They used to run. All we mere mortals could do was take out our 720p HD camera, savouring the disappointment we had grown accustomed to, and point it at the ever distant board praying our multitasking skills had somehow evolved overnight, lest we should further feed the beast that was this vicious cycle.
Wondering what I’m talking about?
Going into first year, I assumed people would be pretty enthusiastic about their career; after all, they chose to be attending the “#1 engineering school in Canada” for a reason. And yet, I never expected my fellow peers to lean towards the psychotic end of the scientist scale: at the end of every lecture, students would stampede towards the next lecture room, making it absolutely impossible to secure front row seats for those of us who didn’t sign up for a gym class. And hey, good for them, I’m sure their enthusiasm paid off during their optometrist appointments, or 20 years down the line when they develop absolutely no cardiac problems, but this slightly worrisome quasi-animalistic ritual put a small dent in MY learning. So it was that two, three, six months passed by, and I would gaze longingly at the ever-eluding blackboard from afar, hoping for some miracle that would change my fate.
That’s when the coronavirus attacked.
Now, as a disclaimer, I don’t welcome the coronavirus in any way shape or form. I don’t applaud its existence or forgive it for having killed thousands of people. Yet, a part of me can’t help but revel in the fact that my professor’s mirrored screens are so crisp and clear and close I can almost taste the electronic ink. Controversially perhaps, I must say: COVID-19 has truly blessed my learning.
I mean, think about it: what true downside is there to online learning? Okay, fine, so I can’t exactly have cool labs in which I grab those deliciously engineered ball bearings, and I don’t get to 3D print a figurine of Groot pretending it’s for school. Fine. But would you rather a) spend money on getting to school – avoiding eye contact with tired commuters, pretending you don’t smell the dubious odours of the sweaty man beside you, choking back tears at the third announced transit delay – or b) just stay in the sanctuary that has become your home? Voila.
No more waking up at 7 to get to a 9 a.m. class: at 8:55 I wake leisurely and log on to a functional- albeit glitchy – Bb Collaborate class. No more ignoring my grumbling stomach after 4 hours of lectures: every food item I possess is mere meters away, teasingly at my disposal. No more longing for my miniature schnauzer at home during tutorials: my doggo insists on disrupting lectures through sneak attacks or demands of belly rubs.
Sure, I may just have purchased my seventeenth succulent, baked my twenty-fourth loaf of bread, and worn the same outfit for the fourth day in a row, but you know what?
At least I can see the damn board.