Dear The Northern Light: online classes are taking a toll on students

Dear Northern Light Newspaper,

     I write to express what others may feel:  I dislike the way our classes are compelled to be held.  For me the social aspects of education are beneficial.  To be with classmates, to sit myself with them and listen to a professor, I not only learn but I become part of a whole, and I share with classmates intellectual interests.  Granted, there is a benefit to students who can take courses through distance learning, but I want to be part of a group.  That doesn’t mean I share intimacies with classmates or that we are all buddies, but we have group work and discussions, both part of learning and the way life conducts itself generally.  Our skills are honed in discussions and we learn cooperation and to listen to opposing views.  

     On my first visit to the Student Union a few years ago it was alive with students and staff and for my first course I went to the bookstore for my books.  Students were shopping and mingling and some were having coffee and snacks.  That is the social atmosphere that should surround university life.  Now the bookstore is in a huge building and no one is there except others in line to order or pick up books.  A student who studies science cannot look at nor thumb through books assigned to literature, as we could before.  We are students in a lifeless desert, unlike real deserts.

Thomas Richards 

Language Studies

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