Back to school, in person

For almost 30 consecutive years, I have had the privilege of starting school in the Fall. This year, I’m wearing a mask and I’m only coming to campus when I teach. I just taught my first class to 18 people in the room and to more than 20 students who logged in virtually. It wasn’t perfect. I had to restart the live stream twice.

My Samford students were very helpful. They are happy to be back in school, even though it’s nowhere near what we like to offer in terms of events and activities. The students who I couldn’t see chatted in to thank me and even told me I was doing a great job.

I don’t anticipate having any trouble with safety rules being followed during class time. Of course, there is the potential for things to go awry. Only time will tell if the rules and cooperation can allow our campus to stay open until Thanksgiving. As our President keeps saying, we are only opening for 100 days.

Like most colleges, we required every single member of the campus to get a test before starting back. The problem is that positive cases are still circulating in Jefferson county where we all live.

As far as I can tell, universal masking rules in the state of Alabama have helped slow the spread of the coronavirus as more people emerge from their houses to shop and even eat at restaurants. The opening of many schools across the state will be a big test.

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