Mourning, Yet Celebrating, This Semester

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By Julia Largent

When I first heard we were moving to remote learning, I was both stressed and relived. Stressed because I’ve only ever taken online courses, not taught online. Relieved because I believed it was the appropriate thing to do for the safety of our campus. Even though I was immensely sad the last day of classes before Spring Break, I was very much in a “get everything situated mode” and then one of my seniors stopped by my office noting that he might not see me again and wanted to thank me—that’s when it really hit. It hadn’t even dawned on me that remote learning also most likely meant no—or virtual—commencement. It had started to hit home how much this was impacting this semester. Not only was I sad that I wouldn’t get to celebrate with my seniors in May, I was also mourning the end to conversations and interactions with students in my classrooms. Moving online, I’ve tried to replicate some of this—but I knew it would never be the same.

I’m so proud of our students and how hard they have worked to make this semester still a good semester. I’m also proud of how my fellow colleagues have rallied together to support each other and our students. This semester has ended in a tough way—missing out on firsts and lasts—but it’s also shown how strong the McPherson College community really is.