Master of Science in Threat and Response Management student Paul Witry walks us through a day in his life during this time of remote learning—from his first cup of coffee in the morning to how he tries to disconnect in the evening.
The transition from classroom to remote learning has been an interesting process for me as a student in the Master of Science in Threat and Response Management (MScTRM). Many of my classmates and I have been directly involved in the COVID-19 pandemic, either as first responders or emergency managers. This has allowed all of us to view the process of remote learning through a different lens as we each face different challenges.
For me, the transition was not as difficult. During my undergraduate studies, I took part in remote learning courses between my university and others via Zoom, so the platform and communication method was not foreign to me and easy to integrate into my work. The ability of our program to transition to a virtual platform demonstrates adaptability on the part of our students and our instructors. The most difficult aspect for me has been adjusting to not seeing my classmates in person. Since our cohort only met once a month, we were already limited in the time we spent together. Therefore, we have been working to coordinate more outside of class time to ensure we maintain our relationships.
My workstation features a number of important items to help me during my class time:
For the MScTRM program, our classes are only a few days out of the month. During the COVID-19 crisis, I have made the best effort to take a few days off for our Zoom sessions. The days that I am able to take entirely for class, I normally start my morning with a cup of coffee and a healthy breakfast (fresh fruit, eggs, or a protein smoothie) while I refresh myself on our materials for the coming days. I’ll listen to some music and touch base with my other classmates, our readings, or other assignments before our first class starts.
After the first class has concluded I will take time to do a workout and clear my head, disconnecting slightly to absorb the materials from our first session. Then I will go back and review my notes to clarify anything and write down questions I have for that class for tomorrow. Our second session on Thursday runs later into the evening, so I will make dinner beforehand. After that second class I will normally completely disconnect from academic work and relax, listening to music or preparing materials for my job.