Getting Ready for a Return
On Monday, students returned to in-person learning at the Centre for Christian Studies after almost three years of online classes, starting with the fall learning circle of the Integration Year. Beside all the standard learning circle preparations – planning sessions, lining up guest speakers, gathering resources, etc. – we did a few other things to ensure that everyone would be safe and comfortable together…
With support from our donors, we purchased a high-powered air purifier to circulate the air in the building. It is quiet enough to sit in the room with us without disrupting a learning circle, and it pulls any harmful particles out of the air.
We spent a day cleaning up our backyard space (sometimes called the quad, conjuring images of a sprawling campus with ancient ivy-covered buildings) so that the learning circle could meet outside if the weather was agreeable.
As we get new books for the CCS library, we pull older ones or copies we don’t need anymore off the shelves and set them out for students to take with them for their personal libraries. After three years of not having students passing by, our pile of give-away books is getting large.
We invited students to bring masks and to mask up while meeting inside.
We provided rapid tests so that students could check themselves for covid indications at the beginning of the circle and at the end of the circle before they travel back to their families and home communities.
CCS ordered lunch for students on the first day of their circle, so they wouldn’t have to worry about finding food. Many students have fond memories of going to the nearby Stella’s restaurant for lunch during past circles in Winnipeg. The Stella’s on Sherbrook is no more, but we were able to order in lunch from a Stella’s further away for a hospitable taste of continuity.
We are thrilled to have students back in the building, to hear the sound of singing and laughter, to wait in line at the photocopier, to eat together, drink coffee together, learn together, and catch up.