From the other side of the world — thank you, professors

By   —   November 13, 2020   —   in Opinions

We must recognize how difficult this semester has been for our professors and teaching assistants, and thank them for their hard work. 

This semester has been an uphill challenge — I know that first hand as an international student. I  sleep during the day and attend school when the world around me is asleep. Despite these hardships, I know I’m not the only one who’s had to deal with change. 

I still remember the day I found out that the first term was going to be online. I was very nervous. As an incoming first-year student, I was unaware of how university would work and how I was going to cope with online education. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. 

But since my classes started, the journey has been so good. 

Although school is not normal this year, most students are at home, which can be a comfort for some and offers plenty of time to finish assignments. And while we are trying our best at assignments, midterms and finals, it’s the teaching staff that is working hard to adapt all our courses online. 

Think about it. As students, we have all the course details before the term starts and lectures are usually uploaded on time. When it comes to problems — content related or otherwise — professors are always there to solve our doubts. I’ve even gotten replies to my emails within 30 minutes. Every one of my professors is friendly and they always encourage me to do my best every time. The workload for professors has almost doubled with teaching and designing courses, but they are there to help us regardless. 

So I would like to take a moment to appreciate their efforts and dedication for us. I am really grateful to be a part of this university. Thank you, professors and TAs.

I’m also grateful to be a part of the University of Saskatchewan family. I was in a learning community that was equally interesting and enjoyable. I made new friends and  learned many different things through it. Especially that if you are determined then no one can stop you — you just need to focus on the work and everything else will fall in place. 

I also started attending student undergraduate research experience sessions. I got to learn about the many different fields of study and meet people who are experts in their fields. 

The only thing I think should be changed is holding examinations within a strict time period. This semester I’ve had two midterms in one day. The second test was particularly harder because it had to be taken during a fixed time period, which for me just happened to be the time all of my family was at home — not the ideal conditions in which to write a midterm. 

Rather than midterms or finals being held in a particular time period, the exam should be accessible for 24 hours. This is to ensure that all students are in the best mindset when they write the tests. It would also be more comfortable and give more flexibility to all, including international students. 

As for everything else, it has been perfect so far.

Vaidehi Ajaybhai Soni

Graphic: Akshara Dash

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