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Perspective: Day One

The first day of class feels like a memory from another time. After successfully, if narrowly navigating my way to campus on time, I slipped into the back of class just as things were getting started.

Spaced out across the lecture hall, my peers’ masked faces face forward toward the instructor. The first day of class is always unique, but this was its own weird. My peers are not physically approachable. There is a sense of temporariness. While the wide space under such conditions had the potential to feel cold, icebreakers and introductions added some familiarity. The professor’s determination to remember our names was particularly inspiring. 

After reviewing the purpose and scope of the class, with a particular focus on contingency planning for a potential COVID-19 lockdown, the focus turned to a general discussion about our predicament. Again, some relatability: my peers were as pessimistic as me about in-person classes lasting. We speculated on the actual time frame. 

The most cynical explanation proposed was that the transition to virtual to be likely after the ADD/DROP period. The most compelling, and ultimately most accurate, answer was that the call would be made after 100 confirmed cases. This was the case with similar universities. This sounded feasible to me. The question was then how long would it take? 

Many of my peers had better perspective on this from living on campus, but I wasn’t about to be surprised to hear that some college kids are not taking social distancing seriously. Unfortunately, it does not take a high proportion of recklessness to hurt everyone. The concern in several of my classmates’ voices was clear, even from the distance. Not only for their well-being, but for their education. 

The class departed. I introduced myself at a reasonable distance to a couple of my peers before departing. Due to an important appointment during the following class, I knew I’d be missing this for at least a week. However, that was my last time on campus. 

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