It’s a different experience
To teach mostly online
It’s harder to connect with my students
On video calls
Than it is in person
And I never know if I should be looking
At their faces,
For authenticity
Or at the camera,
For eye contact

But if someone forgets the name
Of their prescription,
They can just go get it
And if we interview a child,
We see them in their natural habitat
And we can do so much more
With these advantages
It’s not a bad thing
To teach mostly online
But it’s different

Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:

Every year he taught and advised a small group of eight or nine medical students, meeting with them in person two or three times a week. This year was the first time that most of these meetings were on Zoom. It was frustrating not to be able to interact with students the same way he used to, but there were also advantages to meeting online. Reflecting on the shift, he kept returning to the juxtaposition of opportunities and challenges that his group was experiencing as they embarked on the new style of learning together.

Interviewee: Anonymous, Physician
Listener Poet: Elle Klassen

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