The Coronavirus Pandemic – My Academic Experience

Quarantine Classes Have Their Pros and Cons

James Haberstich, Editor, Staff Writer

My final ink drawing for Drawing Foundations.

This semester involved a lot of new experiences for me: taking formal studio art classes for the first time since high school, taking four of these classes at one time, coming back to Kishwaukee after getting my first degree, and jumping into a new career path, graphic design. I thought these were going to be some of the only surprises that awaited me, but boy was I wrong. This pandemic has affected millions of people from all over the world, in more ways than one. One of the most noticeable things this pandemic has done to me was changed the way that I pursued my education during this semester. I thought it would be an interesting idea to showcase just how different learning was for myself, as well as some of the work that I was still able to create even in a tough situation.

I learned a lot of new things this semester, most of them if not all of them incorporating art in one way or another. When I first heard that Kishwaukee was switching to an online platform for the rest of the term, I was a bit confused and unsure of how everything was going to work. These were new concepts, after all, things I had not done in a long time or at all. The most difficult part of this experience overall was learning certain things specifically from slides or book material. I am personally more of a hands-on individual, so having to figure things out while only having references and the materials in front of me proved to be challenging. However, as I started each project and worked at it, I started to see it come together. At the end of the semester, I had some really cool artwork made, and even some potential portfolio pieces for my future career plans.

One of my stationery examples from my Graphic Design class.

If there was one thing that made this semester easier, despite all of the circumstances, it would be that professors made sure their students could get into contact with them. Without direct communication paths between myself and my professors, I would have been so much more lost and confused this semester. I would personally like to thank all of my teachers for this semester. This type of thing is not easy for anyone to go through, but when you have lesson plans that need to change on the fly, it is especially difficult. You all took some terrible circumstances and made it into an adequate learning experience, and I applaud you for that. 

My final pastel project for Drawing Foundations.

If you asked me, “Would you take another semester of studio art classes online?”, I would probably decline. There is just something about taking a class in a classroom (especially a studio class) that does not completely transfer to an online setting. Video meetings are only so capable of handling classes, and with internet connection problems and technological glitches, it can be frustrating. However, if you asked me, “Did you regret taking classes this semester?”, I would shake my head. This semester, despite everything going on, was a lot of fun and I still learned a lot with the help of my professors. I look forward to returning in the fall, and hopefully this time around, I will be able to learn face to face once again.