I’m not quite sure I can say we are post-pandemic, but since I want it to be so, I will say that we are moving forward past the craziness of last year.
Though there were many negatives, I occasionally stop and realize that some things are actually better. Today was one of those days.
Last week, I went back to the gym and started swimming in the same pool I’ve been swimming in for the past five years. When gyms closed, I was left without a pool and no way to exercise until I found out that the Olympic size pool at one of my colleges remained open. I started going there. But it was time to return to my gym and last week I did.
But I found that I didn’t like it anymore. The gym pool has three lane that and two swimmers are allowed per lane. The pool is indoors. It’s over chlorinated and the water is somewhat cloudy. In comparison, the college pool has about 18 lanes, it’s outdoors, and beautiful.
I no longer want to be boxed in at a gym.
Even though the college is further away, I went back there today and it was wonderful. I’ll probably continue to drive there to swim at their pool, at least a couple times a week because I like it better.
The Awkward Can Turn Out to Be Good
As I prepare to return to the university to teach in person, I wonder if I’ll have the same feeling about the classroom that I had with the indoor pool. I hated teaching via Zoom when we were ordered to stay home, but I got used to the flexibility and informality I had with students. They were invited into my home office and was able to see them in their homes and see their kids and pets and decorating styles. We were all more relaxed than when we are in a classroom. And it was convenient. As one of my students said, “I like rolling out of bed and coming to class.”
So, in some ways, online learning was better.
But as we return to the formal class setting, I wonder if it will feel awkward after all this time. Or will we get back into the flow as if last year hadn’t happened?