By Michael Dudley
A couple of weeks ago I came to campus to grab a few things out of my office and check the mail. As I walked over to the union, it struck me how quiet it was. I was literally the only person on what typically would be a day of students, faculty, and staff walking to their various classes, meetings, and appointments. A pit formed in my stomach. I missed “normal.”
Five months ago, the thought of teaching a hands-on class online would have sounded absurd. How would that even be possible? Fast forward to now, and it has been a reality. These past six weeks have been reminiscent of my first semester teaching at McPherson College – where each week I was brainstorming and creating new material for the next. In some ways I have enjoyed it. I have learned new ways that I can implement online tools into my classes moving forward. Because of that, I think my classes will be improved moving forward. But obviously that positive aspect does not account for the loss I feel of not being able to interact with my students. I miss seeing their skills progress over time in the trim lab. I miss the conversations about their daily lives.
There are only a few weeks left in the semester. I have been proud to see everyone on campus pulling together in a different way, because it is the community of McPherson College that makes it so special. And we work hard. President Schneider talked about that in our most recent Zoom meeting and it struck me how right he was. I am confident that whatever happens over these next few months, that we will all be stronger because of it.