One year ago, we were blindly being led into a strange situation that the overwhelming majority of us had never before travelled. Quarantine was upon us and most hadn’t even a vague idea of what that entailed. Unfortunately, there are many, one year later, still unable to grasp the concept.
I have, since renewing publication here, received several emails asking why I was not able to continue publishing here last year. The basic and simple answers are the commitment and the time factors. Those two are the major reasons that I had to pause and adopt a “wait and see” timeframe.
One of the online inquisitors responded to my reply with his own assessment that as an educator and with classes suspended, I had plenty of time to devote to ReNude Pride. As if there were no other issues demanding my concentration and time!
While that may appear to indeed be the case, it was very far from reality. Although the majority of our on-site classes were suspended, online classes were not! I am one of the very first to readily admit that my experience with online education is very minimal. Before the quarantine, I had virtually no reason to even consider anything besides my usual classroom instruction.
One year ago, I faced an unimaginable dilemma. Either “get with the times” (in other words, adapt to what’s needed) or else fail to meet the expectations and needs of my students – as well as my department’s and my university’s reputation. It was either “sink” or “swim.” I chose to swim.
It wasn’t easy and my own learning was a major challenge, but somehow, with patience, persistence and much help from my spouse, Aaron, I was able to achieve my goal in completing the semester online. My students were understanding of my predicament and very cooperative in tolerating my many mistakes and shortcomings. Almost every student was supportive.
We all emitted a “sigh of relief” when the curriculum ended in May and final examinations completed. Knowing that the coronavirus COVID-19 was in no way completely eradicated, I undertook my summer freedom to prepare for this year as much as possible in advance.
I managed to anticipate an entire year of quarantine and was able to create “student handbooks” to afford every student with a prepared guide based on lesson plans and experiences from the past instruction. Having already become familiar with the issues and complications surrounding quarantining circumstances and the special problems that are associated with that situation, the summer allowed me to focus on revising my plans accordingly for the classroom, either “live” or online.
My paying job is my responsibility to maintain. My students are mine to educate and enlighten. They take a priority over the composing of this site. Not to detract from the importance of ReNude Pride. It gives me both pleasure and satisfaction. However, it does take time and energy and in the quarantine situation that we all faced last year and presently, I give more importance to professional obligations over all other concerns.
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next posting entry for here is planned for Friday, April 9, 2021, and the proposed topic is “It’s Almost Time!”