Midway Through the Semester

Larry Hamlet (Left), taken from his website, Drawfuldm.com, and Hannah Pine (right) taken from her facebook page.

Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor

Midterm grades at the University of Lynchburg were released on Monday, Sept 28.

     For some, this was a welcome acknowledgement of their hard work so far in the semester, and for others, it was an alert of where they may be struggling.  Some students have expressed their reservations  about learning in the COVID-19 environment as they navigate hybrid, asynchronous, and completely online learning environments. In addition, seniors are wrestling with capstones, theses,  internships, and Senior Symposium. 

Hannah Pine, a senior mathematics and environmental science double major, explained that her “semester has been much harder with COVID.” She said it is  “a combination of vague due dates, technologically challenged professors, and really slow [email] replies” rather than any fear of COVID itself. She added that her “in-person sessions for my GIS lab and yoga are much more fulfilling than my professors pre-taped lectures.”  

  Pine also affirmed that she “miss[es] in-person tests, which is crazy!”  She said, “midterms were generally more difficult. The professors thought since we had more time to complete it, the questions could be harder.” 

Pine said she was “very concerned that I will remember my senior year as sub-par” and that those reflections will be demonstrated in her grades. Adding to the unpredictability of the semester is the  limitations on gatherings and socialization

     Larry Hamlet, a fourth-year graphic design major, is tackling the semester rather well. He said his “semester has not been bad, aside from having a heavy workload and taking 21 credit hours,” and he explained that this would be “regardless COVID.” 

Hamlet said, “Classes have been easier in some ways, as with some of them being asynchronous, I can work at my own pace. Classes being online also allow[s] me to work from the comfort of my home which is helpful to me when coming home from work in the morning and being able to relax a little more.” 

    Though Hamlet also noted that midterm examinations are “a little harder due to less time with the material and less time to learn and become comfortable with it.” However, he added, “I do not feel like anything is significantly harder though.” 

     The future of the semester is not as concerning for Hamlet. He expressed, “The semester will be fine and the University has handled COVID fairly well, especially in comparison to other local institutions.” When it comes to academics itself, Hamlet mentioned his concern “with professors giving more work than they would normally. Being at home and online often means other responsibilities for students. I mention this because there sometimes seems to be a desire … to give out more work because of the online structure and this can be overwhelming for some students.”

 For more information on the University’s handling of the pandemic, visit the COVID-19 page, https://www.lynchburg.edu/about/covid-19/, or the World Health Organization’s site for info on how to stay safe and healthy at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019.

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