Escape From LA: Teaching From A Distance In A Pandemic


Annette Vaipulu, Reporter

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With the ongoing pandemic, it’s tedious waking up every day to show up for class. 

However, distance learning has also given some an opportunity to work remotely from places outside of Los Angeles. 

History teacher Reina Roberts stayed in an Arrowbear cabin since the beginning of lockdown.

What I like is that it’s very quiet and there’s a lot of secret trails. It’s just locals around there, so it’s kind of nice,” she said. 

Ninety-eight miles away from her permanent home in Santa Monica, Roberts enjoys the serenity that comes from her temporary location. Unlike other popular mountain towns in California, Arrowbear offers something different — something quieter.

“It’s not touristy,” she said. “In the summer you have to be careful of animals, the weather can be tricky, too, because of the altitude. We do get snow and ice, so the power can go out.”

Roberts installed a generator two months ago as a back-up power source.

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh—if I’m teaching and the power goes out, boy, you better have a generator up there,’” she said. 

Being as far away from Los Angeles as she is, Roberts had to get used to true distance learning.“Teaching at the cabin was fun because I could always go for a hike or shovel snow in between Zooms. I worried sometimes that the power would  go out in a snowstorm, but we installed  a generator in November to prevent that.” 

Roberts is happy to be back in Santa Monica.

“It feels nice now that I’m in Los Angeles, so I’m experiencing the same things as my students. I want to know what my students are experiencing.