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C2C Digital Magazine (Fall 2020 / Winter 2021)

Colleague 2 Colleague, Author

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C2Cers in the present moment: An oral history

By Shalin Hai-Jew, Katie J. Uhlenhake, and YuPing Hsu from Kansas State University, Baker University, and Western Illinois University (respectively)

Figure 1.  Circle in Watercolor and Ink 

This first-ever oral history at Colleague 2 Colleague is a product of the concerted work of all three co-editors.   The verbatim oral histories are included here.  The C2Cers refer to colleagues both in a specific and a general sense.

Data were collected from October through mid-December 2020.  The month of the received feedback is noted because of the need to understand the “moment” that the individuals were referring to and writing from, given the fast-moving changes in this time period.  

The responses showed a rich diversity of voices and experiences.  The respondents expressed varying senses of risk from SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19.  Many knew people who were directly impacted by this pathogen, including some who passed on.  Many describe financial stresses and challenging adjustments to their lives and those of their loved ones, family and friends, colleagues, and the greater community.  To address the stresses, people here describe turning to exercise, to sleep, to faith, to friendships, and other forms of coping.  The state of the polity is a concern to a number of the respondents.  In terms of expectations for the future, the “new normal” is perceived as being fairly robust without a return to the status quo ante.  Some envision society coming out stronger, reminiscent of the “anti-fragile” per Nassim Nicholas Taleb (of “black swan” fame).  

How to read the various oral histories:  Click on the links below to read the various oral history contributions.  Or, follow the path from this article for a sequential reading of the works, first with the anonymous responses and then with the named responses.  

Thanks to all who contributed!  

Figure 2.  Hyper Color Splash 

Anonymous Respondents


Suffering people:  unemployment, “famine, homelessness, and poverty”  (Oct. 2020) 

95% at home:  increased productivity but also boredom (Oct. 2020) 

"Life goes on...embrace it!" (Oct. 2020)

"I am back on campus from 8am - 5 pm" (Oct. 2020)

"Needed:  'forward thinking that promotes a healthy democracy'" (Oct. 2020)

Superpowers: “being grounded, rational, and mostly optimistic” (Oct. 2020)

Staying focused amidst uncertainties (Oct. 2020)


Realization:  "most important" life events are not that important (Nov. 2020) 

About future pandemics:  "No preparing for this" (Nov. 2020)

Missing people:  "I hate not seeing my friends" (Nov. 2020)  

"Little House on the Prairie" (Nov. 2020)

Changes to priorities (Nov. 2020) 


A bundle of joy:  “one of the brightest spots of this crazy year” (retrieved from "in progress" in Dec. 2020)

Named Respondents (in alphabetical order) 


Lorri M. Boydston  (Oct. 2020)

Lanie Bertels Fasulo (Nov. 2020)

Harold B. Frye (Oct. 2020)

Tereasa Gilmore (Oct. 2020)

Shalin Hai-Jew (Oct. 2020)

Lisa Jackson (Oct. 2020)

Mark Jarvis (Oct. 2020)

Julie Jensen (Oct. 2020)

Latonya Peterson (Oct. 2020) 


Katie Uhlenhake (Nov. 2020) 



Some computational data summaries of the oral histories

Profiles of selected Kansas counties' mobility Feb. - Dec. 2020 (from Google Mobility Data)

Some Notes about the Project 

Figure 3.  Facemasked World (by cromaconceptovisual on Pixabay)

This project was submitted for review to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of URCO at Kansas State University.  The members approved this work on Oct. 8, 2020, as a non-research project.  

C2Cers in the Present Moment:  An Oral History 

A survey was announced on Oct. 9, 2020, and it was available through Dec. 31, 2020.  The questions were as follows:  

General Questions 

Q1 How has the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 affected your life?

Q2 How do you handle the uncertainty of SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19, with information coming out daily (and sometimes even more often)?

Q3 How do you handle stress in the time of the pandemic?

Changes to Work Life

Q4 What about effects of the pandemic on your work life?

Q5 Do you have a home office? If so, how is it set up? What are ways you’ve set up your home office for work efficiencies? For comfort?

Q6 In terms of online teaching and learning, what are some new approaches you’re using?

Q7 How has video conferencing and Zoom impacted your life and work? Overall, has it been for the better or for the worse? And why?

Q8 What efforts do you take to support your students during these times?

Q9 How do you engage with your colleagues during these times?

Q10 Any new technologies that are helpful? Please elaborate.

Q11 What "superpowers" do you have that have enabled you to cope with the challenges of these times? Why?

Looking to the Future

Q12 What do you expect the “new normal” to look like on the other side of this (or into the future)? Why?

Q13 What do you think you’ll remember from this time period in the future? Why?

Q14 Based on what you’ve learned so far, how should people prepare for a future pandemic? If you had this to do all over again, what would you do differently? Why? Are there ways to be better prepared?

Q15 Anything else you would like to add?

Note:  These questions were drafted by Shalin Hai-Jew, and one additional question was added by YuPing Hsu.  The responses were co-reviewed by all three co-editors.  

Figure 4.  Pointillized Psychedelica 
Begin this path
  1. Suffering people: unemployment, “famine, homelessness, and poverty”
  2. 95% at home: increased productivity but also boredom
  3. "Life goes on...embrace it!"
  4. “I am back on campus from 8am - 5pm”
  5. Needed: “forward thinking that promotes a healthy democracy”
  6. Superpowers: “being grounded, rational, and mostly optimistic”
  7. Staying focused amidst uncertainties
  8. Realization: "most important" life events are not that important
  9. About future pandemics: “No preparing for this”
  10. Missing people: “I hate not seeing my friends”
  11. “Little House on the Prairie”
  12. Changes to priorities
  13. A bundle of joy: “one of the brightest spots of this crazy year”
  14. C2Cer: Dr. Lorri M. Boydston, Adjunct Faculty, Baker University
  15. C2Cer: Dr. Lanie Bertels Fasulo, Coordinator of Concurrent Credit Partnerships, Baker University
  16. C2Cer: Dr. Harold B. Frye, Associate Professor, School of Education, Baker University
  17. C2Cer: Tereasa Gilmore, Assistant Professor of Business, and Undergraduate Chair, Baker University
  18. C2Cer: Dr. Shalin Hai-Jew, Instructional Designer, Kansas State University
  19. C2Cer: Lisa Jackson, Violin and Viola Instructor, Baker University
  20. C2Cer: Dr. Mark Jarvis, Director, Faculty Development, Butler Community College
  21. C2Cer: Julie Jensen, Adjunct Professor, Baker University
  22. C2Cer: Dr. Latonya Peterson, Business and Criminal Justice, Baker University
  23. C2Cer: Dr. Katie Uhlenhake, Assistant Dean of School of Education, Baker University
  24. Some computational data summaries of the oral histories
  25. Profiles of selected Kansas counties' mobility Feb. - Dec. 2020 (from Google Mobility Data)
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