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By Caroline Cochrane 9/28-10/5/2020

This week, we transitioned from September to October, and we surpassed the halfway mark in the semester. Many of us felt the “Midterm Slump” as we juggled classes and their respective tests. This week was full of positives as well. The weather was nice, ranging from the mid-60s to mid-70s, with little rain, at least in Greensboro, NC. More importantly, the Tarheels won their second football game in a row on Saturday, October 4th, against Boston College; Score: 26-22. Soon students and ticketholders will have the chance to cheer the team on from the stands, but for now, cardboard cutouts are holding their seats, quite literally.

For class on Tuesday, we began conducting our research for our second unit project, an ethnographic study. Our feeder 2.2 rough draft was due on Wednesday, September 30th, which means that most everyone had completed one observation in their chosen locations. On Tuesday, most people expressed their stress and exhaustion caused by midterms and an increasing workload. As always, Mr. Blom provided some wise words of understanding and advice for the class as we navigate these new experiences. Mr. Blom then addressed questions and concerns about our Feeder 2.2 assignments. We began discussing descriptive detail, but we were cut short when Mr. Blom’s connection failed, and left the class without a teacher for the better part of  2 minutes. Luckily, he was able to reconnect and continue class, albeit skipping an assignment. We ended the class with an assignment in which we improved the descriptive details of short excerpts in our breakout rooms.

In preparation for Thursday’s class, the feeder 2.2 rough drafts were posted on Sakai the night before. Most people had completed at least one observation, some had made specific plans for their research, and some were almost finished with the assignment. In the class checkup, fewer people were compelled to respond, but those who did were still feeling stressed and unmotivated, but working towards a better mentality and perspective. We divided into breakout rooms to peer review each other’s rough drafts. Once everyone was finished, we then reviewed completed unit projects to help us understand the final product and give us ideas on how to formulate it. I got a great picture of how I am going to design and execute my final project, and am actually looking forward to compiling all of my information.

For my project, I am studying a local science museum that I used to frequent as a child. Returning years later during a pandemic was shocking because the experience now is so different than the ones I grew up with. Seeing this place with a new light and perspective, as well as an idea of what I am looking for provided me with some questions I had never thought to ask before, like why people choose to visit or what the visitors gain from buying a ticket. Many of my classmates hold the same perspective, that this project is changing the way we think and interpret the world around us, which can be a beautiful thing.

Ultimately, this week, we all experienced high levels of stress, overwhelming joy, and a little bit of peace as we navigated this crazy world we live in. We have learned to take it day by day, savoring the bits of normalcy we can find, and growing comfortable with the hidden advantages of life in isolation. Time is moving faster than we anticipated, and yet each week feels like it could be an eternity. Soon our second unit project will be due, and not long after that, our third. I am looking forward to the coming days as the semester comes to a close in just five short weeks, currently with no solid plan to return either online or in-person.





Featured Image:

Grove, Allen. “UNC-Chapel Hill in Autumn.” UNC Chapel Hill: Acceptance Rate.            and Admissions Statistics, 17 Jan. 2020,                    chapel-hill-gpa-sat-act-786681.

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