As STAC 2, the HyFlex learning “pilot” STAC, comes to a close, I interviewed two seniors, Sammy Albright ’21 and Matty Shields ’21, to gauge student opinions about in-person learning over the past few weeks. 

When asked what they enjoyed the most about being back in school, Matty said that he missed the physical journey. “I would say the routine of actually going to school, driving to campus each morning, feeling the physical distance away from my house, and arriving at Concord is great. You don’t feel like you arrive at school when you move from your bed to another room.” I could not agree more. I often forget that I am even in school when I am online, as the same place where I take classes might also be where I eat or sleep. 

Sammy answered the question differently. “The obvious answer is seeing my friends. Even more than that, random chance interactions with people that I wouldn’t necessarily talk to otherwise. When you are online all the time, you aren’t going to make a new friend because there is no reason to talk to a random person.” 

Both agreed that the in-person classroom experience is also more beneficial than their Zoom classes. Sammy opened up about the subject, stating, “The teachers’ energy and passion that they bring to what they teach is something that is slightly lost through the computer screen. It is a lot more obvious and radiant in person.”

Matty added, “It’s so easy to check out on Zoom, and being in class forces you to be engaged. When there is a person right in front of you, you feel that you have to give them full attention. You feel more accountable to add to a conversation in person.”

Finally, I asked both about one thing they would like CA to change about the in-person schedule. Matty said, I wish I got to see the other half of the school. Seeing boarders infrequently can be challenging as a day student.” Matty acknowledges that it is challenging and risky to see more people, although I agree that not seeing some of my close boarder friends as often, has certainly been disappointing. 

When asked the same question, Sammy plainly stated, “I wish we had coffee in the morning, it is essential for some of us!” When having to wake up early to get to school on time, I certainly agree with Sammy’s point. Let’s get CA some coffee! 

From what I sensed, both of these seniors seemed to love being able to go back on campus. CA is a place that we all definitely take for granted at times, and going back this STAC has revealed how amazing in-person CA is.