Wednesday, May 13, 2020
May 13, 2020: Spring 2020 Tributes: Kisha Tracy and Collective Efforts
[This would be the last week of classes, if the Spring 2020 semester had gone as scheduled. To say that it didn’t is just to scratch the surface of this chaotic, crazy, challenging spring, though. So for my usual semester recaps, this time I’ll focus on brief tributes to those folks who helped us make it through this incredibly tough time, leading up to a weekend post of my own reflections on teaching in this new world.]
On the crucial benefits of being in it together.
Longtime AmericanStudies readers will be familiar with my colleague Kisha Tracy—from her great Guest Post, and from the other opportunities I’ve had to share and highlight her great work. As I mention in that last post, Kisha and our History colleague Kate Jewell co-directed for many years our FSU Center for Teaching & Learning; although they have handed the reins over to our Math colleague Sarah Wright, Kisha has continued to serve as a vital teaching resource and mentor to not just me but the entire FSU community. And she did so with particular potency over the last few months, assembling and curating this amazing GoogleDoc on “Transitioning to Online Teaching During COVID-19.”
I mainly wanted to write this post to thank Kisha publicly for all that work, and to share that great resource, which will certainly continue to come in handy whatever our teaching, universities, and society look like over the summer and into the fall. But I also wanted to highlight this as an especially salient example of solidarity, of how much better things like “converting all my face-to-face classes to online/remote learning in a week mid-semester” go when we’re sharing our resources, experiences, ideas, perspectives, challenges, and more. I think a fair number of us (or at least this AmericanStudier) tend to approach things too often in an iconoclastic way, and there are some sides to this profession that are certainly individual and necessarily isolated. But as with most things in this world, a significant percentage of our work goes best when we remember that we’re in it together—and I don’t know anyone who models that principle better than Kisha Tracy.
Next tribute tomorrow,
PS. Reflections or tributes of your own on Spring 2020?