“With humor and humility, we’ll get there together,” – A look back at the first weeks of class

This article was written by Peyton Kelgard, first year M.A. Integrated Marketing Communication student and School of Communication Director’s Ambassador.

A new semester begun on August 24. And this time, it really constitutes a total novelty.

Instead of walking through Landis Green, sitting next to fellow Noles in lecture halls, or visiting professors during office hours, students, faculty and staff are confined to their homes and forced to adapt to an online method of learning as a result of COVID-19.

So besides a few Zoom crashes and Canvas mishaps, how did the first week go for students and faculty in the School of Communication?

Sarah Jenkins, a junior in the Public Relations undergraduate major, decided to stay in her hometown of Jupiter, FL for the semester. “The ability to learn from virtually anywhere is the positive of distance learning, “Jenkins said. The Florida native explained that even though she is privileged to be at home she nevertheless prefers synchronous connections through Zoom to really feel some semblance of normalcy and community.

Julia Gilbert, a graduate student in the Media Communication Studies program also holds a positive attitude towards this semester. “Of course remote learning is not as ideal as being in a classroom,” she said, “but for the most part everyone seems up for the challenge ahead,” Gilbert added. “My professors have been very accommodating to all their students as well as being honest about their technology trepidations, while us students all seem patient and understanding that this year will be as difficult as it will be rewarding.”

Professors have also had to adjust to this new teaching dynamic. Dr. Bailey, Assistant Professor and Director of Doctoral Studies, shared that she thinks students are adapting very well to a remote learning platform. Her greatest hope for her students this semester is that they are still able to connect and find meaning and fulfillment in today’s uncertain world.

Dr. Lee, Associate Professor and Integrated Marketing Communications Area Head, feels equally optimistic. “The first week provided me a lot of confidence,” she said,  “and I was so happy to see how positive, engaged, and helpful all my students were on Zoom calls.” Lee thinks that everybody is much more organized and ready for the fall semester than they were this past spring.

While, of course, students, faculty, and staff would all rather be on the Florida State campus in person, people are adjusting and adapting. As Dr. Bailey explained: “there will be quite a few bumps this semester, but if we all keep a sense of humor and humility, we’ll get there together.”