Campus Life

Breaking Through the Mental Isolation

Note: This first-person blog was written by Nate Tucker, a marketing major in the Wright School of Business and a student worker in the Office of Marketing and Communications at Dalton State, about his experience with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  
This is NOT how the spring semester was supposed to go.  

Like many other students, I started the spring semester with big plans. This was going to be the semester I brought my GPA up enough before I start on my MBA next year. I was beyond excited to be able to keep going to my awesome job as a student worker for the Office of Marketing and Communications at Dalton State. Just a few months before the semester started I had even started a new business with another student and we constantly would go bother… (I mean, seek out the wisdom of) our professors for guidance and new ideas to help in running our magazine, Scenic Trend.  

Things were going great! 

Were going great. 

Remote learning and isolation have definitely changed everything I was looking forward to. Without being able to go to Dalton State’s campus, I’ve seen dramatic effects on almost every aspect of my life. No more going to see professors or asking other students about ideas for my business. I could still do my job from home, but without my peers to guide me my quality of work went down. The worst change of all has been my classes.  

While some people might be enjoying remote learning, it is not ideal for me. I have always struggled with online classes. To call me an extrovert would be an understatement, and I need other people around me who I can see and talk to about class, or I’m going to have trouble learning. Classes that I used to make straight A’s in suddenly turned into C’s. Professors are having to radically change how they teach and aren’t able to be there for us in the same way they used to be.  

Isolation has felt not just physical, but mental. Suddenly the hundreds of connections I was able to make every day at school vanished. Dalton State has never felt more distant at times. I understand that this is necessary though, and I feel fortunate to be able to continue my education during the pandemic.  

It’s been harder to see the bright spots and have those moments of inspiration that always keep me pushing through. But I’ve had them.  

One professor has stood out and made an effort to connect to his students in new ways, to help us find the laughter and peace even among the grief.   

Dr. David Williams, an assistant professor of marketing in the Wright School of Business, has been a blessing. During a time of incredible uncertainty and fear, he has been a source of joy, assurance and hope. Dr. Williams and other faculty and staff from across campus are all working to keep the Roadrunner family together.  

Dr. Williams sent out near-daily updates on class and what the plan was the second campus was closed. He used his platform to not only keep giving us instruction but also hope. Through lighthearted posts that included songs he likes and video compilations of his dog, he managed to make me smile when I had logged in really wanted to scream. 

On a personal note, Dr. Williams reached out to me directly to ask me how my business was doing and to recommend I watch Tiger King. He has gone above and beyond. Not only is he teaching me marketing, and making me smile, he’s making sure I don’t fall behind on pop culture. 

“I started the process by thinking about my students.” Dr. Williams said. “So I started with minor tidbits of information and updates and slowly updated them more and more as the situation developed.” 

I am in two classes taught by Dr. Williams right now and in both he has recently implemented a new system. As a way to take attendance, students must ask questions about assigned prompts or articles each week and then answer the questions of other students in a discussion board. Dr. Williams is then picking his favorites and creating songs about the questions on his YouTube channel.  

“So far things are going better than I expected,” Dr. Williams said. “My main goal has been to put my students at ease and to think about how students will have to fit this course and now three to four others into their online schedules.” 

I certainly am feeling more at ease with my remote learning thanks to Dr. Williams and beyond thankful for him and his efforts. Because of him, I found the connection I had been missing during remote learning.   

Dr. Williams, thank you for all you do at Dalton State.   

Let us all remember to reach out to each other, remind each other we’re not going through this alone, and Lead Boldly through this pandemic.   

posted 05/05/2020 in Academics



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