YAO | Online Learning Isn’t All Bad, Keep the Good After the Pandemic

I am loath to admit that Zoom University has any good qualities. Breakout room discussions in which one person asks a question followed by ten minutes of awkward silence. I’m pretty sure we’ve all had at least one big internet scare the hour before a crucial prelim or project due date. I have fallen asleep at least eight times this semester during lecture. Okay, fine, maybe that last one is my own fault, but I’m still going to blame it on Zoom. 

But, I have to give credit where credit is due, and some parts of the online environment are –– dare I make such a bold claim –– not the absolute worst thing in the world.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘Cornell Needs to Postpone the Fall Semester’

To The Editor:

Deepti Talesra ’21 and Paula Amols ’75  both make great arguments for not opening the University this fall. There are issues regarding the quality of education online, issues of comradery, and significant financial burdens to Cornell University, Ithaca and the student body. We do not have a crystal ball; we have flawed changing models of the pandemic’s progress and a ton of unknowns as to what will or may happen this fall and coming winter.  Coming out of shelter-in-place too early will likely lead to a second wave of disease and death beyond anything we personally have ever experienced. Physically calling students back from all over the world where the virus is at various stages of infection could present a significant health problem for the Cornell and Ithaca communities. Experts and data suggest that a vaccine will not be available this year and maybe not be fully available until later next year.