Published: November 27, 2020
The COVID 19 pandemic continues to challenge nearly every aspect of our lives including education at The University of Sunderland. As a result, staff within the Occupational Therapy team have had to think creatively and draw inspiration beyond traditional teaching methods to ensure students can continue to learn effectively in a variety of ways and from a distance. As the first 5 weeks of term comes to an end we decided to gather some feedback in relation to how the students were feeling. Claire Davison, an occupational therapy student who started the course in September decided to provide a poem:
We're 5 weeks in and here we see the classroom flipped around,
No seminars, no workshops and no lectures to be found.
It's been so busy in this time, you'd think I would be glad,
Yet this short break in interaction leaves me feeling sad.
It does however give me time to breathe and rest and plan,
This isn't really something I've done well since we began.
Because I want to do my best, I've stressed at every trial,
I print and read and write some notes and store them in a file.
But there's no need to worry as I really think I'm coping,
The info's slotting into place, or at least that's what I'm hoping.
Before I joined the Sunderland team I wondered if I could,
And now I’m here, I'm keen to say that everybody should!
I never dreamed that education could be entertaining,
Even when there's lots to learn with motivation waning.
They find a way to pick me up, to calm my frazzled nerves,
With each kind word, resilience grows and bolsters my reserves.
I can't believe it's been 5 weeks, it feels more like its 20,
So many things to learn and know, terminology a-plenty.
I wouldn't change this for the world, I love my newest norm,
Although maybe I should put my thoughts on an official feedback form.
I already have fab memories of my 2020 cohort,
Like B's recorded lesson where I got to "pause for thought".
N said to build a tower with marshmallow and spaghetti,
I planned I tried, it broke, I fixed, not something I'll forget-ti.
C runs fantastic Fridays with activities galore,
We craft, climb, draw, run and reflect, it's certainly no bore,
R hasn't started teaching yet, she'll be here in December,
While Santa brings our Christmas gifts, she'll become the 4th staff member.
I wonder if the team stops there or if there's more ambition,
Raising the profile of our course is such an exciting mission.
So now I turn attention to the people just like me,
My new-found teammates and my peers, the ones who wish to be....
Just like the ones who came before, the ones who paved the way,
With hopes we'll be the role models, for new students one day.
We started with a WhatsApp group, it quickly grew and grew,
Friendship building, bonds were formed, like super sticky glue,
Each Sunday WhatsApp overloads, my phone just goes berserk,
As we all wonder if we've all completed our homework.
I couldn't be more grateful for this wonderful new group,
They make me laugh and lay a place from which I can recoup.
Having three Emmigo's was a little bit confusing,
Being put in breakout rooms with them was quite amusing,
As is trying to decipher what our R is writing,
A translation book is underway, let's hope it is enlightening,
E and I broke-out a lot it really was quite funny,
I learned from our small interviews that she’s a big gym bunny,
We saw some photos of I's island looking like a dream,
In my breakout room with her, we made a smashing team.
I wish I could write something about each and every one,
But I'd be sat here all night long, I’d even meet the sun.
So off I sign to go to sleep, to rest my tired head,
For if I’m calculating right, my kids will soon be out of bed.
Claire Davison: First Year Occupational Therapy Student
University of Sunderland