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Pondering with Patterson: The challenges of hybrid classes

Week six is upon us, and things can objectively be considered a little weird. With hybrid classes, what was once navigating routes from building to building has been replaced by a fair amount of isolated spot-picking to tune into a Zoom meeting. 

While some classes do meet in person, many are condensed and split by section. For example, rather than meeting twice a week, Tuesday/Thursday classes may meet only one day to condense the number of people in the same environment. 

The transition: going from classes multiple times a day for five days a week to taking classes completely online to now a mixture somewhere between the two is nothing short of an odd experience. It’s, hopefully, a step in a good direction but rightfully feels a little odd for everyone. Hybrid classes in full swing are a new experience, and as midterms approach and the weeks fly by, ample time has passed for reflection. 

Being back on campus certainly eases the transition of tackling hybrid classes and maintaining overall sanity. The face-to-face experience and the ability to be around other people (even if only once a week) is not without appreciation. Campus events and Athens happenings are able to see light, providing for ways to engage with others.

For fans of music, shows are being booked at venues, and ‘80s nights are returning to Casa Nueva. Fall sports are also in session, as the Bobcats play Central Michigan for the Homecoming game Oct. 4. Student organizations are also able to more easily hold meetings and to occur altogether being back on campus. University events are continuously posted onto the calendar, featuring everything from exhibitions  to dissertation defenses. Being on campus — and in Athens — allows for these events to take place. 

At the same time, with the mixture, classes have essentially gained the capability to complete an online course while simultaneously completing a standard class. In order to touch base with all students, professors use Blackboard to ensure everyone is getting the same information. Hybrid classes lie somewhere between normalcy and oddity. The feelings brought by face-to-face interaction are enough to cling on to, but the lack of balance is difficult. Assignments can easily become lost in translation when lecture is limited to fewer meeting times. It can be difficult to keep up with both and can become draining quickly when stuck in the sea of assignment submissions. 

Taking on hybrid classes and all that comes with them is challenging. It’s odd to balance remote occurrences alongside face-to-face and to keep track of the two. Being back on campus can ease the situation, allowing for communication and experience to take place. With midterm season approaching and week six in full swing, it’s equally as important to take breaks and ease off when possible to combat the weirdness. 

Lauren Patterson is a junior studying journalism. Please note that the views and ideas of columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Lauren? Tweet her @lpaatt.

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