The new normal — Day 8

March 24, 2020


Courtesy of Craig Lawrence

No longer able to attend in-class meetings, LMC student Cathie Lawrence works on her class project from home.

Spencer Batute, Staff Writer

Editor’s note: “The new normal” is a continuing series that looks into how members of the Los Medanos College community are coping with a shelter-in-place order amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In light of the ongoing statewide shelter in place, younger students who are not as susceptible to COVID-19 have mixed feelings about their new, isolated lifestyles — but what about Los Medanos College’s older students?

Cathie Lawrence, a 65-year-old LMC student, is among the older cohorts of the college’s student population.

Lawrence’s only class, art history, which normally meets in person, has transitioned online. But so far, this change has posed few problems to her usual routine. 

She is now working on her art project, a watercolor painting, at home using her own materials.

Though she has yet to use Zoom, the standard application used by LMC professors for video and audio conference calls, Lawrence is confident she’ll be able to use it without issue because she has taken online classes before.

Lawrence is also required to visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for her class, but she found that she was able to virtually tour similar museums online as the shelter-in-place prevents her from attending in person. 

Though she would have enjoyed seeing art in person more than online, Lawrence says her safety is more important.

“A virtual museum is a safe way to see work of some of the famous contemporary artists and get our written reports done on artists of our choosing,” she said.

Despite any potential challenges to affect her online class, Lawrence is glad LMC closed its campus because she and her husband, 74, have underlying health issues.

“I think it’s a good idea,” Lawrence said. “It’s the only way to get a hold of this virus. You need to stop it in its tracks.”

However, Lawrence still has some questions for the school regarding her graduation and units necessary to complete her major.

Lawrence, who is in her final semester at LMC, is worried she won’t graduate.

“I’m kinda bummed,” Lawrence said. “I’ve gone all this time waiting for the day to do the walk, and it may not happen.”

Lawrence continues to adjust to her “new normal” from home, keeping the safety of both her and her husband in mind through this uncertain period of time.