Second Semester Done, One Year In, But What Will I Miss?

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Second Semester Done, One Year In, But What Will I Miss?

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The end of the semester is near, with one week left in my college semester and only a few weeks left at the high school where I work. As my first year as a Ph.D. season comes to a close, I have to say I am actually going to miss some parts of spending the year going to class via Zoom. It’s been nice to not have to worry about superficial things like my outfit and practical things like making sure my water bottle is full and that I have had lunch before class.

Zoom is exhausting. Being aware that my classmates can see me, and I can see everyone else all at once. Sure, I can hide self-view, but in a way that makes me more nervous because I won’t be able to see if my face looks silly. I spend a lot of time holding my face in a specific way to avoid “resting bitch face” that I often end my 2.5-hour classes with headaches and jaw tension. I guess I won’t miss that.

Monitoring chat and live conversations is a nightmare. So much so that I don’t pay much heed to the chat at all. I won’t miss that.

Not having to find parking on campus though... that has been super nice. Not having to account for traffic, being able to schedule appointments more easily. It’s also allowed my professors to be in other states for meetings when necessary or step out for other Zoom meetings when they have to for a few minutes and then return. I guess it is what we have been saying for the better part of nine months now, that we have always had the ability to be flexible, just no willpower, and the pandemic has shown us that we really can be flexible. Selfishly it makes it easier to work and go to school as well. I haven’t missed a single class all year. It made being a TA easier too, since I didn’t have to go to campus for those classes either, which would have further complicated a work schedule.

I am ready to go back to school, after three online master’s degree, the perpetual student in me was so excited to go back to campus for classes and be a part of a college campus again and I didn’t get that because of the pandemic, but I think in some ways it made the transition easier for me. It made it easier for me to feel like I could do it all at once.

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This item was submitted on April 15, 2021 by Erica Price using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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