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Some unexpected lessons

by Melinda Lantz | Dec 07, 2020

Posted Dec. 7 - I’ve heard some say that this was a lost semester, perhaps even a lost year, in American education. COVID-19 upended our game plan. Educators and students alike scrambled to keep classes going and learning happening.

Some of what we learned changed our perspective.

Mary Lahman, professor of communication studies, shared this reflection from one of her students in response to three prompts: “How has your story as a learner evolved since you first began this course? In what way are you different today than you were fourteen weeks ago? In what ways have you grown most that will carry over into your future learning experiences?” 

“I am a lot different today than I was fourteen weeks ago because of this class and the circumstances of this semester. This time last year was completely different than now. A lot has changed but I don't regret anything because I have learned so much. From this class and this semester especially, I learned to be a lot more grateful for what I have.

“One big thing that I am grateful for is an education which a lot of people can only wish for. Most of my life I feel like I took my education for granted but I value it more now than ever. This class has taught me communication skills that will further me in life. It taught me that there are so many things that I don't know yet that I am just beginning to learn (like conflict, I would have never guessed how many different types of conflict styles there are in groups and it's amazing).

“I now have a different outlook on communication and how I communicate, and it will stick with me throughout life. This class has taught me so much more than I thought it was going to.”

We all have learned life lessons this year. As we approach the holidays and the end of 2020, I hope we can be, like this student, a lot more grateful for what we have. Education is often taken for granted, but this year has reminded us to value it more than ever.