A 2020 Freshman by Esther Thomson

I’ve recently learned that if you travel to Pluto, you would see what the earth looked like 10 years ago. So basically, you would travel back in time. It would all look the same, because ten years isn’t long enough to change so wildly that you can see it from 3.197 billion miles away, but maybe if you looked hard enough you could see a difference, smaller clouds, bigger forests, etc. So I guess what you could get from this is that nothing is important, we’re only tiny beings in a huge universe, and everything we do doesn’t really matter. But, that isn’t true.

When I thought of socially distance learning, I thought of facetiming with my new cool SOTA friends while doing “cool SOTA things,” but of course that hasn’t happened. Our teachers did not give us any time to talk to each other, all of our classes are just lessons, with no time to talk to each other. Though the teachers are not the ones to blame since it isn’t anyone’s fault. When we are put into breakout rooms, we turn our cameras off, and mute ourselves. I mean, what are we supposed to do, talk to each other? Weird. 

It’s almost two months away from half way through the school year and I feel like it’s still the second week of school. We haven’t really gone anywhere with school, or so it feels like. I feel like I’m just sitting at my screen with someone talking to their screen, and I write things down for the next hour. We haven’t made any moments to be remembered, because everyday is endlessly repetitive—just listening all day. Occasionally getting to say something, even if it’s just a hello. I mean, it feels like the whole concept of time is just a social construct. Time has gone by so fast, it doesn’t seem real. It feels like someone is just lying to me on what day it is. How is it possible that almost 4 months have gone by?

So maybe time’s just a social construct that was just invented so we could plant food at the right time when we were cavemen, and now we can’t live without time. We can’t function without time. But if time is really just a social construct, why would we be able to see earth ten years ago from Pluto. I don’t think Pluto has a society, so maybe time has always existed, and we just labeled it time just like we label everything. Nothing feels real anymore, everything is digital, and usually I would love to be on my computer all day, but it’s been half a year, and I want this to be over. I want to be able to make memories with people. I want to be able to laugh with someone. 

Esther Barad Thomson (Class of ’24)

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