Wake Wednesday

Yesterday, we shared a tremendous amount of information about the fall semester. Administrators and faculty have been working on these plans for weeks, and as such we’ve had time to wrap our heads around some of the logistics of these plans. Now that our full community has seen Our Way Forward, this might be the first time you are processing those details and thinking about what it means for your Deac’s classes, living arrangements, and the whole semester. 

The Daily Deac tends to get the most feedback when we run our Five Senses posts – when I write about what I see, hear, smell, on campus. This time I want to try something new and have you imagine with me what A Day in the Life on campus might look like this fall.

Your Deac’s day might start with breakfast in the Pit with a few friends. The Pit is less crowded than usual, and because our weather stays nice for so long, you decide as a group to take your meals to go. You head up to the Mag Patio and grab a couple of tables so you can sit and eat, leaving appropriate distance in between everyone. It feels good to take your masks off as you dine. 

After breakfast, you have the opportunity to meet a professor for coffee at Campus Grounds to talk about a class assignment. You sit outside, respecting six feet of distance, so you can talk. Even with the mask, you see your professor’s eyes crinkle as she smiles when you share your ideas for the assignment. It feels good to connect. This is one of your favorite faculty members and you are happy to see her again.

Your first class is about to begin, so you say goodbye to your professor and head out. They are mowing the Quad and it smells like cut grass. You walk to south campus to meet a few of your classmates. Though the class is online, you and a few friends reserved a study space so you can participate together. You joke with each other about who has the best looking mask. It almost doesn’t feel weird wearing a mask anymore, since everyone is wearing them. 

Your online class is really good. By now, everyone in class is well-versed in participating in online discussions, and the professor had the class really engaged in today’s topic. After that class, your next one is a follow-up to an online lecture earlier in the week, and will be a small group discussion with your professor in Carswell. 

Once class ends, you swing by the Benson Center for some Chick Fil A for lunch and take it back to your room so you have a couple of hours of study time before you have your late afternoon round of disc golf on Poteat Field as part of an intramural league. 

You eat dinner with your best friend, then head to a club activity that is meeting in the breezeway of Scales to give members plenty of room to spread out. You make sure to get back in time to see another friend’s dance class doing an early-evening performance on the Quad; you’d promised to be there to support her. As the performance ends, you see friends sitting at the tables on the Zick’s patio and say hello. 

You walk back to your residence hall to do a little more homework, and as you enter your hall you stop to talk to some of your hallmates in the large lounge where they are studying. You have a few laughs and make plans to get together tomorrow. You go back to your room, do a little bit of work on an upcoming paper, text some friends, and call it a night.

While there may be tweaks as final details emerge, this is what I imagine the fall could look like. It may sound different than your normal semester, but I hope it still sounds like Wake Forest. We have a beautiful campus filled with interesting and amazing people, great faculty, and a lot of fun to be had in between. 

Also want to acknowledge that we know you still have questions on many topics, as you are just digesting the fall plan. In times like these, the uncertainty of what will happen can be the most stressful thing. But I know my friends in housing and academic advising are working through so many details about spaces and modalities for you. They are great at what they do and I am confident that when we have more detailed information on courses and options for housing (coming July 15), you will have a better sense of the fall semester back here. As always, I will share any new information I get as soon as I have it.

 

— by Betsy Chapman, Ph.D. (’92, MA ’94)

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