My Semester is Over! +thoughts on school during the era of Covid

This past week was finals week at my college, which means I’m finally free from school! For month, at least, until I go back to torture myself…I mean, to learn more. But let’s not think about that as I celebrate another successful semester!

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I wanted to do just a relaxing post discussing my experiences and thoughts about going to school during a pandemic where the world has gone insane. And honestly, this semester has been harder than any other before, and it shouldn’t have been.

I’m not going to get into the right and wrong of shutdowns and my college deciding to hold most of their classes online. I honestly just dealt with the hand I was given in this situation. However, let me just mention that I’m one of the most disciplined students in any class I have ever been in, and I really struggled to be disciplined this semester. And for someone like me, who loves school and is one of the best students who rarely struggles, I cannot imagine how much a student who has issues focusing or staying organized struggled this semester.

Especially considering colleges are charging the same amount but giving so much less aid to students while forcing both students and teachers to kind of pick up the slack in just figuring it out. A lot of things about this semester perturbed me, and I honestly don’t blame my teachers, who I think mostly did the best they could with their limited experience concerning technology and dealing with so few students coming to each class (most of my classes had about half the students each class).

The reality is that this semester was hard on everyone, and I cannot imagine how hard it was for kids younger than college age, who were forced to sit in front of a computer screen and figure it out. I’m sorry, when I was ten I could not just figure it out.

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Saying that, I shouldn’t complain. I didn’t lose my job or home during this pandemic, whereas so many other people did. So many small businesses I knew in Minnesota have closed, and yet big businesses aren’t struggling at all, mostly staying open during everything. It’s just a bit frustrating, and this year more than any other I’ve tried to focus on helping small businesses and not shopping as much on Amazon and other big companies. But considering how some people’s livelihoods are been destroyed and others have lost friends and family members (either to Covid or to suicide, which as increased highly during these lockdowns), I am incredibly lucky, even if this semester was stressful.

In other news, my next semester is entirely online too, so that’s great.

I know I’m just blathering, but I think it’s important to try to appreciate what we do have, not what we lack. Christmas is just around the corner, and there is information that a vaccine is in the works. Even during the darkest times, there is hope.

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We have all been dealt the life that are given us, but it is what we do with that life which truly brings us happiness, no matter how unfortunate we are. And there is Christmas, and lights, and good cheer, even if those we love aren’t near.

Gosh, that rhymed…I need to stop.

I’ve blathered on long enough, and I’m sure everyone reading this has better things to do than read my mixed up thoughts.

What are your thoughts about online school, and life during Covid? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,

Best wishes in your life full of adventure,

Madame Writer

15 thoughts on “My Semester is Over! +thoughts on school during the era of Covid

  1. My university classes were moved Online in April after the first wave of the Covid pandemic (I teach in Dallas,tx). While it has been disappointing not to have the face-to-face interaction with my students and engaging conversations in class, I have found that this forum of online communication has given students a new sense of opening up and sharing their opinions and insights that I had not seen before. They are emailing me more and sharing about personal hardships and victories as well. I have enjoyed the chance to teach from home (I have over an hour commute both ways!) and avoid stressful traffic and unpredictable weather; however, I am ready to get back to the classroom for the Spring semester! Thank you for sharing your experiences.

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    1. I’m glad to hear your transition online and your students’ response was mostly positive! I agree that one of the things I loved about going online was not have a long commute (mine was only a half hour one way, so only half as long as yours). I wish I was going back into the classroom Spring semester, but my school is staying online at least another semester.

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  2. I work in tertiary education in Australia and its the end of our teaching year here. All of our student surveys have actually shown (for my institution atleast) a ride in student satisfaction, I’m guessing the students understood, much like yourself, how difficult the speedy transition to online learning was. But the overwhelming majority of comments were positive about the e learning experience. Did you have online interactions with your teachers and peers? That was a big plus here. We held lots of collaborative learning, extended online sessions rather than just speaking to computer sessions. I enjoyed the blathering 😉 happy holidays!

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    1. I’m glad it’s going so well over there in Australia for schools! Most of my classes last semester were synchronous, which meant we met online over a Zoom type service several times a week. Many of my teachers also put us into small groups to interact with other students. Even with online interactions, it wasn’t the same as in person. I know each school handled it differently, so it might have just been an issue with my college. Though I do know, at least in college, schools have seen a massive decrease in enrollment (anywhere from -5% to -20%, for many schools, though some private schools saw a rise). Happy holidays!

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  3. Well, I was so glad when I graduated when I did. That was before the pandemic.

    However, I was wondering what Gardner Webb was going to do- that’s my university. They still had in person classes and student activity events were still happening- just in a different way.

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