Scripps during the Time of Coronavirus

As highschool seniors are applying to colleges around the country, a sense of uncertainty still lingers about the ‘college experience’ during the pandemic. I hope to bring a sense of relief by talking about my experience with the transition from in-person classes to virtual college or as many have called it, “ZOOM University”. 

Initially, the transition to virtual learning was not ideal for me, especially as it occurred in my Freshman year at Scripps. I was worried that I will not be able to access the resources and experience the community that I have come to love. However, Scripps has done well to preserve the sense of community through professors incorporating collaborative activities and assignments in their courses and through events from student organizations within Scripps and the Claremont Colleges.

When Scripps announced that students would have to leave campus and finish the semester through virtual classes, many were devastated. The joy of attending classes with my friends at Scripps as well as other campuses came to an abrupt end. With this, we also became worried about how our course and labs were going to be structured. However, in the short amount of time professors had to restructure their courses, I was very impressed with their resilience and creativity to keep virtual learning collaborative and engaging for students. The class I am taking this semester is called Core III: Foreign Language and Culture Teaching, students team-teach a self-designed foreign language curriculum one a week. My partner and I teach Spanish (+ a little Nahuatl and Portuguese) to 5th grade students every Friday and we touch on aspects of Latin American culture and tradition by introducing students to topics such as traditional medicine and indigenous communities and languages. In this class, my professor regularly checks in with the class on how our language classes are going and we share advice on activities and topics that we can incorporate into our lesson. The purpose of this is to help foster student interest in foreign languages and culture. Especially as the elementary students are also doing virtual learning, my peers and professor work together to find creative ways to teach students and gain exposure to a new culture! My peers and I have learned a lot from our professors and have become inspiring educators for our students.

The other challenge I was worried about with virtual learning, is staying connected with the community at Scripps and the other Claremont Colleges. My friends and I enjoyed getting Mexican Hot Chocolate from the Motley, the student-run coffeehouse at Scripps, and going to the library to study for our exams. Although we are miles away from each other, we still talk to each other and help each other out with studying over FaceTime and social media. Many student organizations have also done a great job of keeping the student community intact. Café con Leche, the Latinx student affinity group. Scripps’ Latinx affinity group helps provide a forum for discussion on economic, cultural, political, and social issues in the Latinx community within and beyond Scripps College, planned a virtual meeting for members to tie-dye together. Members received tie-dye kits over mail to join the event and take a break from midterms! Another event that is happening on October 30th with Café con Leche and Chicano Latino Student Affairs (CLSA) is an evening of Spooky Stories. Latinx students from Scripps College and the Claremont Colleges have many events and opportunities to gather with their friends and meet new people across the consortium. 

Overall, many students still feel the magic of Scripps when it comes to academics and the student community. Once students are able to return to campus, I want to truly take advantage of everything that Scripps has to offer. 

If you have more questions about online learning and my experiences as a Scripps student, feel free to email me at [email protected]! Also, you can learn more about Café con Leche and Chicano Latino Student Affairs (CLSA) through their instagram- @cafeconlechescr @clsaclaremont !