Learning in Pandemic Times

Saira Aamir in Painting II

They say "you don't know what you have until it's gone. Truth is, you knew what you had, you just thought you'd never lose it."

That was my thought when months after being locked up at home we were notified that the following semester would not be the same. Only a small percentage of the classes would be taught in person and there would be a limit of people per class, studio access, as well as closeness with my classmates and instructors.
Many of our faculty members were not prepared for virtual teaching and we were not prepared to accept that this would be our "new normal" after the pandemic started. I have been fortunate to attend at least 2 classes in person this semester even if we all have to wear masks and maintain social distance. In a sense, it makes me feel as if my normal life is not entirely gone.
I never thought I'd say this, but I miss everyone in the art department. I miss walking into the studios and watching people work on their new project. I miss the interaction with my classmates and our instructors. It wasn't until now that I realized the importance of social interaction in our daily lives.
But not all things are negative: The pandemic has allowed us to create virtual classroom spaces where students and faculty can discuss important topics related to the class. Even when some may think we are forced to post on Brightspace or participate on Zoom meetings because it is part of our grade, I've noticed fellow classmates getting better at communicating and their personalities shining through.
Our instructors are also learning new and more efficient ways to deliver the course material to us, and learning to use new equipment. I know their new knowledge in technology will be of great help in this ever-changing world. But wait! There's more. I think you'll agree with me when I say that our Department did a fantastic job at preparing the studios for in-person classes. If you don't have in-person classes this semester, this is what some of our studios look like.
Printmaking Studio 

Sculpture Studio

Written by Jackie Sanchez


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