What we miss about face-to-face classes this semester

CATEGORIES: Student Perspective
If you miss enjoying the traditional cardinal and gold tulips in bloom at Reiman Gardens this time of year, here's the next best thing. Check out #CycloneVision on the @iowastateu Instagram account, where university photographer and Greenlee alumnus Christopher Gannon is sharing beautiful photos from around campus. (Photo by Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University)

COVID-19 may have brought an unexpected conclusion to the academic year as Iowa State University — and much of the rest of the country — transitioned to virtual instruction in mid-March.

As we’ve all adapted to the new normal to successfully complete this year, we remain grateful for the time spent with students — both face to face and virtually — and have fond memories from classes this year.

Distinguished Professor Michael Bugeja listed what he misses about face-to-face interaction with his ethics class students, mostly seniors, in his April 21, 2020, article in Inside Higher Ed, and he challenged faculty and his students to do the same. Below are a few submissions.

On the bright side … many of these are the things we’ll look forward to when we return to campus!


Annie Wells
senior in journalism and mass communication, outgoing editor in chief of the Iowa State Daily

  1. Late nights/early mornings in the newsroom when everyone has lost their minds.
  2. Driving younger staffers home late at night and talking about their futures.
  3. Crying in Spoon’s office when it’s been a really rough day.
  4. My roommate’s cat meowing at my door when he’s lonely, then when I let him in he immediately runs underneath my bed.
  5. Watching SNL every Sunday night with my roommates to catch up on the week and prepare for the upcoming week’s homework.
  6. Being able to get my unassigned but assigned parking spot at my apartment complex.
  7. Running between Carver and Pearson with my professor who also has to make that same track, also trying to figure out which way is the fastest to do that in ten minutes.
  8. Giving tours to prospective students, and getting the too-cool-for-this high school kids to ask me real questions when their parents aren’t around.
  9. IOWA SUNSETS! I swear the sky is bigger there.
  10. Daily CVS runs with my staff, I miss them more than my heart can take.


Isabelle Fiester
senior in advertising

  1. Making the mad dash to the bus stop outside of my apartment because I decided I needed ten more minutes in bed.
  2. The MU Panda Express, where I had my “Monday Panda,” also known as my excuse to pig out on orange chicken and cream cheese wontons once a week.
  3. Going to my job at the printing services where most days I did small tasks like spiraling notebooks or scanning binder after binder full of charts and data I didn’t understand for 4 hours, usually while listening to a murder podcast.
  4. Sitting in the student lounge in Hamilton before ethics where I’d watch the TVs playing CNN and Fox News, comparing and contrasting the two.
  5. Being able to avoid responsibilities and spend money I shouldn’t at the Ames Goodwill and Salvation Army. Probably 75% of my possessions are from these two stores.
  6. Walking to my car after a class, praying not to see that little yellow piece of paper on my windshield.
  7. Being able to go to the grocery store and take my time while shopping, not stressing over how close I am to fellow shoppers.
  8. Having the choice to dress up for a class or show up in my pajamas.
  9. Calling the walk from the bus stop outside of student services to Hamilton every day my source of exercise.
  10. Being able to sit next to my friends in class and trying to whisper to each other or exchange glances during lecture.


Sherry Berghefer
Greenlee associate teaching professor

  1. My students! I miss seeing their faces in class and chatting before class starts.
  2. Being able to walk around in lab to help those who need it.
  3. Being able to pop in and say hi to my fellow Hamiltonians.
  4. The camaraderie everywhere!
  5. Having students, current and former, just stop by to say “hi” or to share good news with me.
  6. Having my graduating seniors stop in for the last time to say their goodbyes and for congratulatory (and sometimes teary) hugs.


Tracy Lucht
Greenlee associate professor


Gary Sawyer
Greenlee assistant teaching professor


Erin Wilgenbusch
Greenlee associate teaching professor

See Erin’s message to seniors in this video on LinkedIn.