In mid-June, Curriculum was nailing down a Zoom class schedule for the Fall 2021 semester, and Membership Development was planning online orientations and new member socials.
Surprise! On June 23, Bard let Nanci Kryzak, President, and Jill Lundquist, Chair of Planning and Evaluation, know that, in fact, LLI was welcome to return to campus this fall. Wonderful news, but with so many complications!
It was very clear that we could not move all the planned classes onto campus for the fall. But a new plan was hatched: classes will meet on Zoom for Thursday and Friday mornings, and there will be a menu of in-person classes on Friday afternoons. A few classes moved, like Bard Masters of Math and Science, heroic member-presenters Robert Beaury, Gary Miller, and Chuck Mishaan agreed to do two classes, one on Zoom and one on campus. The Curriculum Team swiftly recruited new and former presenters and worked with them to develop innovative courses. You can read all about the Fall 2021 courses in this month’s newsletter article by Deborah Lanser.
More Complications: Which Days Can We Meet?
Uh-oh, when we are on campus, Bard uses all the classrooms for the Bard College Institute for Writing and Thinking and for the Hannah Arendt Center meeting. Which Fridays? Will they be Zoom or on campus? Can we work around them? Fortunately, it turned out that only the Hannah Arendt Center meeting on October 15 will require us to move our classes and extend the on-campus semester by one week.
And What About Religious Observance?
When Curriculum met to talk about the new plans, members noted that September 16, our planned opening day, is on Yom Kippur. LLI has wrestled with this question in the past, since we frequently have a class schedule that falls on days of religious observance. After much thought and attempts to work out a different schedule, the committee decided to stay with our previous decisions. LLI will follow the example of Bard College and will hold classes on days of religious observance.
That is, of course, a problem for people who cannot engage in activities like LLI on those days. For presenters who cannot do classes on those days, LLI encourages them to cancel that day and schedule an alternative day.
Will There Be Rooms for Classes?
During the pandemic, Bard’s class schedule changed. We decided to follow their schedule a few years ago so that it would be easier to get rooms for our classes. If we followed their new schedule, classes would meet from 2:00–3:30 pm and 3:50–5:10 p.m. Tom Esposito, who works with the Curriculum Committee, checked out the situation and found, to our relief, that the large rooms we need are available all Friday afternoons. So we have an easier schedule of 1:40 – 2:50 p.m. and 3:10 – 4:30 p.m. Rumor has it that Bard will return to the old schedule next spring.
LLI has had to adapt quickly over the last year. We think we are set now for the fall–but watch your email in case we have even more last-minute adapting to do!