Two events happened today that are at least in my mind related.
First when I woke up I checked my emails for the two classes I am teaching through distance learning, at the University of Maryland University College, a capstone class for an IT Master’s program, and at Syracuse University, about Cyber-Security Policy.
One of my students at Syracuse University was taking the class for a second time because he was unable to finish it the first time. The reason he could not the first time was because he had been stationed in Afghanistan and he wasn’t able to juggle the time he had to spend out in the field with the time necessary to complete the class assignments. This, coupled, by the intermittent Internet access meant he was unable to finish the work. As a result I arranged with Syracuse University for him to take it again this year without additional cost and with no negative grade consequences (small things for a large sacrifice on his part).
This morning his email confirmed that he will have to redeploy back to Afghanistan this coming week. Since he will be based in Bagram, he is much more confident that he will have sufficient Internet access and thus will be able to finish the final weeks this time. His role is to provide IT support for Forward Operating Bases, which doesn’t sound like something most of us would want to do.
He thanked me for being so flexible. I thanked him for his service, I told him it was a continuing honor to have him in my classes.
After reading his email, I went and voted.
All of us should, people like my student are the reason we can.