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Ch 3: The Care Gap

Sharing is Caring?

After reading the article on “The Post Pandemic University and the Caring Gap” by Gabriela Saldanha, I could see her point of view on the carers vs non-carers and a distinct gap in between. My stepdaughter is now out of the house and 20 yrs old however when she lived with us during her freshman and sophomore year of high school, it was quite the time and a learning experience.  Had this been during the pandemic, I think I would have lost my mind. I did see, however, that many little things that I did had gone unappreciated. 

The article made me digress a bit and I thought about the online world we are living in now and:

“Does this pandemic era of working at home, isolating and educating remotely, lessen our actions on caring?” I am not saying that we care less, but losing that in person experience makes me forget about the little things and showing I care. 

Thinking about this was a bit of an eye-opener for my personal life. I don’t get to see my parents as much and our family gatherings at holidays have sort of dissipated this past year.  Even with my friends I found that we just don’t talk as much anymore. “Liking “ something on facebook and maybe sharing a post is really all I have done lately. Is that caring?…not really.

Even in the online world of education , I’ve always enjoyed having at least some of my classes in person. Each semester you meet a different cohort of students in each class and chat before or after class and just having that in-person proximity helps you to get that peer influence and self confidence booster.

I was pleased to see the “mad tea” exercise we did in class so we could get to know another. I wish that more classes would have done this in the past. It makes it more of an in-person experience and the conversations in class seem to improve as the level of comfortability increases. 

This week’s reading became a self awareness exercise for me. I’m going to be more prone now to pick up that phone and call my friends or relatives or even just send a text asking how they’re doing…..just a little something to show that they are still appreciated and that I do still care. 

2 replies on “Sharing is Caring?”

Sheila – I am so glad you brought up the question of how care is experienced…and the tension (gap) we might experience in terms of care-in-learning when we are learning online vs. F2F contexts. This is an important differentiation to ponder together I think. How can we care in both spaces in ways that matter, and ultimately build a sense of community? How can we prioritize these values as we move forward.

So glad you have joined us! xo -Dr. Zamora

Sheila,

I think that what you mention about the online world vs the physical and caring is a dynamic that is really interesting. In fact, I have been thinking about that a lot – especially in terms of how to humanize people in an online environment. In someways, online environments both make it easier to feel more intimate with others and also so far away. You can have a deep conversation with a total stranger without a real name, but then you turn around and some other person is tearing down someone they don’t even know. It is a really weird environment and brings up a lot of interesting questions about how we treat each other and how different contexts can shift the way we care – or how we show we care. I hope that good things can come out of this “self-awareness” exercise. 🙂

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