With a quick click of the “Leave Meeting” button, students return to the monotonous rhythm of life in a pandemic. Largely empty libraries are void of the whispers that used to echo off the walls. The silence is deafening.
For many, the COVID-19 pandemic brought an end to productive learning. Zoom fatigue and family distractions make it more difficult for students to perform at their usual standards and causes them to lose interest in their academic work. However, professors at Columbia and Barnard defied the odds by creating classes that are relevant to the pandemic—a subject matter impossible to ignore.
Rather than falling victim to COVID-19 complacency, professors redesigned old courses and introduced curated COVID-19 courses. Rachel Adams, the English and comparative literature professor teaching the course Advanced Topics in Medical Humanities, catered her syllabus to COVID-19 by shining light on the social inequalities related to economic relief.