WMUB Report: Unique start to the school year


Host: School has been different this year, whether it be social distancing, or zoom classes, or wearing a mask in almost any situation in class or in public areas filled with people. I’m Greg Goupil. Today, I have senior Luke Ward. Luke has been a student at Mercer for four years now. And I’ve seen the different ways that school has been different from the years past. Luke, thank you for joining me today. As a senior this year, what would you say has truly been the biggest adjustment to school this year than years past?

Guest: I think the biggest adjustment would be the masks and social distancing, kind of because those are implemented every day, you know, in everything we do. You sit further apart from each other in class; you always have to have your mask on when you’re going into a building and stuff like that. So I think those two things are things that we do every day on a on a daily basis. Now, you know, different from from years past.

Host: What would you say has made life more different this year? Would you say it’s the actual worries of you know, the Coronavirus itself; or would you say more so the mandates that are required in class and in public places because of the Coronavirus?

Guest: I think it’s more of the mandates. As far as like, social interactions and stuff like that, I don’t think those have been any different in that regard, but more just like the rules that we have to follow now. The certain things that we do, like I said the masks a while ago, and the social distancing, I think it’s just those things. The mandates and the rules that we have to follow now that are making such a difference from how it has been.

Host: What is one thing that you would say that has allowed you to make the world continue to feel more normal to you personally?

Guest: When I’m alone or when I’m with my buddies that we haven’t tested positive or anything like that, just being able to take the mask off and kind of chill around with them hang out, talk normally, not through a mask like we have to do nowadays. But just doing that and being able to go back to how it was before and just hanging out with people, you know?

Host: How do you feel that the school is doing when it comes to the safety of the students and the faculty and staff? And if you don’t think they are doing enough? Or maybe even if you think they are doing too much? What are some things you think they should do differently?

Guest: I think they’re doing a good job right now. I don’t think they’re doing too much because I mean, right now, really, the only things day to day that we see is the, I mean, hand sanitizer, masks, social distancing, and classrooms and stuff like that. But I don’t think that’s, that’s too much of a big deal. You know, I mean, everybody deals with it. Do I like having to do it? No, obviously not, you know, nobody wants to be sitting behind a mask all day. But at the same time, I realize the precautions are taken and why they have to take those. So, I mean, I understand the the premise behind it.

Host: Did you ever see your senior year going this way?

Guest: Oh, no way. Not in a million years did I see me doing the stuff I have to do now.

Host: Yeah, I figured so. But um, I guess one last quick question. The spring about the spring semester in 2020. The semester ended rather short shorter than expected due to the Coronavirus How weird. Was that transition to online classes then? And did you expect to be coming back to school in the fall of 2020?

Guest: Um, the transition was a little weird because, you know, we hadn’t worked with zoom or anything like that previously, up to that point. So it was all kind of new stuff to us. We’re all a bunch of college kids. We know how FaceTime works and all that kind of stuff. So it wasn’t as hard for us. But as far as like, professors and stuff, working the Zoom and working with online classes and all this kind of stuff, then it was a little weird and kind of janky at first, you know, but it eventually settled out and everything. But it wasn’t too bad.