Matthew Anderson ‘21
Perhaps the most important discovery by certain Faculty and Administrators this semester at the College of the Holy Cross is that, by acknowledging how unorthodox this semester is, or by admitting the unique challenges it presents, it becomes permissible to assign the same amount of–or more– work than one would give in a normal semester.
“This semester has been hard on all of us, so make sure to carve out some time for yourself,” Professor Love told his students as he casually assigned an intensive research project which, among other things, required students to find scholarly sources from Dinand, steal the Declaration of Independence, and swear a blood-oath before the font of all knowledge during the full moon. When interviewed by the Eggplant, Dr. Love reaffirmed his commitment to student mental health. “I think it’s an essential thing for everyone to have some ‘you time.’ Especially in a semester, that’s so radically different, what with it being accelerated and because students didn’t get a full fall break. But they must do that in addition to my modest expectations. Even though we are not on campus, I will defend to the death my right to assign work as if we were. In fact, since we are on Zoom and students don’t have to worry about extracurriculars, I think it’s fair to push my traditional due dates earlier than normal!”
“It really resonated with me,” said Dr. Love’s student Bea O’Problem. “I had never realized before he said it that I needed to find a way to decompress at the end of the day. I mean, the end of the day is about two in the morning now, since I have to get a start on Dr. Love’s project, but I really love how empathetic he is to acknowledge our plight!
When asked their opinion, one of the Dean’s made clear that while there exist systemic problems that ensure not all Holy Cross students can participate equally– with multiple time zone, varying degrees of internet access as well as quality, and different living situations– it remains fair to keep the traditional grading system since professors were able to plan their classes over the summer, and because “students knew what they would be signing up for.” All this paternalism was of course prefaced by the infamous phrase, “these are challenging times.” When asked how students would have known since they signed up originally for a hybrid semester the Dean in question raised her hackles, hissed, and ran from the room on all fours with inhuman speed.