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Out of a Crisis: The Voices of Our Students

For one high school senior, the lines blend between remote school and the other parts of life

Erin Roth

“Out of a Crisis: The Voices of Our Students” is a new series, launched by the Globe’s Great Divide team, that publishes student essays, poems, artwork, and videos featuring teenage perspectives on learning and living amid a pandemic. The stories are published in the Great Divide newsletter.

About the author: Carlos Pacheco, 17, is a senior at Excel High School. Listen to Pacheco read the poem:

Worker’s Cycle

Staying up at night until my eyes feel dry

I stare off at the walls before I fall into sleep

Just come home from work, so I’m heavily tired

But I’m behind about 12 assignments, so I stay up all night


Now there’s only 9

Spending hours on Zoom calls throughout the week

While I still have homework that was due last month

Trying to persevere and not fall off track

But in these times, school blends in with what was my out-of-school life

The line distinguishing the two is fine

I pull through a 5-hour shift and clock out at 9

Wake up at 7 to log into class, but I

Only had 4 hours of sleep, so I doze off during advisory and miss my first 2 periods

I wake up to see the class was assigned 3 more assignments

I guess that’s back to 12