We need to be patient with online classes

Kat Mamulashvili

So far, I seem to be the only person enjoying the online switch. 

Whether it’s the convenience of having unlimited coffee just down the hall or the comfort of sitting in my bedroom, I’ve taken to digital classrooms quite favorably. 

Meeting new people, making friends, and getting the “college experience” has to either take the backburner or be clumsily conducted over GroupMe class group chats. 

Still, the online landscape has been, in many ways, a blessing in disguise. 

Instead of having to spend a roundtrip of 3 hours commuting with trains and busses, my 2-minute commute from the kitchen to my desk is one I can’t complain about. 

Because I’m not wasting so much time commuting, I finally have time in my schedule to do things I’ve been putting off for ages. 

So much of my university career has been conducted online even before the pandemic, it was business as usual when the mandatory switch to online happened. 

The only real difference is that my professors are behind a screen, and I’m meeting fewer new people. 

Whether it’s because I’m less engaged with the typical “college experience” or because I’m more jaded and just here to get a degree, I can’t say that’s a massive issue for me. 

Regretfully, not everyone has taken to virtual learning well. 

For others, however, the online switch has been a complete game-changer for their academics.

Joseph Rumpel, an anthropology major at the College of Lake County mentions how he started the semester enrolled in three classes but has now dropped down to one. 

I was curious about what made the Intro to Psych class the chosen one, and he mentioned his professor’s remarkable adaptation to technology. 

“It feels like a CLC class,” he concluded. 

For Rumpel, the issue isn’t only that the classes are online; it’s that the professors aren’t adjusting. 

He reported one professor conducting nearly everything through email. 

While he could agree to the convenience of online learning, Rumpel felt the structure had an inherent fault that was the culprit to his negative experiences, even the ones he had experienced prior to the pandemic. 

Joseph Rumpel

Joseph Rumpel

According to Joseph, the “free-forming” type of learning not only lacks the interpersonal aspects every student craves, but it also makes it uncomfortably easy to get distracted. 

Not only does this prevent students from engaging with the material, but the students don’t interact well with each other.

Worst of all, Rumpel noted that all the tech problems, disengagement with the material, and lack of interaction with professors and students are still costing us a pretty penny. 

The anthropology student, however, was refreshingly understanding about the situation. 

“Be patient; [it’s] hard to expect immediate tech literacy [from everyone],” said Rumpel. 

Although frustration is normal and experienced by all, keeping a level head is the most important thing. 

“CLC is a beautiful school with wonderful teachers and wonderful students,” said Rumpel. 

No one is questioning the difficulty of this situation. 

The customary growing pains can quickly bleed into insurmountable frustration. 

But I encourage everyone to take a breath, keep their chin up, put the kettle on, and–per Joseph–be patient.