In This Together: Edition 3

More examples of staying connected through technology even while in isolation; moments of joy buoy spirits

April 3, 2020
Mark Tarnacki
Staff Writer

in This TogetherStaff in the College’s Marketing & Communications office are continuing to find and post stories from our community during these uncommon times brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’ve invited anybody among us to share whatever from their daily lives might inspire and make us feel connected, from the more serious to the whimsical.This past week we heard from a few more Purple Knights about their lives in our new shared reality. The idea here is to uplift and inspire through what we hope can be a running periodic forum for community-building, neighborly check-ins and collective sustenance. Please continue to share your news items, however seemingly small. We also welcome broader updates from your offices, departments and homes.

Thanks to everyone who shared the following submissions and community snapshots. Keep them coming – email to mtarnacki@smcvt.edu

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‘Props’ to Faculty Assembly Moderator Harrigan for spirit-lifter

Peter Harrigan of the Fine Arts/Theater faculty is the moderator for Faculty Assembly, which gathered virtually online via Zoom this past Friday on what would have been their normal day for meeting on-campus. To get things started on an up-note for his customary welcome and introductory monologue – this time from home, however – the moderator employed some unique ‘props” he had at-hand because of a noteworthy collection he has there. Watch Peter having some fun — including what seems nearly like a “guest appearance” from President Sterritt, and even a famous movie director (photo at right)!

Says Peter, “We had 98 participants. It was great to ‘see’ everyone in their living rooms, home offices, and kitchens – wonderful to get a glimpse of the friendly faces I miss seeing in person! We had to vote on a few inconsequential matters that would normally be done with a voice vote. But rather than unmuting all those microphones, we just had people do ‘jazz hands’ onscreen to indicate agreement. These days, it’s all Theatre!” One of his prop-supported comments was that sometimes life during the pandemic “seem a bit like a horror movie,” as befitting Alfred Hitchcock in the screen-grab image from Peter’s Faculty Assembly routine here. Comments on the post from participants brimmed with appreciation, as this one from Katie Kirby of the philosophy faculty: “I bet no other faculty around the country are having an Assembly meeting like ours! Barbie-enabled!”

Watch Peter’s entertaining opening routine here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/16tZNFXI6XE3BxGUb_o6WoQnkfetd9YTg/view

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O’Connell strives to keep military community connected

Also Friday, Ken O’Connell, director of military community enrollment and resources, posted on social media to keep alive the great camaraderie that the Saint Michael’s military community enjoys in more normal times. Here’s that post:  “It’s Friday! First, I want to say that I miss you all and the joy and purpose you bring me when I’m at ‘The Office.’ That’s the SMC Military Community Services Lounge and Resource Room. I wish the best for you and your families and that you are safe. Hopefully, those receiving MHA/BAH [housing allowances for student veterans] have received word that payments will continue at the same rate prior to the online conversion of classes. Great news and less paperwork for me!

Ken O'Connell

Ken O’Connell

“Please contact me and your Professors ASAP if you need assistance with this transition,” Ken continued. “I know we had great plans for this Spring semester and please use me for any planning or advice on current or future projects. I’m still here for you. I can help if you would like to meet virtually as a group or individually. I’m sure you folks have the know-how and are keeping connected where you can. If you have not heard from someone in a while, just drop them a note to let them know you’re here. Check out the great live stream performances around the world and support art (Who is Art?) and your local businesses as best you can! Take Care, all and keep in touch.”

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Applied Linguistics folks have ‘Townhall Meeting’ online

Early the afternoon of Friday, March 27, the Saint Michael’s Applied Linguistics Department  (ALD) held a virtual “Townhall Meeting” online to which all ALD students (Advanced English Program (AEP) and Master’s of Teaching English as a Second Language (MATESOL), faculty, and staff as well as staff that supports international students from international student services and admission were invited. “We had 37 participants in a Zoom meeting,” reports Christine Bauer-Ramazani of the ALD faculty, who described the “gathering” as follows on her  personal Facebook page and shared a screen shot of the  meeting from her computer:

ALD Townhall

Members of the Applied Linguistics community and offices that support them have a virtual “Townhall Meeting” last Friday.

“[a total of] 37 international students, faculty, and staff of the Applied Linguistics Department at Saint Michael’s College held a Townhall Meeting to reconnect as a community, share their love and concern for each other, and discuss information, resources, and strategies for weathering profound changes to their professional and social life brought on by COVID-19. We stand together in the fight against this virus!”

Life goes on with joyful news amid a pandemic

Christian Camerota ’04, formerly of the Saint Michael’s College Marketing & Communications Office where he handled social media and put his notable writing talents (as a St. Mike’s English-major graduate) to use, recently on Facebook shared some happy news from himself and his recent bride Maggie that offers a joyful counter-narrative to the suboptimal times we are living in: Here are Christian’s words that went with the photo at right:

“Maggie and I are very excited (and I am terrified) to welcome a tiny human being into our lives in August. Before you ask, yes, I have already begun eating for two.” Christian now is Director of Editorial Content Strategy & Creation for Wesleyan College in his native Connecticut. Congratulations to Christian and Maggie!

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