The year 2020 will go down in history as the year of uncertainty, loss, and changes which could perhaps never have been imagined. Devastating wildfires, political unrest, racial, and economic inequities and a deadly pandemic which forced lockdowns and coerced the world to adapt to the new changing realities of life.
Like the rest of the world, the year 2020 also forced the Habib Community to adjust to the ‘New Normal,’ and discover novel approaches to come together, and work through the challenges ensuring that our students in particular did not suffer academically due to the pandemic. The Habib University faculty played a key role in addressing this challenge adapting quickly to the changes as they altered their courses to meet new online teaching demands and adopted the latest technology to enable academic continuity. Through our faculty’s unwavering support and the agility shown by our students, we were able to ensure a smooth academic year. As this turbulent year is near its end, we asked some of our faculty members to share their most significant takeaways from 2020 and possible implications for 2021.
“Life is unpredictable and we have to think about what is really important. Doing so has made me reevaluate my teaching and appreciate our students and the wider Habib community. The unfolding of and our response to the pandemic has also made me rethink the notions of responsibility and authority, and the power of rituals.”
“2020 proved Aristotle right once more: we are social animals. We thrive in the relation with our fellow humans: the companionship, the closeness, the confrontation, the challenge, at times even the discomfort. We shall return from these bleak times with a renewed appreciation of how wonderful it is to be around and together with each other.”
“2020 reminded all academics how outdated educational practices are globally. Our disconnect with technology and our focus on designing learning around content only has alienated the higher education domain from real meaningful learning experiences. I look forward to 2021, with a hope that we will be able to create new learning paradigms that are in line with the learning needs of modern day and age.”
“It is equally important if not more to take care of yourself, especially so if you want to continue to be creative and productive. So, give time to yourself and give time to your loved ones.”
“Be kind to yourself, too. Forgive yourself, your mistakes, your stumbles, your failures. You’ve all had some this year. Resolve to try to be better, to do better next time. And when you stumble again — and you will — forgive yourself again, and try to do better, to be better, next time.”
“Adaptability: A key to survival. It is an intrinsic ability in the virus which led to the pandemic. Also an inherent quality that drives evolution. Most of us resist change when success lies in adaptation. Learn to swim if you are thrown out of your comfort zone; ADAPT to thrive.”
“The only thing which is certain is the fact that we live in a world which is fundamentally uncertain!”
“2020 taught me the Power of Staying and Staying with all Positivity. No matter what comes, we must resolve to be strong to our very core and continue to move and succeed not only for ourselves but for everyone else around us.”