Attending REmote School from another time zone

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Georgia Murphy ’21 attends REmote School from the mountains of Wyoming.

Although the pandemic brought many changes to Ransom Everglades, the general shape of the school day has kept a familiar feel for most students. It begins around 8 A.M. and ends around 3:15 P.M., EST. For a select few students, however, the school day has been very different⁠—because they aren’t even in the right time zone 

Lauren Zanarini ‘22 and Georgia Murphy ‘21 spent the fall semester in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, while Paisley Verea ‘22 spent much of it in Aspen, Colorado. All three reported the necessity, and sometimes the awkwardness, of having to synchronize their schedules with Miami time: classes that take place at normal times for those in Miami can be unreasonably early or late for the few learning in other states. But there were also some surprising upsides⁠—including a school day that would end before most of the day began. 

For Zanarini, the school day started at 6 am, Mountain Standard Time, two hours behind Miami. Each day, she would wake up at 5:30am⁠, make herself an iced coffee, and watch the sunrise while waiting for class to start. “I got into this sort of routine,” she said.

Murphy also developed a routine of waking up at 5:45, drinking a cup of green tea, attending her first class, and then having “free time from 7:15 to 10:45,” during which she would “do my homework and eat a good breakfast.” School would end at 1:35 P.M., leaving her with the rest of the day to spend “hiking, biking, walking, running, cross-country skiing, and crocheting”

Verea returned to Miami after spending the first three months of this school year in Aspen. But she has her regretsTo her, being in Aspen “was the best time ever, especially since I had so much free time. I woke up every morning at 5:45 and since I had no 7th or 8th period, would finish every school day at 11:55.”  

During lunch breaks, Verea would walk to the local coffee shop and finish her assignments; after school, she would practice yoga and enjoy the scenery. Verea misses the early end for her classes and the ability to “still have a large chunk of [her] late afternoon to do whatever [she] wanted.” 

Another upside to being REmote in another time zone? More opportunities for quality time with family and friends. Verea would go on hikes with her family “roughly 6 times a week,” while Zanarini “spent a lot of time going on drives and just looking at the beautiful scenery.”

Zanarini also misses the scenery from the window in front of her desk. “I was able to see the sunrise every morning and so many animals as I logged into first period. Once there was a herd of roughly 30 elk staring at me as I was in class.” Another casualty of the return to Miami has been the loss of snow. “When I woke up, it was snowing outside,” she explained. The snow slowly melted throughout the day, and, by the end of the day, all the snow was gone, and I was able to see the entire process.”  

The longer days did have a downside, according to Zanarini⁠—but not one that made them any less worth it. “I didn’t go to bed significantly earlier, so my days had an extra two hours. But even though those two hours meant loss of sleep, I didn’t even notice. I really enjoyed my extra-long days.”