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Monday, July 13, 2020

Sidebar: A KCC student’s experience – Spring 2020

Nick Redmond was halfway through his final semester at KCC when spring break began in mid-March.

By Nick Redmond

Before March of this year I had taken one class fully online, and one class as a hybrid. I took Sociology completely online in the Spring of 2019 and found the experience pleasant. It was clear that the class had been built to be handled online and was a relatively stress free experience. The main issue came from remembering assignments, as a lack of a classroom environment and regular schedule makes it easy to lose track of due dates.

My initial thought in March when everything went online was, “I know most of my teachers and classes can handle this, but I’m unsure if a few of them will be able to.”

When everything restarted, I found myself at first a little excited, it felt like Spring Break had been extended in a weird way. I was able to work at my own pace and could dedicate a whole day or two for school work, instead of scattered half mornings and afternoons, allowing me to get in more time at work or just personally. Eventually however, I found myself missing the classroom environment, and would have to drag myself sometimes to get work done. Making use of the time I had allocated for school was also a challenge, as there are many distractions at home, whereas in the classroom, learning is promoted and feels right.

All of my teachers did their best to help where they could and make learning still feel important and fun. John Bordeau (Computer Graphic Design) kept us updated constantly and let us know we weren’t alone in any of our struggles. John kept communication with my classes so that we could relay how things were going online and update accordingly. My Tech Math II teacher, Frances Hebert, managed to teach her lessons online exactly like they were taught in the classroom, all without sacrificing the integrity or value of the lessons themselves. Tim Wilhelm, my STEM Guitar teacher, put his heart and soul into doing his best to try and ensure we finished our electric guitars, a difficult task without a lab to work in. Finally, Amber Gocken, my Web Design teacher, did a wonderful job of making sure that all of our needs were met and our worries quelled. While the vibrant environment of our class could not be replicated perfectly online, Amber managed to do a hell of a job at making us feel welcome and surrounded by friends. Every one of my teachers this wild ride of a Spring Semester did an outstanding job to make sure learning stayed interesting and to remind us that the world wasn’t all too gloomy. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart.

I felt, in the end, that I learned everything just as well as I would’ve in the classroom because of the diligent efforts of my teachers. We were provided discussion boards and encouraged to use them, and even frequently made use of video conferences to communicate and see a familiar face. While no online forum or video call can make up for the feeling you get from seeing your friends in-person, it did the job well enough. I look forward to seeing my friends and even my teachers when this has all gone past us.

Overall, I would like to commend everyone, both faculty and staff, who weathered in through this unprecedented semester. Seeing everyone try so hard and reach out to help one another motivated me to do the same, and I hope it doesn’t change when classes resume in person.


Nicholas Redmond completed an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Computer Graphic Design following the Spring 2020 semester. He has accepted a position as an AutoCAD Rebar Detailer Trainee at Harris Rebar. The submission was printed as submitted, unedited for readers to capture a first-hand recollection of this past Spring through the eyes of one local student.

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