COVID-19 has been easy for no one. I could tell you my sob story, about how my semester abroad was cut short and how my place of residence has changed six times in the last six months. I could tell the stories of people who were affected much more significantly by the pandemic, stories from voices that have been systematically silenced for centuries and now, arguably, more than ever before. These stories are important to hear. It is also vital to reflect on the vestiges of goodness that are left, to form community and understanding around the positive even if the positive feels so outweighed by the negative at the moment, and this will be the focus of my words.
Even though classes are online and many extracurriculars are limited or canceled entirely, I am still overjoyed that I am a Colorado College student in particular. I came to CC for a lot of reasons, and even though I cannot take advantage of most of those reasons now, I remain connected to and grateful for the community that I have now been a part of over the last three years.
It has been arduous for the administration to tackle the issues presented daily by the continuing pandemic, and I know the students are bewildered by the constant changes regarding policy, student life, and campus resources. I have been. However, after participating in COVID-19 task force meetings and after sitting in on Office of Communications meetings for months, I know that the number one priority of the administration right now is the students, as it should be.
On the academic side, many if not all professors are going above and beyond.
I am currently enrolled in a class titled Topics in French Culture: The Discipline of Love, which is taught by Professor Alistaire Tallent. Professor Tallent built room into the syllabus for extended deadlines, extra classes, and modified assignments to render class in the age of a pandemic a little bit more manageable. I am grateful for this compassion, as the malaise caused by COVID-19 has certainly affected my productivity. Professor Tallent takes time at the beginning of each Zoom call to ask all seven students in my class how we are doing. She creates a safe enough space that my classmates and I answer honestly, and we share both the disappointments and the victories presented by the current state of the world.
Aaron Cohick, printer of The Press at Colorado College, has been incredibly supportive as I pursue my letterpress-printed thesis despite the circumstances. He invites students affiliated with The Press to participate in virtual artists’ talks, and he asked me to communicate more ideas regarding creating a community around The Press this year. He encourages me to pursue the vision I have had for my thesis in full, and he promises me to provide any support he can, whether that can be in the printing studio together or not. We are hoping it will be possible for me to access The Press soon, so long as I continually test negative for COVID-19.
I speak with my best friend almost every day over the phone, and, as I write this, he is currently in quarantine, living in Mathias Hall. We talk about all the adventures we will have outdoors once it is safe again, and we speak about ski season as if we know it will happen. Sometimes, a little imagination can go a long way. While he is of course unhappy to be so confined to his dorm room, we also talk about how grateful we are that Colorado College took the precautions it needed to. We recognize that things really do have to get worse before they get better, but that we are not necessarily alone.
Originally published in September.