Drawing inspiration from the New York Times’ “The Pandemic Logs,” we asked Goshen College students, faculty and staff to record a few sentences about the ins and outs of their daily lives within the new protocols of a COVID-19 semester. Here’s what six of them had to say. Be on the lookout for more next week. Illustrations by digital editor, Nathan Pauls.

Jacob Claassen is a junior theater and art double major from Syracuse, Indiana. 

Tuesday, Oct. 13

Recently, I feel the most motivated right after I wake up. I woke up this morning with two goals on my mind: finish editing sound effects for the fall play Cymbeline and then reward myself with a breakfast. It was a small reward, just a bagel with cream cheese.


Saturday, Oct. 17 

Xan, Olivia, Gavin, Haley and I played another session of our Dungeons and Dragons game that we started this summer, virtually. Our characters are in the middle of solving a murder mystery. My character wasn’t very helpful; he accidentally drank a bad potion that made him hallucinate and see crabs that wanted to sell him things.


Sunday, Oct. 18 

Today, I did something that I normally don’t do. I attended church twice. I watched the College Mennonite Church live stream, and I joined a Zoom call for a different church all the way in Boston. I am sad that I can’t meet in person at CMC with my grandparents, but I am happy that now I can attend church in this new way that lets me connect with others from all over the world.


Thursday, Oct. 22

Three cheeseburgers, and two Red Bulls. I felt like I was walking the fine line of self-care and self-destruction today.

Suzanne Ehst was born and raised in Pennsylvania and has lived in Michigan for the past 18 years. She is a professor of education as well as the director of the secondary education program.


Thursday, Oct. 15

So this appears to be my pattern this fall: spend some time on Facebook, get politically fired up, and post my stance passionately and unapologetically. Go to bed. Wake up early in the morning worrying that I was too strident. Get on Facebook and delete last night’s post. Go to the pages of my like-minded friends and just like all their stuff instead. 


Saturday, Oct. 17

Five of us gather for dinner in our screened-in porch. We sit as two family groups on either side of the table. In other years, we would have declared it too cold for a picnic. I run an extension cord outside to a small heater. We eat with our coats on. As the sun sets, the moths come and cluster around our light. 


Sunday, Oct. 18

Even though it’s Sunday, I worked at least eight hours today, and I found myself missing the early days of the pandemic, when my life was slowed down for me. My conference presentation was cancelled. I re-planned classes with “less is more” at the forefront of my mind. Working from home meant reclaiming the 80 minutes of my day spent on the road. For a few months, I had what they call “work-life balance.” A friend suggested that it was maybe in my power to keep moving at this more sane pace even as the world picked up around me; I think about that often as I look at my full calendar and decide that nothing can be cut.


Monday, Oct. 19 

My advising meetings started full-force today. There are about 50 of you whom I will meet with by Zoom, and I’ve allowed 30 minutes for each meeting. Last year, I tried to do it in 20 minutes per person, but that was a little rushed, and I figured this year, the need to talk, to problem solve, to feel connected might be stronger. Some of you are done talking in ten minutes, and that’s okay. It gives me time to refill my coffee. Some of you want to talk and talk – about your parent’s health, about your uncertain SST plans, about how hard it is to get to know people as a commuter student in a mask. I take it all in, and though I am tired, I hold it all as best as I can. 

Mariela Esparza is a first-year English and secondary education double major from Elkhart, Indiana.


Tuesday Oct. 20 

Had Chick-fil-A for lunch. Went down a YouTube rabbit hole – ballroom dancing. My package was supposed to be here today, maybe tomorrow. 


Wednesday Oct. 21 

Did some laundry. Found a blue pen in my WHITE bedding load! Edith came over. No package yet. 


Friday Oct. 23 

Finally went back to Kiyomi’s! SO GOOD. I had ramen AND sushi. No regrets. Got my septum piercing! Didn’t really hurt tbh. Lowkey obsessed with it. My package came, finally! Another Frida book. 


Saturday Oct. 24 

Woke up to my piercing bleeding? After my Zoom, walked to Edith’s, babysat the kiddos. I guess when I told my family I was getting a nose piercing they were expecting a little stud–they said I look like a bull. Fair. A cute bull, though. 

Joanne Gallardo currently serves as the Goshen College campus pastor. She is originally from northwest Ohio. 


Thursday, Oct. 22

SO. MANY. ZOOM. MEETINGS. I no longer can stand seeing my own face on the screen. I ate through two meetings today.


Sunday, Oct. 25

Attended Zurch (Zoom church) and thought the sermon on trust was so relevant for me at the moment. Met with students. Had a little bit of a meltdown over the possibility of quarantine over the winter but rallied. 


Tuesday, Oct. 27

Had a great visit with a grad school friend around a fire. Worked on a sermon. Reflecting on how up and down life with COVID-19 is. 


Wednesday, Oct. 28

Had a really good night of sleep. Almost lost the cat. My workday didn’t end until 8 p.m.

Fritz Hartman is from Goshen, Indiana. He is the director of the Good Library. 


Wednesday, Oct. 14

Overheard conversation between wife and 7-year-old: “Mom, you messed up big time on my bangs!” And between you and me, reader, Mom pretty much butchered them.


Thursday, Oct. 15

New reality: checking the GC COVID-19 Dashboard and jumping for joy that we are two people under 30 cases in isolation. About a week ago, we all chortled at the thought of getting to 30.


Wednesday, Oct. 21

“Among Us” was super hyped BEFORE AOC! It’s about to go into the stratosphere. And then drop like Pokemon Go.


Thursday, Oct. 22

GC’s new COVID-19 cases continue to trickle in like some sort of sick Noah’s ark!  How many asymptomatic carriers are out there?


Friday, Oct. 23

“Dad … is Jeff Bezos evil?”

“Well, I don’t necessarily think that anyone is …”

“Diapers.com, Dad!!! Remember, Diapers.com!” 

Leah Kauffman is a graphic design major from West Liberty, Ohio. She is currently participating in the Sustainability Leadership Semester at Merry Lea. 


Tuesday, Oct. 20

DaveO made lasagna for dinner, which was followed by a very loud game of Pictionary. Also, tonight, if you are quiet enough, you can hear the rain on the roof. 


Thursday, Oct. 22

I know how much electricity my family uses now. It would take 123 solar panels to offset the cost for a year. Also … a family unit that watches the debate together, stays together. 


Saturday, Oct. 24

I think I am “people-sick,” if that’s a thing. COVID-19 kinda sucks, you know? But all of that can be counteracted by a good morning of thrift shopping and the first OSU game of the season! O-H!


Sunday, Oct. 25

Perfect Sundays still exist. Sleep in. Watch some football. And of course, a good afternoon nap. 


Monday, Oct. 26

Boring class day, but there were French toast sticks. Those were good.