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Will Winter's Class

English Teacher
Rancho Verde High School

About the project: The Oral History project is valuable to students to reflect on their shared experience. The process for the assignment was easy for students to access and worked well during distance learning.


Challenges we experienced were mostly due to students having low motivation. The artivism component is the greatest challenge since there is not a clear example of how to do this and it forces the students to be creative. I attempted to make it more accessible by providing them multiple ways to complete this.


Unique examples from my students were a graphic map and a meme turned into a video. Two of my students shared stories of losing loved ones during the pandemic. After some discussion with Mr. Fish, I would like to add to the questions and explain how to do follow-up questions. I think the students would also benefit from being required to turn in the recordings of the interviews. We look forward to doing this again next year.

All oral histories have been edited for length and clarity and to protect the narrator's privacy. All oral histories and photos are shared with the narrators' permission. These oral histories were completed in Spring 2021. 

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Harkesh Singh

Interviewed by Ashneet

I identify as Indian. I am  from Punjab. Punjabi was my first language, and I am Sikh.

My greatest joy through this pandemic was family because they were there for each other. COVID is terrible--it changed everyone's lives. 

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Daniel Bernier

Interviewed by Henna

I'm Caucasian. My mom is German-English, and my dad is Puerto Rican. 

I teach chemistry at Moreno Valley College, and once the lockdown came we all had basically one week to get all our classes from in-person lectures and labs to online. I've taught chemistry for seventeen years, but to have to teach everything online, it was like learning things over/ 

I am a Christian, and the biggest help for me these days has been to spend time to read the Bible. Pray. One thing that's been very helpful is to take walks and in those walks, just to pray tand to give God the different concerns and anxieties I had. 

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Devorah Palmer

Interviewed by Kamaria

I'm Black/African-American, and my primary language is English. 

Because of COVID, every job I would get would be temporary. Nothing permanent. I feel like they don't want, you know, a lot of people working at the same time because have to social distance. I feel like they were trying to give everybody a chance to put everybody in rotation. Giving each a chance to work and thinks like that. 

My mom has been the most positive influence. No matter what obstacles have gone by, no matter how many jobs have been lost, and whole lot of, you know, grocery store runs, she still held it down. 

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Carlos Ramirez

Interviewed by Carlos

I was born in Peru, and my first language was Spanish.

COVID changed my job 
because I am a registered nurse so it switched the way we do things on a daily basis. My dad basically was giving me encouragement [during the pandemic]. He knew I was in a stressful situation especially with the work that I do. Going into work was stressful and thinking I am going to come out with COVID every time I go to work. Then I would think I have to isolate from my family--for my children and wife. 

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Cheryl Hayes

Interviewed by Faith

I am caucasian. 

COVID affected by job because we had smaller ratios in the classroom. Not a lot of activity because a lot of the businesses were closed. 

My children gave me joy during the COVID pandemic. 

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Aurora Ramirez

Interviewed by Jaden

I was born in the Philippines. My first language is Filipino. The most stressful thing is not being able to travel. I've been traveling a long time and, because of the pandemic, I couldn't. 

My children and my grandchildren are my greatest joys. They give me peace of mind. 


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Marta Isabel Morones

Interviewed by Janely

I'm Mexican, and my first language is English. 

COVID affected my job because I work for the school district, and we were out of a job for a little bit. Then, we went back to feed the [school] children, though we didn't get to see our students like we usually see everyday. 

My greatest  joy has been spending more time with my family. Before, we usually we were always busy working and we never had much time for each other. 

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Nancy Glaab

Interviewed by Lucas

I'm Hispanic. My first language is English, and my secondary language is Spanish. 

I work for a health facility and when the pandemic started, and all the closures happened back in March 2020 [due to COVID]. I actually work on a mobile clinic that treats kids that have asthma and 
allergies, and since we travel to schools, the schools closed down. So we had to stop seeing patients in person and started dealing with patients over the telephones. 

My father died last year, and I never was able to have a memorial for him. My family here at home has been supporting each other. 

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