It’s been chaotic but also so informative as I learn about our community’s measures to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Mostly, I consider social distancing and what it means to connect better virtually. I consider the infinite value of an authentic online written voice. I consider how to teach students to express themselves well in online discussions and in virtual formats. I think about the advantages of live lectures from my home, in my real habitat, and how that serves to provide a better point of authentic connection with students. Here I am! This is how I live! Here is my coffee cup and my couch and my cats!
I’ve loved the way, at least at Penn State, we’re encouraged to allow ourselves to fail, to allow ourselves to practice new measures of patience and gracious behavior, and how we’re all in this together. It’s so far been a time of greater connection between faculty and staff and a time of greater collaboration. Times of crisis bring people together. So while we are socially distant in a physical sense, we’re more connected than ever. For this I am grateful.