Saturday, March 13, 2021

Ups and Downs

Ups and Downs
paper collage with acrylic and posca on board
4x6 inches, 2021

Well it has certainly been a long time since I have written or shared anything with all of you. Needless to say, the last few years have been a whirlwind. We just finished up our midterm week and after a year of teaching remotely, I find myself looking at this year a little differently. 

Admittedly, I am always a little sad at midterm because I know that my time with my juniors is getting shorter as we approach the end of another academic year. With midterm behind us and spring break on the horizon, I will work with the other half of the junior class after spring break (we split the class into two sections because it's so large) which I am looking forward to. The juniors I just worked with will move on and work with other professors for the rest of the semester, and then they'll all move on to their senior year. If I become a faculty advisor or mentor for any of them, I might work with them again. If not, I won't (at least when they're students).

This is the case every year but this year, having taught remotely, there are many students whom I haven't met in person. The best way I can describe what I'm feeling might be to simply say that I feel a distinct sense of loss that I haven't felt before. 

It's not like online classes haven't existed for some time; I understand that. Skillshare and Domestika, for example, have offered online classes for years pulling from a breadth of creative people from all over the world. Many of them sound pretty amazing. Although I haven't taken any online courses, I do remember utilizing when it was offered through my employer. Being able to learn at your own pace and rewatching videos when trying to learn a specific program (Adobe After Effects kicked my butt!) was definitely beneficial but I was doing it on my own, I wasn't really in a "class" per se. 

What I miss is the time I spend in person with my students and the energy that's created within the spaces that we share, the conversations we have and the things that we do and make together. Sometimes these things are planned and sometimes they're not.  In this environment, there is room for things to happen organically with impromptu discussions about their work and the things they care about. I can easily share things with them on the fly. In the remote environment, everything has to be planned, pre-recorded and detailed in a way that is distinctly different than if we were in person.

For all the ups and downs I have experienced this year, I will continue to teach remotely as long as I need to. I still look forward to any time I have with my students, the discussions we have and the things we share, even if it is through the screen of my laptop. As we move forward with this academic year I remain hopeful that we will all be together, in person, once again in the fall, even if we're still wearing our masks.

Take care everyone. ❤️

1 comment:

Tracey English said...