However, there’s a unique vibe to this summer time. I don’t know about you all, however I’ve been to a couple meetings where my colleagues have referred to the pandemic up to now tense. When I first heard the past tense, I waited to see if this was a slip. It wasn’t. I asked the group textual content if they were also seeing this use of previous tense at their establishments. “Yes” was the response I obtained.
This pandemic is unquestionably not over; positive, we might be coming back to campus
however that doesn’t imply COVID has gone away. Although the United States has ample entry to vaccines, we, as a county, will miss the 70% of adults having at least one shot by July 4. I know there’s a want to “return to normal” but to talk as if the pandemic is over seems like a disservice to what we all experienced the previous yr and a half. This perspective also fully misses the truth that vaccine entry isn’t equitable internationally. That inequity does impression our university community members who usually are not situated in the United States. The pandemic isn’t over, we are simply in a new season of it. Hopefully, this is a chapter near the end of this story, but we aren’t certain but.
It additionally seems like there is a completely different energy behind planning over this summer time. Last 12 months, we spent plenty of time waiting — what would our institutions decide? How would we do outreach? We invested extra energy into summer time online programming, planned for various situations, and pushed some occasions off till we had a clearer sense of the autumn. This summer, we are shifting full steam forward for in-person actions. We need to open ALL the doors.
A part of me is ready to work together with individuals in real life and not over a display. I’m ready to run into colleagues within the hallway on the finest way to a gathering and seize espresso with someone new to brainstorm new collaborations. And a part of me is nervous for what the fall will appear to be. In my analysis this past yr on student engagement journeys, we’ve seen a spectrum of experiences. Experiences where college students have been lonely and joined golf equipment so as to find group. And we talked to college students who ran some of those clubs and felt that they really feel wanting the engagement and interplay they could get when they were in-person. It feels that there shall be a growing period where all of us readjust. As we readjust, I hope we speak about it. Some elements of this transition might be difficult or challenging. To be taught and develop together, we now have to find a way to talk.
Despite my hesitancy at calling the pandemic over, in the final couple of weeks, I’ve felt change on the horizon. Maybe it’s the nicer summer weather or new leadership at my present establishment that has me feeling a bit more hopeful. Whatever it’s, I think I’m ready for the relaxation of this summer and what fall would possibly deliver us. We’ll see.
What about you? How are you feeling about this summer?