Damian Zurro ’03, ’15 Ph.D. | October 22, 2020
I recognize it instantly from the curtains. They’re those thick blackout ones that all hotels have. Because we always meet in the day, they’re almost always open. The student sits at the desk, with the window off to one side. As if on cue, the Wi-Fi almost always cuts out briefly just as we’re exchanging greetings. The tone of voice I strive for, warm and encouraging with an undertone of concern, betrays my knowledge: my student has tested positive for COVID-19 and is joining our Zoom session from one of the University’s designated isolation locations.
It’s happened several times this semester. Infected students are required to quickly relocate to their isolation spot, where they receive frequent check-ins and food delivered to their rooms.
I teach a supplementary writing course structured around weekly meetings with the instructor in which we focus on the student’s writing across the disciplines. We get to know each other well over the semester. In the pandemic era, that has meant using Zoom to find each other wherever we are.
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