Our semester online

Moody College students reflect on setbacks, strides forward

This spring, we had a new challenge to face as a community. 

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When a global pandemic shuttered The University of Texas at Austin, we were all hit with uncertainty. 

And all of our situations changed dramatically.

Chase Broadfoot, an advertising major, absorbed the stress of the unknown.

“I remember feeling just really surprised and unsure of what the future held for school and life in general,” he said.

Moody College students are spread out from Sacramento to Dallas to West Campus. Instead of walking to class, we tape hastily written signs that read, “Zoom call, do not disturb.” 

Saba Raheimian, a journalism student, was dislocated back to California and is experiencing weird moments.

She explains, “My parents haven’t had me move back in in a very long time so they sort of digressed to calling me for dinner, like ‘Come downstairs.’”

We have all experienced growing pains.

The unwelcome examination of what is rooted, routine and familiar.

And the reluctant invitation to explore what is new, innovative and transformative. 

After our momentary setback, we conclude the Spring 2020 semester with significant strides forward. 

We finished screenplays, and we taught people that it’s ok to stutter.

Katie Coker is a student clinician at the Michael and Tami Lang Stuttering Institute. The clinical treatment team used video conferencing formats to continue helping participants in the communication excellence program.

“Even though we weren’t able to work with our participants in person, and take care of them in person, they still took away things they will hold on to for the rest of their life in regards to their stutter, and just the way they view themselves and their self-esteem in regards to the ways that they communicate,” Coker said. “It’s cool that we were still able to make a difference in people’s lives even though we weren’t physically there in person.”

Ryan Kelly, a Radio-Television-Film major, embraced self-isolation as an incubation period for creativity. 

"I’ve written over a hundred pages of scripts at this point now,” Kelly said. “And I’ve made two or three different, well, I made two videos that are complete, and I’m currently working on a third, and just beginning to work for a fourth. And I’m trying to get seven or eight videos done by June, which I think is definitely possible if I keep going at the rate I’m going, which is really nice.”

So, what did we learn this semester? 

We learned that situations and circumstances do not define us. But they can refine us. 

And in a world where some of our accomplishments may be virtual, the satisfaction and the hard work are just as real.


Matthew Bowlin
Storytelling Team