Before classes went online, I didn’t fully appreciate just how wonderful some of my lectures were. But now, as I sit in my room for yet another month, I find myself reflecting back on the classes that I’ve had and hoping fervently that one day, long before I graduate, I’ll be able to experience that again.
I think about walking up the spiral staircase to McCosh 10, a lecture hall, after a filling lunch in the RoMa (Rockefeller/Mathey residential college) dining hall with friends, and sitting in a cushy chair to listen to a survey of music through the centuries, dubbed after the Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix by my Marvel-loving professor. I think about my wonderful Children’s Literature class last semester, taught by the inimitable William Gleason, who is one of the most engaging lecturers I’ve ever had. I think about walking past dinosaur bones on my way to my Asian American History class, and learning more about my history in 50 minutes than I’d ever known. Just sitting next to classmates and friends, and hearing the small things, from the rustling and click-clacking of note-taking to the small pop as a water bottle is opened. Planning a day ahead, anticipating a trip to Dillon Gym or checking TigerMenus to see what each dining hall has in store for dinner.
As I sit in my room, far away from Princeton for so long, I cannot help but miss my classes. But I also have been struck by an appreciation for my professors as they too adjust to this virtual semester. I know, by their passing comments laden with hope, that they too anticipate the day when we can safely return. And I see during each lecture that they’ve been putting in a lot of effort to make this semester okay. My heart goes out to my Microeconomics professor, who re-recorded the same lecture five times just to get it right for her students. Everyone has put in so much thought and effort to make this digital transition a smooth one.
Though I may not have appreciated in-person lectures until they were gone, I will appreciate these online ones. And I look forward to the day when I walk that spiral staircase in McCosh once again, and hear the sounds of students in those old lecture halls once more.