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“2020: The Worst Year Ever,” declared the Dec. 14 Time magazine cover. Even with a pandemic and contentious presidential election, that’s surely an overstatement, given the sweep of human history. In the more limited sweep of our personal histories, though, it may seem an understatement. However, thinking in terms of “worst” primes us to dwell on all that went wrong this year. Thinking of the ways 2020 is unprecedented invites us to acknowledge the negatives but to be grateful, too, for the good in this very challenging year.

As I reflect on the year at Ouachita, many negatives spring to mind. As COVID-19 worries grew in March, college campuses across our state and nation closed. Ouachita sent students home a week before Spring Break. Uncertain how the semester would end, students and professors alike scrambled to learn how to use Zoom video conferencing software. Some had a crash course on using Moodle, our campus learning management system. I suspect every course crashed in some way during those weeks. Spring sports schedules, Tiger Traks, graduation on Cone-Bottoms lawn – all canceled. What a disappointing way for seniors to complete their final semester.



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