Dream World or Reality?

Dream World or Reality?

It might sound like a dream that students could study at night and play all day. Add a coronavirus pandemic; now it sounds incredible.

That was reality for Gaon Lee, a 7th grade student at AdVenture STEM. Over the summer of 2020, when Korea had the highest rate of death from COVID-19, Gaon was stuck in country. He studied like he was in America at a local American school and played like he was any other kids living in Korea. It sounds like a dream come true, but there were some downsides to this true story. 

Lee’s family goes to Korea every summer. This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, his family had to decide venturing to Korea was safer than staying in America. Once cases and deaths started to rise like crazy in America, Lee’s family thought it would be dangerous if they waited. So they flew to Korea; however, traveling by plane halfway around the world was a disaster. The family was checked for COVID-19 before they boarded and after they landed along with hundreds of other passengers.  Thankfully, they all tested negative. They did quarantine at home in Korea just to make sure. They thought they would enjoy a typical summer, but all of that changed once school began in the fall. 

Once online school began, there was a huge spike in deaths, best known as the second wave of COVID-19. The United States of America quickly became the number one country to report deaths and cases on a daily basis. Therefore, returning to America did not seem like a good idea.

When the school year started, Gaon had no choice but to stay and attend his program, AdVenture STEM, online in Korea. He had to start school at midnight and by the time 6 period was over it was already morning. “The worst days were Mondays.  Monday is always people’s least favorite because it’s the first day of the week but for me, there were more to it.  Mondays and Thursdays I had band until 7:30 in the morning. I was half asleep the whole time,” he said.

His classmates and teachers all knew it was 3:30 in the morning whenever he logged on to his last class of the day. They supported him and encouraged him, until he was so sleepy, he would suddenly log off and crash. Eventually, Gaon and his family returned to America safely. Now he attends school during the day and plays video games at night, just like his friends.