And...I'm back (but remotely)!
And just like that, spring break is over. Time to go back to school, back to clubs, back to college life. Except for this time, my dog is now coming along on this college ride.
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down. Instead of being in Hanover to experience a New England springtime, I will be in Mechanicsburg, my hometown. My days no longer include treks to FOCO, Baker Library, and the River dorms. Rather, my daily trek is to the kitchen, to my dog (for her daily pets, of course) and back to my room.
Yes, it is sad that I won't be back in Hanover for the time being, and that Dartmouth students won't be experiencing Dartmouth traditionally. However, I have come to realize that I'm not completely separated from Dartmouth and that, through technology, my Spring term is not truly gone.
In order to conform to remote learning, classes have taken different paths for teaching. Some classes, like my Religion course, "African American Religion and Culture in Jim Crow America," use the application Zoom in order to have regular classes. Others, like my Middle Eastern Studies course, "Making of the Modern Middle East," have weekly discussion groups and discussion posts throughout the week. And some classes like my Latin American Studies course, "Many Faces of Latin America," are more focused on readings and finding out how one would synthesize the information. Overall, I am still taking classes, just like I was back in the Winter term. I still interact with professors, and I still talk with my classmates. This time, however, I can be in my pajamas through it all!
Also, even during this time away from Dartmouth, I can still connect with my friends. For example, Christian Union, one of the groups I am a part of, started to use Marco Polo in order to catch up with others. Not only that, but there is a daily prayer group that goes on over Zoom, where I can still keep up a fellowship with other Christians from Dartmouth. Zoom has even allowed me to connect with friends back in Pennsylvania! Almost every day, I am still in connection with friends, whether from Dartmouth or Pennsylvania.
Don't get me wrong, I am bummed out about how Spring term has turned out. But I have to look at the bright side of things and also realize that combating the coronavirus requires sacrifice. I am still connected to the college, even all the way in Mechanicsburg. I can be thankful for that!