These are uncertain – and unprecedented – times, and understandably many of us are feeling anxious about what the next weeks and months may hold. As Interim Chair of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, I want to reassure you that all of us in DLLC are thinking about you, our students: about your emotional well-being as you adjust to this new reality; about your health and safety as you travel home and find new ways to create community while maintaining safe social distance; and about your academic needs, which remain our top priority in the midst of this pandemic. As soon as reports of the novel coronavirus began to circulate this winter, DLLC faculty began working on contingency plans; when UD announced the transition to online teaching last week, the department went into overdrive. Your professors have been working tirelessly – setting up Zoom for course meetings, updating Canvas sites, and adjusting syllabi – to ensure that you continue to receive a rigorous, deeply engaging, and enriching educational experience this spring. DLLC is prepared to take all courses online when UD resumes on March 30th: your courses will meet synchronously (at their normal meeting times) and you will receive instructions from your professors regarding course details.
Please take some time over the next week to test your technology, try out Zoom, and make sure you are familiar with the Canvas websites for your classes, and please don't hesitate to reach out to your professors with any concerns or issues you may have – these are uncharted waters for all of us, so we'll need to be flexible, kind, and understanding with ourselves and others! If you are a senior, please know that we are committed to keeping you on track for graduation, and we look forward to celebrating that milestone with you.
Though there will undoubtedly be challenges ahead, I know that the return to our academic routine will offer a bright spot of continuity for us all, and that our renewed exchange of ideas will fuel our vision for the better days that lie ahead. Along with the continued educational experience we are committed to delivering remotely, we are equally determined to maintain DLLC's incredible spirit of community and camaraderie: we cannot meet in person, for now, but we can see each other on Zoom, exchange messages online, and support one another through this difficult moment. Times of crisis bring uncertainty, but they also bring out the best in people. DLLC is committed to your success, your professors are here for you, and we are all in this together. Be safe, be healthy, and be in (virtual) touch --Forza e coraggio (and don't forget to wash your hands)!
Professor of Italian & Interim Chair
For UD Coronavirus Updates: https://www.udel.edu/home/coronavirus/
For general DLLC-related questions: DLLC-Academics@udel.edu