Zoom might not be the problem solver that it has been said to be. Students at Dickinson College seem to have mixed feelings on how their current classes are going virtually, and how it affects their college experience and education as a whole.
While Zoom is a necessary tool to continue to conduct classes during the times of the Covid-19 pandemic, the science majors seem to be struggling with their daily classes and material that goes along with it. “We are incredibly limited in terms of what is available for labs.” Matt Meittinis ’23, a biology major, when asked how his Biology classes were going on Zoom. He admitted that the professors seem to be doing their best to make things as realistic as possible. “I’m not 100% happy with it but it’s probably the closest thing I’ll get to being at Dickinson at this moment. That’s all I can really ask for in these difficult times.” Meanwhile, in the Physics department, Andrew Healey ’21 is also having a hard time coping with the limiting Zoom program. “It has not been beneficial because my attention has decreased due to the lack of personal connection to the material. We are unable to do experiments, but we are able to do our calculations for scenarios.” Healey commended his physics professors, but also threw shade on some of his other professors in other subject areas. “My physics professors are doing the best they can with the materials they have. They are hard working. My other professors in other departments have put the burden on us to do the work while my physics professor is sharing it as much as possible.” Healey did not wish to specify which department the other professors came from.
The English department on the other hand seems to be thriving unscathed by Covid-19. Professor Siobhan Phillips, chair of the English Department at Dickinson College, gave an A+ to the English department holistically. “On the whole, I think the English department has managed the transition to online learning well.” She gave a specific tip of the cap to the IT department and library staff. “We’re really grateful to IT staff and our library staff, who have made sure that students and faculty have the resources that we need. Library resources are especially important in our discipline and I don’t know what we’d do without the help of Dickinson librarians!” Prof. Phillips admitted that Zoom does not replace the in-person discussion that all English classes at Dickinson are based on, but did have an interesting comment to make about one-on-one learning. “Online learning has allowed for even more one-on-one work with students, especially on writing, which I’ve found valuable.”
Dickinson students desperately long to be back on campus with all their peers. They recognize that Zoom might be a necessary evil to and get back to Carlisle as soon as they possibly can. As these students are closing in on the last week of classes and prepare for exams, they do their best with what they have.