As we all exist in isolation from one another, it can be grounding to take a moment to reflect on where we are and how we're doing, and hear the same from others. With that in mind, the Thresher asked for brief stories from the Rice community about what living in social isolation has been like. Here’s what people told us.
For some students, moving back home two months earlier than expected to finish out the semester has meant the mixed blessing and curse of home-cooked meals and navigating impossible time differences for Zoom class; for others, it has meant trying to focus long enough to pass courses amid unstable internet access and the burdens of financial stress. For all students, the pandemic has posed unique obstacles to obtaining the education they had hoped to get out of the semester.
Religious festivals are times of celebration, shared in a community, when families hold both simple and extravagantly planned gatherings to catch up with each other and have a good time. Oftentimes, these festivals give religious communities the opportunity to gather as a large group to worship and celebrate together. Many of these festivals have deep spiritual or religious significance for students. The Thresher caught up with students celebrating Easter, Passover, Ugadi and Ramadan this year to discuss how they’ve managed to maintain the spirit of the festival even after the pandemic struck.
Rice students aspiring to become doctors do plenty of preparation in their undergraduate years — prerequisite courses, Medical College Admission Tests and clinical experiences. But most students are likely not preparing to be on the front lines of the battle against a global pandemic. However, that’s exactly where a number of Rice alumni have found themselves in the face of COVID-19.
As we all exist in isolation from one another, it can be grounding to take a moment to reflect on where we are and how we're doing, and hear the same from others. With that in mind, the Thresher asked for brief stories from the Rice community about what living in social isolation has been like. Here’s what people told us. This is our second installment of this series.
With its glittering waters and nine-mile running trail, White Rock Lake is one of Rebecca Francis's favorite places in Dallas. The Baker College senior takes every opportunity to run there with her family when she's home, usually followed by breakfast at a nearby coffee shop.
When Rice announced that classes would be going remote and required students to leave campus unless their petition to stay on campus was approved, some undergraduates had to do what it seemed like nobody in America wanted to do: travel to areas of the country with high rates of COVID-19. The Thresher caught up with students from California, New York and Washington who made the difficult decision to return home and be with their families.
For the first time since our university’s founding in 1912, all instruction is taking place remotely and virtually. For the second time since our founding in 1916, the Thresher has stopped printing physical papers (the first break was during World War I, according to our records) and for the first time has transitioned to emailing a weekly online newsletter (which you can and should subscribe to here). And for the first time in its 64-year history, Beer Bike did not happen.
Over 10,000 miles from Houston, off the coast of the Maldives, reef manta rays are in their peak season: Every March and April, the massive sea animals aggregate in large numbers in the water surrounding the small South Asian island nation. Anna Knochel had been anticipating this moment for a while. A 2019 recipient of the Wagoner Foreign Study Scholarship, which funds international research projects, Knochel (Baker College ’19) began pursuing a master’s degree in marine science at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology last fall. Much of her time was spent preparing for her fieldwork in the Maldives and Mozambique, which would focus on the skin microbiomes of manta rays.
More than two weeks ago, faculty and students embarked on a remote-learning journey, most of them using a combination of Zoom’s videoconferencing platform and Rice’s Canvas platform. While faculty have experienced mishaps surrounding internet stability and lagging, many have embraced the platform and found creative avenues for continuing their classes.
Alyson Riley and Leah Kanihan met a little over a year ago and started dating right after they got back from summer break in fall 2019. Following the outbreak of COVID-19 this spring, they have had to suddenly transition into a long distance relationship, like many other couples at Rice.
As we all exist in isolation from one another, it can be grounding to take a moment to reflect on where we are and how we're doing, and hear the same from others. With that in mind, the Thresher asked for brief stories from the Rice community about what living in social isolation has been like. Here’s what people told us...
March Madness brackets are a familiar sight — 64 teams face off, with one team crowned the winner. But a bracket created by an informal group of Rice students showcases a different competition: a showdown between 64 of pop artist Taylor Swift’s best songs.
On a sunny Friday afternoon, hundreds of seniors took their highly anticipated walk through the Sallyport, which traditionally marks graduation and the end of their time at Rice. But the date was March 13, 65 days earlier than expected. In a blend of spirits that can best be described as bittersweet, seniors from each of the 11 colleges walked through the Sallyport into a crowd as members of the Marching Owl Band played music.
With little to no human contact, many people have struggled to adapt to self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some students have taken up hobbies — new or old — to relieve stress about the coronavirus or to occupy an abundance of free time that some students now find themselves with. Here are some of the creative ways Rice students are now spending their time.