CAS sophomore April Bartle shares her thoughts on the first two weeks of remote instruction at UM-Flint
I was living at the First Street Residence Hall Dorms when it was announced that UM-Flint was transitioning to remote coursework. That night, many students decided to pack up and leave. I took the weekend to figure out what my plan of action would be. I’m thankful that I moved out the following Monday because an email from Housing announced that, for our safety, we should move out by March 22, with requests available for extended housing. It was hard to say goodbye, but I knew it was best for me to move back home for the remainder of the semester.
The sudden move was a mix of sad and stressful. A good friend of mine Fernando, who also lived in the dorms, has been struggling with the transition, “So moving back home saddened me more than I thought. Mostly from the sudden goodbyes of all the friends in school … I’ve enjoyed being with my family so far but I feel a building stress because I’m not really doing anything anymore.”
From Faces to Screens
As my first two weeks have passed, my professors have found many different strategies to accommodate their students. Zoom and Bluejeans are a couple of live formats being utilized in classes. Bluejeans has options to allow audio, video, or both to be a part of the discussions. I really like the feature that puts whoever is speaking on the main screen so that everyone’s attention is focused on what they’re saying. My friend Robert (a Political Science sophomore) also had a positive experience.
“I think that with the transition to online classes, Bluejeans is a good choice to have a schedule along with the most possible amount of professor-to-student interaction.”
Some professors find it more beneficial to provide lectures for students to watch on their own time. If you have a class in this format, you might find this strategy to be helpful: I’ve assigned each class to a different day. For example, On Wednesday I have a quiz due for a class, so on Tuesday, I’m just going to focus on that subject. The next day I’ll take the quiz first thing, and then proceed to do a different class for the rest of the day.
Comforts of Home
Since moving out of the dorms, I’ve unpacked and reorganized all my belongings. Settling back into living with my parents is going to be challenging no doubt, but it feels good to be home.
If you haven’t already, I suggest finding a specific spot in which to do your class work. I strongly advise you to not do online classes sitting or lying in your bed. It’ll be harder to fall asleep at night in the same spot you’ve been for most of your day. Find a spot in the house with the most privacy to be able to focus the best. My spot is in the office in my basement, accompanied by my furry study buddy.
April Bartle is a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences at UM-Flint. She is majoring in Communication Studies and minoring in Spanish.