"In a dark time, the eye begins to see." -Theodore Roethke
I write this on April 17, 2020. Just over a month ago, drastic public
health measures were adopted across Canada to slow the spread of
the coronavirus. At Grebel, classes were suspended. Most students
moved out, staff and faculty were sent home, and our campus
closed abruptly. For the next four months, all in-person classes are
cancelled and courses will be delivered online. It’s not yet clear what
September will look like.
As Grebel’s bustling halls were quieted at the end of March, a few people stayed behind in the empty halls. The Campus Hosts (known in past years as Senior Residents), Faith and Colin Friesen, and their two-year-old daughter Ronen, have lived in their Grebel residence apartment through the transition.
“In their shift to remote teaching, Grebel faculty responded with remarkable creativity and compassion,” explained Dean Troy Osborne. “At the same time that they were beginning to work from home, instructors learned new skills in online teaching and redesigned the final weeks and exams. Through it all, they connected with their students in a new way, reconstructing a sense of a classroom community from a distance.”
The decision to cancel graduation recitals was perhaps the most difficult news for the department to deliver to students who had been working for years to reach this point. The setback prompted Mykayla Turner, who has called Grebel a second home during her time as a health studies and music student, to record her recital in the Grebel Chapel.