Coronavirus: the Freaky Friday solution
Danny McMaster | Tuesday, March 24, 2020
With the start of online classes this week, I fear that Notre Dame is making a huge mistake. Look, we had to cancel classes — it’s the right thing to do without a doubt. However, Notre Dame is taking a big misstep by turning the school to online classes for everyone. With the inevitable struggles of migrating courses online mid-semester, it will take a strong combined effort from both students and professors to continue the high level of learning typically present at this University. This is why, for the sake of this institution as a whole, we need to give up on spring semester seniors.
I mean, I know that this is pessimistic, but we’ve got to be pragmatic in these difficult times. Seniors at this point probably have accumulated enough points in their classes so they won’t fail outright, and many of our professors will struggle to transition to an online environment. Without student help, these classes may just simply fall apart. Many professors are a little bit older, and might struggle with this. I love my mom, but there is no possible way she would know how to kind of work an iPhone without many years of help from her four sons.*
Other grades will do better. The underclassmen all likely still have this thing called “hope” and “optimism,” and will diligently work towards a productive half-semester, working hand-in-hand with professors to make the most out of this bad situation.
But spring seniors? Who were all just told their last Olfs as a student has somehow already happened? Who just learned every single plan they made to ignore their classes this half-semester turned out to be meaningless because there won’t be any classes at all? Who have to face the fact that they’ll never have that last chance to complete the Hesburgh Challenge (read a book on every floor of the library)?
Those kids are spent. There’s no hope for getting them back to their old class schedule. That does not mean, however, that there is no hope left at all. In fact, the University is missing out on a golden opportunity.
That opportunity, of course, is a Freaky Friday.
If you have never seen the 2003 film starring Lindsay Lohan,** then first of all — what did you do with your childhood? I don’t like you. But if you haven’t, basically Lindsay Lohan portrays a teenager who switches bodies with her mom on a Friday, and that’s pretty much the entire thing. Not a lot to it, but it worked.
And it can work again.
Here is my official recommendation: every single spring senior gets to switch all of their classes for the rest of the semester into a different major. Everybody still graduates with their original plan, we just get to stir the pot a little. You could even get rid of all the labs and sculpture classes that are essentially impossible now. It’s perfect.
You might be thinking, ‘Won’t this just make students more confused and disengaged?’ And if you are, then you really don’t know Notre Dame students.
Let’s attack this major by major and see how it would work.
Engineering: These kids are probably desperate for homework. My roommate doesn’t know what to do with all this free time. Give them like six classes, for their own good.
Science: Put these kids in business classes. You know they are just dying for the opportunity to call the business school a joke. They’ll be more engaged than ever.
Arts and Letters: You ever spend four years getting your major made fun of and then have the opportunity to pass a couple engineering or science classes, AND drop your thesis? These kids would be wired.
Business: The same thing as Arts and Letters kids, but probably wouldn’t work. Being fair, we probably already lost the business kids before this even happened.
Architecture: Honestly, I don’t know. People keep telling me that archies exist, but I still haven’t met one.
So there it is. That’s how you fix Notre Dame for this senior class, who has just been robbed by a virus with the audacity to name itself after a beer. Senior Spring should be filled with fun parties, light course loads and telling that girl Katie in your math class how you really feel about her. If we can’t give seniors that, then we should give them what they deserve.
A Freaky Friday.
*I’m one of four boys. Yes, that likely contributed to why I’m like this.
**And are between like 15-25 years old.
Danny McMaster is a senior business analytics major, and has never once been wrong in his entire life. He can be reached at [email protected] or @DanMcMaster14 on Twitter.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.