Many Individuals Rely on Me
By Ivonne Godinez
Student, South Mountain Community College
It was March 5, 2020, shortly after 7 p.m. I had dropped off my son at Religious Service and was heading back home to finish the final exam for an online class I was taking. I remember I was very nervous and scared because I struggle with online classes. However, I started the timed test and was so relieved when I finished early and scored an 80%. That meant I had passed my class with a B. Yes, I did it!!! Now I can focus 100% on the current on campus class I am taking, but first, I was going to enjoy my spring break. No school, no work, just peace of mind and family time.
I had been keeping up with the news and social media regarding the Coronavirus, but I was not giving it much thought. I was raised poor, my parents are from Mexico and I grew up at times with little to none. However, there were things that never went missing in our home. Unconditional love, a roof over our head, food in our bellies and clothes on our backs. We were not going to stress over the toilet paper; we went without numerous times, we found solutions and survived. We grew up drinking water from the water hose and we love rice and beans. We will be fine and we will overcome this as long as we stay positive, close and together.
March, 11, 2020, I got an email from Maricopa Community College regarding Information and Resources about the Coronavirus. No problem, classes will resume after spring break, ok sounds good. On March 12, 2020, I get an email from my professor notifying us that he will be conducting his class with a module for us to view and complete the assignments, ok I’m not panicking, and this class is not too hard. However, on March 13, 2020, I received another email that spring break will be extended until March 20, 2020, ok, still I remind myself, don’t panic. I found myself completing my quizzes and working on this class with any downtime I had. At this point I was grateful to have previously taken online classes and to have learned to have to do everything on my own with very limited interaction with my professor.
I’m not a fan of online education, it feels so informal and I am an active student. I like to ask questions in class, I like to interact with others and I am a much stronger student in person than online where I usually drop a letter grade. I’ve been in and out of college for over 20 years. The fall of 2019 was my first year at South Mountain Community College. It was the first time I was able to have the flexibility and support from my supervisors who encouraged me to go back to school and take more than one class. At this time, I have also enrolled to start classes at SMCC in the fall 2020. Everything still looks good. Don’t worry, no need to panic, I keep reminding myself. I am so close to my Associates in Arts that has taken me over 20 years to complete. This is just another hurdle. Can’t give up. I must keep going forward.
My parents continue to be supportive as I will be the first generation to graduate from college. My kids are also so proud of their mom. My daughter is 22 and she is also a college student with Maricopa Community Colleges. We discuss how the Coronavirus is affecting her with her 4 classes. We lean on each other and offer to help each other out with this hurdle. As far as my son, that is another story. He is a gifted child.He’s 11, and he attends Catholic school. He is also taking an ASU high school online class. So far the Coronavirus had not affected him or his education. His school does not have spring break until Easter. As the days go by, it starts to feel hectic. Amid closure of public schools and on March 14, 2020, we get the notifications that Catholic education will also shut down. As a parent, I patiently wait for notification of what direction the school will take.
Every day, more and more locations are closing. People are to stay home and have very minimal interaction with the outside world. No socializing greater than groups of 10. Restaurants, bars, libraries, gyms and even worship places are all to close. Grocery shelves run dry. This is crazy and it feels like something that would only happen in the movies.
On March 16, 2020, I return to work and the stress begins as we are trying to find ways to safely and productively continue with our day to day operations. I have worked for the State of Arizona for almost 20 years. I worry about my charges and how this will affect them. Most of them are doing the best they can, some need to have consistent contact with me for reassurance and confirmation that they are doing as expected and will be okay. A few struggle with their supervision and some just don’t care. For the past week I have been calling all of them and assure them I will continue to have interaction via telephone, text, email or video. We exchange, “Be safe and take care of yourself”. That is the best I can do at this time under the circumstances.
As I woke up this morning, I had to remind myself to stay calm. I am a daughter, mother, friend, student and employee. Day to day I wear many hats and many individuals look up to me. I can’t lose it and get caught up with everything. Many individuals rely on me.