I am a full-time college student, and I have a part-time job that I work remotely from my dorm room four of the five weekdays.
This isn’t a job where I sit in front of my computer and work on papers or edit a video. I am instead instructing a class, a karate class.
I have been instructing for three years, and I have been taking karate for over ten. I am a second-degree black belt, soon to be testing for third. My father is also a second-degree black belt but has stopped taking karate after he married my mother and had my sister and I. He eventually got me into karate, and the grandmaster of my karate school taught my father growing up. Long story short, karate is a huge part of my life.
When I left for college in my freshman year, I knew that I would not be able to continue instructing or training until the summer. Being a freshman, I was not allowed a car on campus, and the karate school was not doing any remote learning with zoom. This broke me. I remember sitting in my dorm room one night feeling homesick, but I had just returned from a weekend at home. Then I realized I missed karate and the people I work and train with.
Entering my sophomore year, I knew I needed to change something. I knew I needed to be at karate once a week. I had a car, and I convinced my parents to allow me to work on Fridays and Saturdays at the school. I promised them both that schoolwork will always come first.
So that’s what I did.
I was not making as much money as I would when I worked a full week, but I was grateful I was able to return to the karate school.
Then the pandemic hit.
Oh, the wonderful, joyous COVID-19 pandemic.
The karate school shut down for a while, as did Cabrini University. There were no karate classes for a solid month to two months. It wasn't very good.
After the long wait, we started live facebook classes that eventually turned into online zoom classes.
Zoom classes had its ups and downs at the beginning with all the technical difficulties and learning the platform, but we were able to figure it out, and it has now become second-nature to us. We held zoom classes from our homes, then eventually moved them into the school, and then we were finally able to safely allow students to return to live in-person classes.
I won’t go into further detail about how our classes are structured, but I did make a video for my karate school about our procedures.
As junior year was approaching, I asked my bosses if I could teach remotely from my college dorm. Without hesitation, they agreed. Of course, I checked with my roommate and suitemate beforehand, and they were fine with it as well.
So now I teach karate in my little common room in my dorm room. When I first started teaching from my dorm room, the students asked many questions about college and where I was, and how I go to school. I also made my own announcement about instructing in college, so they were not confused as to where I was.
There have been times when instructing remotely became interesting. One time, in particular, was when the fire alarm went off right before class. Luckily, during my first week of instructing remotely, I had made an announcement about my fire alarm going off at random times. I had told them to stay on the call and wait until I left the building, and we would continue class outside. And they did exactly that. I took my laptop outside, and we talked while I waited until further notice. I was able to go back in the building right as it was time to start class. My roommates have also been amazing during my instructing times. They are very courteous when I instruct and try not to distract me during class.
I teach classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from my dorm room and teach in-person on Fridays and Saturdays. Needless to say, I keep myself busy. There are days when I go straight from my college classes to instructing karate classes remotely or vice versa. But I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Even if I had a rough day, I look forward to working karate classes on zoom because the students are the best. They always make me smile, and they have worked extremely hard through this pandemic, never allowing themselves to lose positivity. I am so grateful to be able to instruct remotely from my college dorm.