By Lauren Hand, Magazine Editor
A good English major may note that “screen” is one of those peculiar words with multiple meanings that are, in effect, opposites. A screen both permits and denies passage; lets things through and keeps them out. For Gettysburg students now scattered in all corners of the world, starting Monday, we will be experiencing the rest of the semester through that very medium.
We are anxious and uncertain as we proceed with our academics in a way entirely unlike what we are accustomed to on our campus, where we live and learn side-by-side and shoulder-to-shoulder with our peers, our classmates, our friends. The difficult truth is that, until now, with the exception of our temporary departures for study abroad, our college experience has always maintained one consistent aspect: Gettysburg itself, and our community therein.
The question before us, then, as we enter the upcoming weeks, is how we will maintain meaningful engagement with one another in spite of our separation. How do we fend off a collective sense of isolation and sustain connection, even through a screen? Fortunately, we at The Gettysburgian have had some time on our hands the past few days, and we have some ideas that we hope will enable us to do just that.
Starting Monday, we will be launching a new initiative called “Great Work from Home,” independent of our ongoing coverage, the objective of which will be to remind us that, as bleak as things may seem, we are not alone. In fact, we are far from it.
That’s where you come in.
First, we want to know what you have been up to. What you have been listening to, reading, watching, cooking; how you are staying connected to one another; how you are adapting your clubs, capstones, and recitals to these new circumstances. We want to know what it’s like to be a Gettysburgian doing great work wherever it is you are, whatever that work may be.
Second, we want to honor the memories that we have made together on campus with a project we are calling Good Times at Gettysburg (or #gtag for short). We are welcoming submissions of your favorite pictures of life at Gettysburg in an effort to reflect on the people and the place that have made our time meaningful. This is a chance for all of us, and for seniors in particular, to look back.
We will be rolling out a series of opportunities for your participation in the upcoming weeks. For now, we’ll start with just a few:
- #GWFHplaylists: What do you have playing on repeat right now? Make a playlist of your favorite tunes to share, about an hour long. We will be posting your playlists on our website and social media daily. Playlists should be made using Spotify and should be set to public. Submit your playlist here.
- #GWFHhometowns: What is like being an active Gettysburgian in your hometown, or wherever it is that you are? We are looking for photos accompanied by a few words about that place. Show us and tell us where you are here.
- Good Times at Gettysburg, or #gtag: Submit your best photos of life at Gettysburg here.
Each morning, we will publish one of each submitted by students, faculty, staff, or alumni of Gettysburg College.
We will be continuously accepting submissions in the weeks to come, and we look forward to a wide variety of responses. Our hope is that, in discovering the many remote experiences had by one another, we will be reminded of our shared experience as Gettysburgians, wherever we may be.
We also have a few opportunities for you to join in activities and conversations we are facilitating:
- Participate in the Gettysburgian’s Zoom Bingo! Download the official sheet here and play along as we enter our first week of online classes. Let us know when you win!
- Tune into our conversation with Andy Hughes, Executive Director of the Garthwait Leadership Center, about staying connected from afar and driving student organizations forward. We’ll release the video on Monday afternoon.
- Submit a question for our interview with President Bob Iuliano and watch the interview live on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. More information to come!
Join us as we stay connected, stay curious, and stay home.