From a Semester of Hell, Onto Another One
by Kasey Mathews | published Feb. 2nd, 2021
Show me one person who’s had a good semester. I’ll wait.
Fall 2020 was always going to be difficult — we all were well aware of that when we jumped into it. But many of us didn’t have much of a choice. We could take the semester off, sure, but would it help? Spring 2021 will be much of the same, learning in a COVID-19 environment. Should students take a full year off from school? Is there any guarantee that the pandemic will significantly subside by fall 2021?
Many of us can’t afford to take that large of a break. I personally am pursuing an MBA with a dual concentration. It’s taking two years already — I don’t want to delay that any further. At this rate, I need to get out and start my career.
So here we are, stuck taking classes in a format we don’t want to take them, taught by professors who don’t want to teach right now, all in an environment that no one has experienced before. It’s a mess from start to finish.
RIT’s given us leniency by allowing us to mark two of our classes as pass/fail, avoiding any impact they would have on our GPA. But when you’re suffering equally in all your classes, the pass/fail option only goes so far. Yet, they can’t offer people the pass/fail option for every class they take, as that endangers their academic reputation.
Professors are kind and considerate — or, at least, more so now than before. But they can only make so many exceptions before all rules go out the window.
Many of us work on campus, take in-person classes and are otherwise required to interact with others on a regular basis. We’re putting our health on the line every day just to get by, and we can’t voluntarily say “no.”
Meanwhile, this pandemic shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, now that the weather is getting colder, many experts are warning that increased activity indoors will only fuel the spread of the virus even more. And we’re already experiencing a nationwide spike in cases, including here on campus.
If you’re looking for a point to all this — to this editor’s note that’s supposed to make some big revelation — there isn’t one. I’m suffering, you’re suffering, our professors and administrators are suffering. We don’t have the capacity to make a point or follow a well-planned argument.
We get by day-to-day, take the blows as they come and if we’re lucky give a little back.
We’re looking forward to each tiny break we get, whether it’s Winter Break, the weekend or just a day we decide we can’t take it anymore and skip classes.
We’re broken and bruised. We’re defeated.
Are we ready for round two?