Today was the last class meeting of the 2019-2020 academic year. It has been 88 days since the first remote class was taught on March 9 and 66 days since the first (remote) day of Spring Quarter 2020 on March 30. Eleven days from now I plan to submit my final grades. Yet today was the first time that I saw myself reflected in the eyes of my students on screen.
We have worked together and struggled together from the beginning of it all. Not many have shown their faces or shared their voices online. Today, more than ever, I saw my students and they are amazing. Their struggles, their strengths, their hopes, and their grit shone through.
Between now and then I must write, give, and grade final exams, grade the final projects, and not succumb to the overwhelming desire to collapse into a quivering heap of jello.
I am elated. I am in denial. I am numb. Much has been learned. Much has been lost. This will go down as the most challenging term I have taught over my 27 years as a professional in higher education.