features

Holy Cross’s J-Term: An Interview with Participating Student, Andi MacFarlane ‘23

Grace Bromage ‘23

Chief Features Editor

Andi MacFarlane ’23 is one of many students who have opted to spend the time between the fall and spring semesters on campus, taking part in Holy Cross’s J-Term. She and 15 other students filter into a classroom in Smith Labs for the class Science Literacy and Responsible Citizenship. The class is fully in person, but there is a zoom link for students to join remotely should they need it.

I spoke with MacFarlane about her experience back on campus and partaking in the J-Term. She said “it’s been really strange, both because nobody is here and because the people that are here are being pretty careful about limiting social contact, at least as far as I have seen … I really miss the small talk with Kimball workers and Cool Beans baristas, too … the plastic barriers and masks make it impossible to hear people and actually hold a conversation. Obviously, these are all necessary evils but it takes a bit away from that HC community feeling that I had gotten used to.” On the topic of Kimball, she noted that “I have found out the hard way that you have to do your symptom tracker BEFORE you are allowed into Kimball, which makes sense but people should know that.”

Graphic design by Hui Li ’21

MacFarlane had been excited to move back to campus on January 4th, saying “I personally wasn’t really nervous about much when I was first moving back, and I was really just excited to have some freedom again. I love my family but I feel like the past remote semester took away from the college experience that I craved.”

While MacFarlane is still figuring out the best ways to get to the Jo for testing, she mentioned that the testing procedures themselves have been going smoothly. She said “I get tested twice a week but I can schedule a test more often if I want to. Signing up for a test slot is very easy, though, which I appreciate.”

I asked if there have been any challenges with the J-Term, to which MacFarlane commented, “I don’t think there are challenges to being back really, other than getting used to how things work now … I will admit though that it gets very lonely some days because there’s nobody here to really talk to or hang out with, and that can be difficult sometimes.” However, she also said that “in-person classes have been SO much better than online – it’s amazing how much more you learn when you are in a learning environment with other students. Also, I feel like I have actually gotten to know my professor a little because I’m physically seeing him every day. Zoom classes will never be able to compare.”

MacFarlane claimed that being on campus for the J-Term “is a little weird, but it’s still home.”

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