She didn't say much, but then, that wasn't unusual. Generally, she was pretty quiet in class. Over the last few two weeks of distance learning, I would see a comment from her every now and then, but not the rapid-fire back-and-forth presented by a handful of my more outgoing students. Just like in the real world, she worked silently behind the scenes as she completed her tasks.
I was happy to see her face pop up on my screen during our first Zoom meeting this morning.
"Good morning!" I greeted her.
"Good morning," she replied shyly.
Bouncing bodies encapsulated in boxes quickly filled my view and a jumble of voices, relieved to be all together once again, boomed out into my living room. She sat still and quiet and waited patiently for her turn to speak, and then kept it short and to the point.
Others filled the void with stories of things they had done and of vacations they were missing. They were thankful for time spent with family and pets. They were less thankful for online learning. One sentiment resounded over and over: they missed each other.
After an hour of muting and unmuting mics and offering a final assurance that there would be more Zoom meetings after we returned from Spring Break in two weeks, we said goodbye, and one by one the little boxes full of bouncy energy disappeared and quiet filled my living room once again.
I exited Zoom and clicked on the tab with my Google Classroom. A new comment had been left: "I was happy to see my friends."
Maybe she doesn't say much, but she manages to say it all.