Romans Learn New Skills During Quarantine


Senior, Maya Passman, showing off her new baking skills

Anna Hynes, Guest Writer

The stay-at-home orders have brought stress, anxiety, and boredom. With fewer classes per day, students are able to finish their schoolwork quickly, leaving the rest of their days stretching out before them, filled with Netflix, naps, and scrolling through an endless feed of TikToks posted by similarly bored teenagers.

However, many students have put their time towards learning new skills and practicing new hobbies. Freshman Meg Canfield has been learning to play the guitar. She says, “Learning an instrument has been an outlet for me during this difficult time.” On top of playing guitar, Canfield says, “I have also been baking and trying new recipes with my sister.” She describes this hobby as “a fun way to bond and pass the time.” 

Canfield isn’t the only newfound baker. Senior Lily Weaver says she has been “cooking and baking much more” lately, and her parents have even created a schedule for who cooks dinner. She says, “I have been taking walks with my mom almost every day to enjoy the relatively good weather we’ve been having lately.” Weaver says all of these activities have “brought a feeling of routine and togetherness” to her family, while also serving as “something to look forward to.” 

Similar to Lily, Ms. Kloehn, an English teacher at Latin, has been cooking more. She says this period of social distancing “has inspired [her] to learn more about cooking from [her] pantry.” She attributes her ability to do so to “Samin Nosrat, an amazing chef, cookbook writer, and all-around food guru, who put together a podcast with her friend Hrishikesh Hirway called ‘Home Cooking’ that explores how we should be cooking now.” Ms. Kloehn says activities such as “family meals, family game nights, long runs, home yoga, and Zooming with friends” have helped her keep a positive attitude. Despite the challenges one faces in the midst of COVID-19, Ms. Kloehn believes that “sometimes limits actually force creativity.” 

Baking and cooking are definitely widespread pastimes in quarantine, but some students have also begun crafting. Freshman Alena Brandt, for example, has “learned how to use a sewing machine in order to make masks used in the hospital [her] dad works at” using old sheets. Brandt says, “this has helped me stay positive because making the masks has made me feel as though I am doing something to help.” 

For some students, however, staying positive has nothing to do with what they fill their time with. For example, junior Noah Reese-Clauson says he “has been working on juggling and [has] started reading for pleasure.” However, Reese-Clauson says that while “it has been something to do, it hasn’t had a large contribution in keeping [him] positive.” 

All of these members of the Latin community are staying busy throughout their respective quarantines. While keeping occupied may or may not help them stay positive, it certainly doesn’t hurt, and some advocate for others to experiment with new things as well. Who knows? You might find a new passion while trying.