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Marlenne Montanez

“I have had to move back home because I was living on campus. I am currently dealing with a lot of emotions having to leave the home that I have had for the past four years, not seeing friends on a daily basis, and the loss of the commencement ceremony. I have added stress with responsibilities that I now have being home, having online classes, and a reduction in working hours and pay that I was working to saving for next year. 

Everything has been moved online, all of my classes are now prerecorded or there are live sessions held on zoom. Some of my classes have added extra assignments to make up for participation. I am also pursuing an honors thesis at the moment, and that has been completely moved online, and am stressed over the logistics of how that will work out when I have my defense. All meetings with my advisers and job have been on zoom as well. Most of the organizations that I am involved with have decided to pause for the semester, but with those that have continued on, it is difficult to find times to meet online as people have moved all over the country. 

Everything is remote, most of my lectures have been dwindled down to power point lectures. I have 2 teachers who have prerecorded zoom videos where they talk through the power points, which is helpful. As I mentioned before, some of my teachers are creating more assignments to make up for the in class participation, which adds to the amount of work that I am already doing. 

Using zoom in a live class is a good option, but the drawback is that some students do not respect the classroom and the professor, so there are people constantly being disruptive, using profanity and using slurs. The professors try to impede this where they can without limiting student engagement too much, but it is usually not beneficial. 

I am worried about being able to maintain my grades that I have in the class. Having classes online has been taking up more time than being in class physically, so I am having some trouble managing my time. 

My family consists of 6 people, where 4 of them are students (me in college, 2 in high school, and 1 in preschool). As a family, we all take turns taking care of my three year old brother, but he requires a lot of attention that my brothers or myself do not have at times because we are all in classes, so it has been difficult finding time for everyone's needs. This pandemic has also impacted us financially. Having to come back home will raise the amount of money my family needs to pay bills and get food, as they have an extra mouth to feed and an extra expense in utilities. I am for the moment helping financially where I can, but my father works as a construction worker, and his job is no longer guaranteed. 

I have been accepted into graduate school for the Fall! I applied to 4 different programs to pursue my Au.D (Doctor of Audiology)! Currently my decision is between the program at CU Boulder and the program at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL!”

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