REFLECTIONS ON COURSES:
I began participating in ----- class a semester or two before the pandemic hit. I enjoyed meeting in person around a large table, but our class is one of the few events I actually prefer online to in person. We can see each other so much more clearly and, unless there are technical problems, can hear well too. People can attend in all weather and even if they are feeling under the weather. Class has helped provide needed structure during the pandemic, doing so while we engage in reading and discussion of mysteries. What could be better? We don't get to socialize much, so when (if!) the pandemic ends it would be great to get together outside class to get to know each other better.
Thinking over the previous couple of years, I know that Plato on-line classes have been an antidote to the scourge of old age made worse by the pandemic and winter weather: loneliness.
- It provided a great reason and process for staying connected with other Madison people.
- Without Plato classes during the pandemic, I would have had far fewer affiliation opportunities.
- The use of Zoom meetings has been critical and enjoyable for continuing all of my Plato classes. One class will continue to meet on-line whenever needed (Covid, weather, etc.). Zoom lecture based classes allow for speakers from other cities to participate without having to travel to Madison.
- For me, Plato has been a critical part of the many people connections I am involved with during the past two years.
I have been a member of PLATO for about 6 years, so pre-pandemic and pandemic. Meeting in person for learning and discussion seemed like it was part of the point of PLATO but now the necessity of ZOOM has informed me that remote connection (when one gets used to it) is also valuable with the plus of being able to attend if out of town or the weather is bad. Meeting in person is still preferred… but perhaps the advantages of ZOOM might make hybrid classes even better for the long term, but perhaps impractical. I hope to attend classes in 2022, probably still remote or hybrid. A class or 2 each “term” is about the right amount for me.
Some PLATO classes are intellectually stimulating which is part of what I’m after. PLATO members who decide to coordinate a class are all admirable for their efforts. In my experience and according to my preferences there have been a few classes that stood out mostly because of the erudition and dedication of the coordinators. Their graciousness in sharing time and knowledge along with timely subject matter and a well-organized and developed class plan is appreciated by the many educated and experienced participants in these classes who are eager to be involved and contribute their thoughts. I am looking forward to more of this in whatever form it takes.
We've been Plato members for something like at least ten years. I have only good things to say. Very stimulating and something to be looked forward to for each class. Some of the courses we took have been amongst the best courses we ever took, even in formal education. So, we're only positive about the course material and our fellow students
I have been a member of PLATO for more than ten years. The courses ground my week. Participants are thoughtful, and the facilitators are hardworking and well organized. “Students” from a variety of backgrounds, willingly share their thoughts and stimulate new and interesting perspectives. Although I’d be happy to have the in-person option, the virtual classes have allowed many people to see and hear more clearly, stay at home in fierce weather, and attend from a distance. All in all, a great program.
(I have been a member) Since either 2018 or 2019. What I enjoyed were the theater trips and outings more than the classes that were offered.
(I) Like the ease of not going someplace to meet especially if it means going downtown and paying for parking etc.
I started with …. in the spring of 2020 right before in-person shut down. I have very little in-person experience with this group. I don't feel any personal connection by only Zoom where other things I do in-person there is more of a personal/social connection that does not exist for me with this class. It probably does have some personal connection for people that met when the group was in person. Another organization where I have many Zoom meetings and had in person experience with almost all of them pre Covid and that feels a lot different. Much more socialization goes on because we personally know each other.
I joined PLATO to meet other people with different backgrounds than the people I already know.
PLATO became much more important to me after the pandemic began, since I was so much more limited in being able to see friends, socialize, and generally interact with people. It was really a kind of lifeline, especially before the vaccines were available and we were so isolated.
The PLATO classes have helped me maintain connection socially and intellectually, especially before the vaccines were available.
I like the intellectual stimulation of the …. classes, as well as the social interaction with people from different backgrounds. I will participate in classes in 2022. Before the Omicron surge I preferred in-person classes, but I'm having second thoughts about that due to the transmissibility of the variant.
PLATO has offered me the opportunity to get to know people from different backgrounds - people I would not have met except for the program. I enjoy reading books I wouldn't have read on my own, and I especially enjoy hearing others' opinions and discussions of the books we've read.
...the program has meant a lot to me and I'm very grateful to all who donate their time and effort to making it so great.
Coordinators have to become technical experts. Loss of social interaction and smaller discussions with online classes. PLATO needs to figure out a way to make in-person safe. Does PLATO have the right to insist on vaccination and masks?
It’s very important to stay creative, involved, volunteer, learn – PLATO provides that opportunity.