I Get to Build Stuff!
It's easy to phone certain things in during online school, especially things that traditionally have an in-person component.
Unfortunately, given that the whole point of COVID and quarantine is to "stay at home," I knew coming in that I wouldn't be able to experience much of that (though I'm hearing rumors down the mill that the students next year will). The problem for me, though, was that I was really scared that if I couldn't use the machine shop like I normally could, that would really hurt me down the line. After all, my other engineering classes after these will probably rely on me having this knowledge.
But, actually, for engineering they got a pretty good system going. They set up all around campus limited capacity satellite stations that even someone like me (who lives off campus) could come in and use anytime (in a COVID safe manner, of course). I've been able to do some pretty cool stuff with that. I've been able to 3D print a couple parts for my big ENGS project, and next week I'm going to learn how to weld!
Now, I'm supposed to say here that this really solidified my understanding of the course material, and it would have if I wasn't behind on the course readings and have no idea how it works. Admittedly, that part isn't the professor's fault so much as it is mine. Still fun to watch it spin though!
Regardless, I've always appreciated the effort that comes out of the Dartmouth faculty. The pandemic has been going on for a year now, and although a year isn't much in the grand scheme of things, a year is unfortunately already 25% of my Dartmouth career. And it's easy to feel like I'm losing a lot of it to something that much of us wish had never happened. But even though that's something none of us can change, it's nice to know that my professors and department are putting so much effort into it all for us.