Publishers Note: People keep asking, “Robert, why are you still publishing. It is costing you money and time. You were almost dead three times this year and most days you barely have the energy to get in your wheelchair. Moreover it is not enough that over 50 people volunteer to help you….Now some silly people are asking you to give away your product for free so you can go bankrupt. That’s when I remind them of the beauty that surrounds what I do. There are indeed more than 50 people that write, draw and create. They do it because they believe in community. And of the now almost 30,000 people who read either of my publications only a few ask that I go bankrupt.
One of my brightest spots is dealing with college students. What college student in his/her right mind wants to “hang” with a 69-year-old man? Yet they do because they believe I can pass on some wisdom and teach them things that my help their own journey to reach my age filled with great memories. With that I proudly introduce a college student who writes for Lake Country Echo. At my request I asked him to write from a first-person view what he and his friends are going through during these trying times. May I proudly introduce Brock, who is about to enter his senior year at Geneseo College. And no, I am not going to go bankrupt for some uncaring person who rather not pay the $ 2 -4 or less a month cost.
Being a Student During a Pandemic: Written by Brock Nahalka, in Junior year at Geneseo College
With the events currently taking place I’d like to step back from the automotive world for a second to cover a topic that a lot of people are going through right now, the switch to online learning. Now that I have got into the groove of online learning and caught up on class work, I think I have enough free time to finally sit down and write this.
As COVID-19 spread across the world and the U.S. many universities and schools were forced to take action. All students received an email stating; “Following the return from spring break all courses will begin online instruction and you are suggested to stay home. Further details and instruction will be sent to you in the near future”.
At first to all of us students, college and high school level, this sounded like a dream come true. School is ending early this year and we will get to start summer a lot sooner than we had hoped! Admittedly I also had the same mindset and was super excited to go on spring break and not come back to my college work however, this was not the case.
Returning from spring break concerns rose to the surface for many students. For college students many of these concerns were, will I get part of my tuition back if I’m no longer living on campus? What about my laboratory classes, how will I complete those? Will I get to complete my study abroad program? How am I going to complete my tech schooling? Although my major consists primarily of writing I had the same concerns.
High school students had concerns as well. How will I pass my state regents exams? Will I get to go to my senior night for sports? Will I get to go to prom or walk the stage at graduation? I feel for these students too as those were very big parts of my high school days.
I spent the last couple days before writing this reaching out to old friends from high school to see how they have been doing now that we have switched to online learning for a couple weeks now. A lot of the responses were the same with many of my friends saying that school was a lot harder online and that many of them were struggling to keep their grades up. It is so much harder because many professors and instructors have adopted an approach where the students must teach themselves and then take their finals. Now this approach doesn’t sound too bad for an English course where you may have to read some Shakespeare and then write a short essay about it but for a science or math major this may be a completely different story having to teach yourself equations, chemical formulas, human anatomy, stratigraphy, or any other topic. Online learning also is full of technical difficulties on both ends with teachers and students struggling to submit work or connect to video call classrooms.
This only scratches the surface however, a close friend of mine attends a trade school for automotive technology and performance. His biggest concern was how he was going to get his hands-on work in the shop to complete his degree. Quite a few of my friends in trade schools feel the same way, not being able to get their hands on a welder or plasma cutter to help them learn and work towards their degree.
For now online learning will remain the way many students continue their education and even though in the beginning we were excited to be told school was “canceled” and we need to stay home, we kind of miss school now. We miss seeing our friends, teachers, and the feeling of still being a kid in school.