Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Students discuss their work in class at the MESA center at American River College on April 25, 2024. (Photo: Cristian Gonzalez/CalMatters)
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Lock-down Diaries: Ericka

“Lock-down Diaries” is a series featuring different members of The Citizen newsroom as they go about their day while under the shelter-in-place directive.

Oakland, Calif.

When shelter-in-place started, all I had to do class work on was my iPad and a Bluetooth keyboard. Before the campus closure, I used to just go to the library and use those computers.

On April 20, I received two links via email from my instructors about the Peralta District’s offer to apply for a Google Chromebook. I was interested because a Chromebook would be a tool to aid in the transition from face-to-face classes to online learning. After I completed and submitted the application, I received a congratulatory email that said I was to be granted one the very next day.

The Chromebook would be available for pickup on Wednesday, April 22, at the Laney College parking lot between 10 and 10:30 a.m. Attached to the email was a loan agreement for students to sign stating that they will return the Chromebook safe and sound at the end of the semester.

The pick-up

Wednesday, April 22, 2020
10:25 a.m.

I pulled up to the Laney College parking lot and was greeted by a masked man dressed in a green Laney polo shirt. He directed me to drive to a canvas-covered table about ten feet from a cone station where I would pick up my Chromebook. A woman wearing gloves and a mask asked me for a form of identification. I handed her my student ID card and signed the agreement. I departed from Laney grateful for my new gadget and happy for a smooth process.

The Chromebook

May 21, 2020
9:42 p.m.

Having this Google Chromebook for the past month has been like having a new educational toy. I have been able to keep up with my journalism and theater classes through my online Canvas student portal. Having a Chromebook has also been an opportunity to get much-needed practice in learning how to use Google Drive and Google Docs for typing my assignments. Google Drive automatically saves documents which relieves worry about losing homework. The Chromebook also is lightweight, easy to carry, has a touch screen, and comes with a charger. I recommend that any student in need take the opportunity to get a Chromebook to keep up with school. The Chromebook has been an asset for me.

The drop-off

Wednesday, May 27, 2020
1:10 p.m.

When it is time for me to return the Chromebook, I assume it will be at the same place as where I picked it up. I don’t see anyone in the Laney parking lot, though, so I drive over to the flagpole. That ends up being the food give-away. They tell me there are only vegan options left, so I get a box of produce, and two vegan meals that were awesome. They put it in my trunk.

They tell me the Chromebook station is at the Tower building.

I go park the car, walk up to the Tower building. My name is on the list, and the man who takes the Chromebook asks if I am taking classes in the summer or fall. He said I can check out another Chromebook when I come back for the fall session.

I get stressed thinking about the fall semester as I know Peralta will continue with remote teaching. Distance learning has been a lonely experience, and I know that it’s going to be a challenge for me to finish my education. Not having instructors or classmates to physically interact with will continue to make completing and understanding assignments difficult. I am a person who needs hands-on learning in my life.

Between family members, telephone calls, bathroom breaks, and hunger, there are so many distractions at home. I’m slowly getting used to this transition and know that with more practice each day it will get better. Having the Chromebook has been very comforting and has been a great help in finishing this semester. It’s simplicity made so many things much clearer to understand. I know that I will miss using it.

About the Contributor
Ericka Jackson
Ericka Jackson, Staff Writer
Ericka Jackson is a Bay Area Native, born and raised in Berkeley. As a single parent to an adult son and a surrogate mom to her niece and nephew, Ericka took on a career as a care provider after her close family members became ill. She attended Laney College for rwo and half years when she graduated from high school 23 years ago and found her first job through Laney’s College Career Center. Ericka eventually worked as a real estate agent but had to rethink her career after the economic bubble burst in 2008. So, after many years of caring for others, Ericka has decided that she is going to take on journalism – which always piqued her interest. Ericka loves a good story!
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