As the Taylor community has been transitioning from typical, on-campus life to online distance learning, 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 status campus of Taylor and the rest of the world.
Listed below are the thoughts of Julia Hurlow, director of discipleship programs.
1) How have your thoughts on the coronavirus changed from a month ago to now?
In January, when I first heard about the coronavirus and thought, “I wonder when Indiana will begin to think about the reality of this virus on a consistent basis?” Now it is March, the fog is present on the spring break week of campus and the coronavirus is what has now caused us to shelter in place, socially distance and suspend in-classroom learning. I now think about the coronavirus hundreds of times a day.
2) What are your thoughts on moving from in-person lectures to strictly online resources?
What a welcomed opportunity this is to engage in learning in yet another form, through a screen. Although, ironically a few weeks ago when Lent began I heard students confessing their obsession with their devices and saying, ‘I’m giving up screen time on social media for the next 40 days.’ Yet, now we find ourselves connected to learning and one another through the very device that a few weeks ago seemed to be what kept us apart. What irony.
3) As a member of student development, how has your day-to-day changed within the last few weeks?
This is a time of history where the COVID-19 pandemic offers a time of increased complexity. The day to day of my work has been full of questions, strategic thinking as well as transitions into the unknown. There has been a daily invitation to show up in the confusion and engage in what is happening in that day as well as look for a way forward in continuing to process and learn in this time.
4) How have you seen the coronavirus affect people at Taylor? People nationally? People globally?
The effects of the coronavirus have affected people in a variety of ways. The fear that has been present has caused a number of questions, anxieties and hesitations about what it means to be out of control. Yet I have also seen people engage in creativity and welcome the opportunity to shelter in place as a way to love your neighbor.
5) What have you learned in this time of change and transition?
I have learned that in this time of change and transition, I have daily-spent time in the dirt, pulling weeds, planting flowers, trimming off the dead branches, taking walks in the grass and putting out birdseed. It has been a way to connect me to the global earth that I am so separated from, yet still so deeply connected through the global pandemic.
6) If you wanted the members of the Taylor community to know one thing from this season of life, what would it be?
No one has experienced the exact situation that we are facing. It is new. In addition, each time there are new experiences it is vulnerable. Be kind and compassionate to yourself as you are engaging in this unprecedented time.