In just the blink of an eye, the supposedly “temporary” online school has drawn out into a seven month ordeal. For many students, staring at screens for 5-plus hours has become the daily routine. Days have become a blur of meeting links, mute buttons, and, well, boredom. This month’s article features a student who has played a major part in making school more enjoyable for his peers.
Daniel Chan, the February Student of the Month.
Daniel Chan, a Junior violist in Symphony Orchestra, is the spotlighted Student of the Month for February. Despite the dip in spirit that comes around every second semester, his outward enthusiasm hasn’t wavered. Whether it be musicianship, or wisecracks in the chat, Daniel has given himself a reputation for being able to make others smile. Director Ms. Pin Chen gave the statement, “Daniel is one of our most spirited orchestra members in the entire program. His fun personality and love for the orchestra family is clear even through Zoom”.
Peers who nominated him for Student of the Month also noted his good-natured personality. One submission read, “[He’s] always giving Symphony Orchestra a good laugh at the beginning of class! He has a great sense of humor and continues to brighten up the zoom meetings with his jokes!” A fact of the matter that Daniel doesn’t deny. In an interview, he said rather dramatically, “I use humor to help cope with the fact that we will forever be bored with our lives unless I step in. I willingly sacrifice my sanity everyday to help people cope with the crushing reality that perpetual boredom is imminent...”
In spite of his outwardly charisma, Daniel was willing to open up about his personal challenges in school. In addition to being in the most advanced orchestra, he is currently a junior who, like many others, has been feeling the weight of the immense amount of assignments. “I would say this year is definitely harder… Our workload also changed very drastically with tons of more work you usually wouldn’t see during a normal school year. This year certainly hasn’t been easy and I don’t think it’s getting any easier.” One of his main disappointments was the lack of a social aspect this year, which he says is why orchestra appealed to him in the first place.
Daniel (bottom left) pictured here during the
intermission at the 2019 Fall String Concert
Even though schoolwork takes up most of his weekdays, Daniel uses what little free time he has to decompress. His recent quarantine hobbies include playing Valorant with friends, practicing viola, and “just strumming the ukulele”. To close off the interview on a light note, I asked him if he has a favorite joke. Being the comedian as always, Daniel replied, “Me.”