While we are all at home, we are still running HIST 640 during a global pandemic.
While the University of Waterloo's Faculty of Arts has made the prudent decision to deliver graduate seminars remotely, it is important to remember that life is not normal. Complications can include personal health challenges, family members who might contract or be worried about contracting COVID-19, childcare issues, isolation due to closed borders or public health measures, etc.
What does that mean?
Accordingly, in HIST 640 the following principles will help inform course delivery and the flexibility with which we will all approach each other and our responsibilities to the course:
Flexibility for the course: Something might happen during our course: people may get sick, Internet connections may collapse, we may need to change something on the fly. We will do this together, and I pledge to keep the lines of communication open between us all.
If you are going to have to miss a deadline, let me know: We will be extra flexible with deadlines, keeping in mind that we also need to be present for each other and make sure our seminar can be an intellectually rich experience (which needs us to all be prepared). But, if you need some extra time, let me know. I am not a stickler for late marks, especially on final assignments. You should know that up front!
Assume that we are all doing our best: We should assume this in any case, but let’s especially assume that. Everybody is trying their best to navigate their MA degree during a challenging situation, so we must make special effort to treat each other with respect. The same holds for me as your instructor: if my kids show up crying, or if we have health challenges in my household, I may need a bit of extra consideration!
We will try to have a bit of extra fun. Do you have a cute dog, cat, rabbit, turtle, etc.? See something cool on a walk around your neighbourhood? Have a fancy mask that we’ll all be jealous of? I expect and will ask you to share it with the class.
The most important thing is to stay safe, stay healthy and we’ll have a fun semester together.