I had to pick only one, it would be the graduation ceremony.” 

Joe plans to attend Aquinas College in the fall to major in nursing.

Jon, who was going through freshman baseball tryouts before in-person learning was suspended, is enjoying the time with his family. 

“We play outside,” Jon said. “We play basketball, some baseball. And inside we play cards, and some video games.” 

Both boys said they aren’t watching much TV. 

And both boys look forward to returning to school. 

“Hopefully, this ends as soon as possible,” Joe said. 

 

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