May 7 Day 60: Are you my student?

Imagine with me, the best possible scenario for Fall 2020. There are face-to-face classes and no worries about “the curve,” a second wave, or financial repercussions. Faculty and students have adapted new skills learned in isolation to increase access and inclusion in the classroom. We appreciate the opportunities and acknowledge the privilege of our involvement with academia. It is a soothing balm…a welcomed relief.

But even so, I also imagine walking between classes and looking into the faces of those I pass. I have to wonder what their smiles mean.

“Were you my student?”

You sort of resemble one of my student’s ID photos from Spring quarter 2020. But we never met in real life. Nobody ever looks like their university mug shot. So few shared their camera feeds. I was teaching to a vacuum.

I have endured so much with my essentially anonymous students through this wild epidemic spring. Will we ever connect in real life? Or will this be a chapter that we would soon forget?

If you are one of my students and you recognize me walking across campus next fall or anytime really, please introduce yourself. I hope to make real connections when we can.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

3 thoughts on “May 7 Day 60: Are you my student?

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