College Life in a COVID-19 World

My mm237 Class Experience

by Joshua H. Metz

This term was CRAZY! Last term I was lucky enough to be able to finish out every class (and even get the rest of my work-study hours in) before COVID-19 officially shut down our beloved PCC. That was March.

Now, we’ve shifted everything online, including the classes that don’t exactly translate to a virtual world very well. This is difficult for everyone, mostly for reasons of gear! Most people are tapped out on money and aren’t just sitting on a home office equipped with the type of software we need access to in the Multimedia circuits here at PCC, let alone the hardware to operate it!

Let me first say, I had planned to take a 12 credit term, but for the aforementioned reasons of gear and the lack thereof, I had to drop my most anticipated one, 3D design and animation... a class I have tried to take and been stopped one way or another for 3 terms now!!! Anyway, I had to drop it, and now I was thinking, will 8 credits be enough to give me the edge I need to stay ahead?

The remaining three classes were also pretty highly-anticipated. I had “Directing Actors For Recording,” which sounded pretty cool because I knew it would be out of my comfort zone. I was right! That class is really stressing me out... but I’ll spare you those details.

Another class I chose was “Intro to Augmented Reality,” which actually ended up being SUPER THOROUGH for a 1-credit class! I’m hoping they consider upping the credits for that class, because it’s really pretty cool, even over ZOOM. Monica was really super cool and very attentive to the needs of the students, and she was so soothing to listen to, I wished we had her a little longer! Such a short class with so much juice, it was quite the surprise.

Now, without further adieu, that brings me to mm237 with Daniel Johnson! Cool dude, and I was excited to join his class once again, as I had taken his Photoshop class, mm230. For me, Prof. Daniel had a really authentic way of teaching practical uses of the program of the curriculum (in the case of mm237, we are dealing in Adobe After Effects), so I thought this would be the way to go... and I was right!

Now that’s all a long intro to bring you here. To the now. To real-time. What happened to me? Why were my assignments so late? Well... this term really did it to me.

I had to replace my entire computer setup to even be ready to meet the requirements of the program to run it, let alone perform the duties of the classes I had taken. I did the Amazon thing, but everything showed up at different times, and some stuff didn’t work. If the government hadn’t dropped us that extra check in April, that was gonna be the difference in whether or not I got to eat during all this. On a very similar note, the financial aid disbursement traditionally takes it’s sweet time getting to me, followed by COVID-related delays on Amazon.

Between the products I had to send back and all the rest of the headache, I was able to keep myself connected to the class with my really bad laptop. We upgraded the internet JUST to deal with ZOOM. I bought a webcam because my new computer didn’t just come with one like my laptop did.

So, now here we are, 11 weeks later in the Spring term, and I’ve more-or-less turned everything in (with the exception of this or that) and I’m doing my VERY BEST to bring my instructors quality finished assignments that use the skills they’ve shared with us. I do have a working understanding of After Effects, and it’s NOT because of YouTube. Between missing one class (I hate missing classes), stress from home, deaths in my life, and the most toxic Facebook feed imaginable, I truly hope everyone can understand that I couldn’t possibly have done any better.

Thanks for reading! Do you want to write for the blog? Email me to become a Smirk Studios Ink Blogger today!

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