Moving our Thesis Seminar Online

COVID-19 and moving our work online

The anxiety regarding the COVID-19 spread is palpable now, but I don’t want you to be worrying too much about your thesis on top of the other concerns we are all facing.  Instead, we should take sensible precautions and do our best to move forward with both flexibility and compassion.  I am very pleased that Kean University is doing the right thing in terms of our public health and safety.  By taking our work online together and connecting through digital tools, hopefully, we can get ahead of this pandemic a bit, and we can preserve our resources for those who will need it the most.  I’m here to support you however I can.

A couple of things I want to say to all of you:

Take care of yourself and your family first. Your thesis is an evolving process, and it will happen, bit by bit. Everything about this class is flexible. Whatever happens, we will work it out.  I think it is important to acknowledge that as we are all struggling to cope with the unknown, and as we make new decisions about our daily lives and daily responsibilities, we must be patient and compassionate with each other.

I ask of all of you a few things:

1. Please be sure to communicate with me and your peers in order to address any confusion, as well as preserve our sense of community and support.

2. Please be patient, and understand that instructors are acclimating just as you are and that there will be bumps in the road as we all settle into this new reality. I do not know how long we will be working together solely online, but it will be at least until March 30th.

3. Please be there for each other.  You are a wonderful group of students who have forged understanding on your own terms.  Take the initiative to actively care for each other – so keep in touch even if you are not able to converge in the same room.  Remember, we have a few very active “MA in Writing Studies” hashtags (#netnarr & #unboundeq) so use them to stay connected with your MA in Writing Studies peers!! In addition, we will use other digital tools to stay in touch as we move forward through each week that we are officially in “online learning mode”.

4. Please remember to practice self-care: sleep, nutrition, healthy conversations and reflective time, etc.  And if you feel isolated or feel like cabin fever is setting in, take a walk, go for a bike ride, stretch and move around, etc.

Our class plan for Monday, March 16th

We will be conducting our tutorial-style thesis seminar by google+ video conference. Please plan to be online for class from 4:30 pm – 7:15 pm (our normal class time).   **Please note, I will be sending an email to everyone’s Kean email account just before class time with the link to join the video conference.

We will take things step-by-step, but know that the plan is to move our usual F2F (face-to-face) discussion into a video conference. Pretty simple, we can do this without too much trouble.

Take good care!  

See you on screen soon,

Dr. Zamora

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