POSTCARD FROM THE PANDEMIC: “Having a schedule helps. Take a walk and have a hobby.”

Kathan Ramnath is a senior at St. Mark’s, where he has been a student since fourth grade. At school, he is on the community service board and chapel council. In addition, he’s a private tutor for English and math and is working on getting his EMT license. His favorite subject is English. Ramnath plans to attend the Business Honors Program at Boston’s Northeastern University in the fall.

On his new routine: We’ve switched to virtual classes. I email most of my teachers and we do video conferences. It’s self-paced, self-motivated learning. The teachers give us deadlines and it’s up to us to figure it out and manage our time. Our school day has shifted from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. to 9 a.m.-5 p.m. We use Zoom.

His daily schedule: I wake up at 8:45 or 9 a.m. I check my emails, then check on the St. Mark’s website. I eat at 11 a.m. In the afternoon, I take a walk with my dogs, Cedric and Summer. I’ve actually got more of a routine now than I did when I was at school.

Life as a tutor: I used to work at the Mathnasium Center, then I branched off and started my own private tutoring company. I created an official company under an LLC. I drove to my clients’ houses and tutored for about an hour. Now, I’ve shifted to a virtual platform. A lot of the families like this because it’s easier for their schedules. I use FaceTime or Zoom with my students.

 Tell me about your business: I tutor math and English up to ninth and 10th grade. I help with essays, teach how to write and instruct high-level math.

How his life has changed: It’s not been a great year for St. Mark’s. We missed two weeks because of the tornado in October. That impacted our schedule and all the teachers were working to cram stuff in. I’d say that the biggest change has been with AP classes. The AP tests are being reformatted as shorter online tests. A lot of the teachers are working to try and help us prepare for the AP without being physically there.

On prom and graduation: St. Mark’s, since it’s an all-boys school, has a Marksman Ball for the seniors. It’s the second week of May. We have not heard about whether that will be canceled. The million-dollar question right now is whether we’ll get to have our commencement or not. Nobody really knows. It would be a real shame if we did not get to have that.

His advice: Having a schedule helps. Take a walk and have a hobby. I like building model cars, planes and rockets. I found one in the closet, then I ordered more on Amazon. I try not to watch too much TV or go down a social media hole. I’ve tried to allocate at least a couple of hours to working on something with my hands. It’s been nice to do that. Normally, I’m so worn out from school by the end of the day I want to just finish my work and watch some TV and go to bed.

How he keeps up with friends: Snapchat. I have a video group call with a lot of people. I talk to friends via phone and texting. It’s been interesting. A lot of kids my age lives on social media. Even though we’re all digitally connected, it still is a big difference. We physically can’t go out and do anything. It’s nice to have everyone online.



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