[This Fall was another extremely exhausting semester, and first and foremost I’m proud of all of us for making it through. But it also featured moments that reminded me of why we do what we do, and in this recap series I wanted to highlight one such moment from each of my Fall classes. I’d love to hear your best and your hardest moments, and everything in between, from Fall 2021!]
On a particularly eye-opening and important conversation in one of my latest adult ed classes.
All five conversations in my WISE class on the America in the 1920s (and connections to the 2020s, natch) were as multi-vocal, engaging, and impressive as they’ve been in every adult learning course I’ve ever taught (these students haven’t missed a beat with the transition to remote learning, that’s for sure). But the most eye-opening for me was the conversation in the first class, which focused on the 1918-20 Influenza Pandemic. At least three students (and possibly more—this was three months ago, and they were three long months!) shared stories about how their own families and communities had been affected by the pandemic, paralleling and extending (and making far more personal of course) our conversations about historical, cultural, and literary texts. We talked a lot that day about how and why the pandemic was forgotten for so long (at least in such collective conversations), but by far my most important takeaway from the discussion, and especially from these voices and stories, was how much we can and should remember.
Special post this weekend on what’s next,
PS. Responses to this moment or other Fall 2021 reflections you’d share?