Angela Jardina" />
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Thursday, September 28, 2023


Outdoor in-person classes had their ups, downs

Santiago Gaughan/The Cougar

Santiago Gaughan/The Cougar

As society slowly comes out of isolation, the format of classes are beginning to change again. While some students took in-person classes, they haven’t all made it back to the classroom.

Some in-person classes this semester have been in a new kind of format. A format with with stray dogs, confident squirrels and construction noises. 

Many students had face-to-face classes that met outdoors this semester. After all of these meetings under the trees and sun, some students feel like they have a deeper relationship with mother nature. Of course every relationship has it’s ups and downs, and this one was no different.

Some students taking the Honors College ‘Human Situation’ course had a discussion section that met outdoors. The general consensus is that the class has been a unique experience, though not always positive.

“(I don’t) think that the class’s format is the most efficient way for there to be open communication,” said psychology junior Jeremiah Kilbane.

Psychology junior Paige Smith blames much of these difficulties on “the never-ending construction and yard work.”

Smith and other students know that outdoor classes prevent COVID-19 cases. However, Smith chose the class because she wanted the better communication that comes from in-person classes. She expected a classroom, not the grass.

Other students agree that being outdoors inhibits communication.

“With everyone being hard to hear, I just feel like I’m losing value,” said student Mark McMillan. “There used to be days when students hated being inside of a classroom. As the saying goes, you never know what you have till it’s gone.” 

On the bright side, some students like their outdoor classes. They find being outdoors an undeniably pleasant break from hours of zoom meetings.

Health sciences freshman Abby Bonzon finds delight from  enjoys being out in the sun. Political science student Ricky Hill went as far as to say that outdoor classes are the most comfortable learning environment for him.

It’s no secret that being outside has its benefits. In fact, a Harvard Medical School article says that natural light helps moods.

This semester, students brought their great attitudes and desire to learn. Though difficult at times, outdoor classes this semester gave students a unique experience. With the fall semester looking like a regular school year, students may look back on outdoor classes with fondness.

In the end, it’s clear that there’s something special about outdoor classes. Reading Whitman in the great outdoors is a great experience, even if students have to shout over construction. With “Leaves of Grass” in one hand, and grass in the other, these students had a unique experience they’ll never forget.

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