A day in the life: distance learning in Nevada

Patti Grod
Patti Grod
April 23, 2020

Obviously, none of us wanted to hear the news that Augustana was moving to distance learning for the rest of the semester. Especially the seniors. There were so many things we were looking forward to, including senior toast and graduation. Our last few weeks at one of our favorite places was taken away in an instant. It felt like we weren’t able to give a proper goodbye. 

It took me a while to accept the reality. And even under these new circumstances, I knew that I wanted to finish out my last year of undergrad strong! Being the very “Type A” person that I am, to make things seem as normal as possible, I  came up with daily routines for my MWF and T/TH classes. This helped keep me focused, since I often find myself getting distracted studying and working from home. Here’s a look at what my MWF schedule looks like:

6:00 AM - Alarm goes off

Yes… the time does not deceive you. I wake up at 6:00 AM to start getting ready for class. My parents live in Nevada, and I was able to travel home for the start of distance learning. However, this also means that I am on Pacific Time (two hours behind Central Time). So my days start a bit early.

6:30 - 7:45 AM Class

I am currently in a Mass Comm Law class that meets via Google Meet once a week. Our professor shows us a presentation and poses discussion questions for us to answer. Obviously it is not the same as being able to meet together in an actual classroom setting, being able to meet as a class makes distance learning feel “as close to normal” as possible. It’s also so nice to see all of my classmates each week!

7:45  - 8:00 AM Breakfast

8:00 - 10:30 AM Work

This is arguably one of my favorite parts of my day because it’s where I get to write blog content for Blogustana (like this one)! I love my position as a student worker in the office of communication and marketing because I am allowed to translate my originality and creativity into my work, and find new ways I can better tell the stories of Augustana to current and prospective students. I have already learned so much from being in this position this year that I can utilize in future career endeavors. 

10:30 - 11:30 AM Workout

As a “retired” D3 athlete, being active is something that helps make my routine seem more normal. It also helps that this semester I am currently enrolled in a badminton class, which requires us to get at least an hour of physical activity/exercise each day we have class. Since I can’t swim laps in a pool, I have been finding new ways and getting creative with how I workout. I look for and follow workout routines on YouTube, and go for jogs and walks around my neighborhood. 

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM Lunch

12:00 - 2:00 PM Tan

A benefit of being quarantined in Nevada is the weather! Since I have been home, I have been soaking up the sun as much as possible. I love sitting in a lawn chair, popping on a podcast and just relaxing. Spending time outside is a good break from working, and always leaves me feeling happy and rejuvenated to start the second half of my day.  

2:30 - 6:30 PM Homework

I dedicate a couple hours of my day working on homework. Many of my classes this semester are essay/project based, so I am doing a lot of research and writing. I finish the assignments that are due for my T/Th classes, and then will start working ahead on projects that are due in the future. It wouldn’t be school without homework! 

6:30 - 7:30 PM Dinner

One of my favorite parts about being home during this time is being able to share meals with my family. We are all busy working during the day on our own things, so this is a time where we are all together. Sometimes we also like to put on the Game Show Network and watch Family Feud while we eat, because it’s entertaining and we like to participate ourselves!

7:30 - 9:00 PM More homework

9:00 - 11:00 PM Netflix

After a busy day, I always like to reward myself with some Netflix. It’s my favorite way to wind down and relax before I go to bed. What better time to binge on shows than in quarantine? Some of my current favorite shows are Schitt’s Creek, Designated Survivor, and (of course) The Office.  

11:00 Bedtime!

Every senior, and student of Augustana, is adjusting and handling the sudden transition differently. All of our own schedules and daily routines are unique and different to best suit our new realities. It is comforting to know though that we are all on a similar boat, and are in this together. I am hopeful that we will all come out of this stronger than we were before. I am taking things day by day, and always trying my best to remain hopeful and positive. I am excited to be having a virtual graduation on May 23, and attending the in-person commencement ceremony in October. My college experience, especially spring semester of my senior year, will be something I will never forget. 

Patti Grod
Patti Grod

Patti graduated from Augustana in 2020; she was a double major in communication studies and French, with a minor in entertainment and media studies. She is originally from Northbrook, Ill., but her family relocated to Henderson, Nev. Outside of academics, Patti was a member of the Vikings varsity swim team, director of PR and marketing for HerCampus, and a member of Delta Chi Theta sorority.