Spring Semester in Review Part 2: Tests and Responses

"Adversity builds character" -LeBron James, American Basketball Player.

Welcome back or welcome to Adventures at Franklin. Here is part 2 of my spring 2020 semester recap. Check out part 1 here: http://adventuresatfranklin.fus.edu/2020/05/spring-2020-in-review-part-1-business.html

I concluded part 1 with the first inklings that life may be impacted from COVID-19, and as we know now, life has been heavily impacted by the virus. At Franklin, so many things changed. The "travel" component of Academic Travel classes was cancelled, and instead special sessions on campus/around Switzerland would take place during the weeks of Academic Travel. These sessions were then cancelled as Switzerland announced that all public and private events were cancelled until April. In-person classes were suspended until further notice (which ended up being the rest of the semester).

Many traditional Franklin events i.e. Holi, Senior Auction, Garden Party, Arab Night, Latin American Night, Academic Summit/Open-house, and even graduation/commencement were either cancelled entirely or moved online. However, we still had some things happening virtually, and I applaud individuals and the university for their initiatives.

Here are some cool things that happened during quarantine during the pandemic.

Pretty cool series of Zoom sessions where native speakers share their language to others. Many languages were covered such as: Danish, French, Italian, Spanish etc. 

Virtual chess tournament!

Virtual Latin Night! 

Another really cool initiative. Bingo to encourage people still on campus to stay active and try new things :) 

Pretty self-explanatory, stay at home workouts. It is important to stay active and healthy!

Another really cool event! Trivia is a traditional FUS event, so it was nice to see it continue even during the pandemic.

Virtual University Day, featuring Alterna Suisse No Alternative, by alumna Karen Cooper '06, along with her co-director and co-producer Kevin Rumley. This film is an independent documentary about Switzerland’s art-maker spaces and examines the importance of liberty, community, and expression in our lives.

And finally, Graduation and Commencement. It is almost fitting that the virtual ceremony was tonight, just 4 hours ago. Here it is 

And here is a nice short video with 5-min worth of footage sent in by people congratulating the graduates: 

I wanted to write a different post about commencement and graduation, but I decided to incorporate it into this post. I am also graduating soon (December), so I'll wait until then to share my other thoughts on graduation. So for now, I'll just say a huge congratulations.
Congratulations to the graduates! Congratulations for all the hard work, commitment and achievements. Today is an important day. It is a day to remember and celebrate, but not just for the graduates. I am a firm believer that graduation or any recognition is about so much more than one person. So to the family, friends, and professors, congratulations for the support given and sacrifices made to the graduates. And finally, congratulations to everyone involved in making a virtual graduation/commencement ceremony possible.

And finally, my posts from this semester :)

This semester, we were robbed of many things. We were robbed of Academic Travel, FUS traditions, in-person Graduation/Commencement etc. Outside of FUS, we were robbed of many things too. Sports leagues, TV shows/movies, concerts, travel trips etc. were all cancelled/postponed. This semester feels like a case of what could have been, and it's pretty depressing to think about it that way.

Although I acknowledge how much it sucks to have things taken away, sometimes we need to feel loss and adversity. I see 2 things that loss and adversity teaches us. Firstly, losing things can remind us what we really value, and what is really important to us. It illuminates how much some things really matter to us. I've certainly realized what is really important to me, and I hope that others have as well. Secondly, we need difficult times to see what we are really made of. We need adversity to test our resilience. Life is not easy, and this pandemic shows it. I'm glad that the Franklin community has responded in a resilient and hopeful manner. When things were cancelled or postponed, we didn't lie down and admit defeat. We worked to find alternatives. I find that to be very hopeful, especially for the future. Let's keep responding to future tests :)

A presto,


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