As the Taylor community has been transitioning from typical, on-campus life to online distance learning, it seems as though people are searching for new, creative ways in which to stay connected. One such way to stay in touch with our campus is to hear what administrators, faculty, and staff have to say about the current campus of Taylor and the rest of the world.
Listed below are the thoughts of Scott Barrett, director of residence life.
Q: How have your thoughts on the coronavirus (COVID-19) changed from a month ago to now?
“Looking back to a month ago, COVID-19 was certainly on my radar, but I did not anticipate how drastically it would impact life here at Taylor. The situation changed at such a rapid pace that it was hard to imagine we would end up where we are now.”
Q: What are your thoughts on moving from in-person lectures to strictly online resources?
“I think, for a season, we can take it in stride and work to navigate it a new way of being. I am glad this is not the permanent plan. I hope it encourages us to think about what content really matters, how we can deliver this content in meaningful ways, and to try to get to the heart of what is important for our students. It is a chance to relook at a lot of different things.”
Q: As a member of student development, how has your day-to-day changed within the last few weeks?
“For the past two weeks, just about everything has changed. Responding to and navigating the challenges of these recent days has been an all hands on deck task. The Residence Life team has worked hard to make sure students still at Taylor or away from campus have what they need. I am looking forward to figuring out what my new rhythm will be in the days ahead.”
Q: How have you seen the coronavirus affect people at Taylor? People nationally? People globally?
“The news is filled with stories of the impact COVID-19 has had on people. I am mindful of our many students and their many stories. COVID-19 has a far reaching stretch that has the potential to impact just about every area of our lives from physical health to mental and emotional health to spiritual health. I know that God is good and I know that he works all things for good and there are still hard stories and hard experiences happening right now. We can hold both of these things in tension. It is right and good to sit with each other in these moments and grieve some of the losses we are experiencing.”
Q: What have you learned in this time of change and transition?
“God has made us to be resilient people. I am encouraged by the creativity, generosity, and thoughtfulness people around the world are showing. I am hopeful that I can be that for someone too. That I might let my faith show in a way that encourages others or brightens their day. There is very little I can do right now to change the situation we are in, but I do have the ability to work on how I am navigating these days.”
Q: If you wanted the members of the Taylor community to know one thing from this season of life, what would it be?
“We are in a unique season. Hopefully we can view it as that, a season, and try some things differently. Are there habits or practices that we want to try? Now might be a great time to think about this. If we are trying to hold on and make everything the way it is normally, I think we are going to be disappointed. But, if we can see this as a period of time to invest in relationships, our faith, our selves, in new ways I think some good things can come out of it. It will certainly have its challenges, but I am hopeful that my faith is stronger at the end of this than at the beginning.”