DePaul Campus = Ghost Town

Author: Vinnie Podlasek 

Photo: Christina Milich

The time is 8 a.m., I wake up with the same feeling as SpongeBob after a night at Weenie Hut Jr’s. Groggy and completely exhausted, I get dressed, and like usual, I’m wearing the same outfit as every Tuesday. I step outside into the chilling winter air, taking an excellently long sign as I wipe the fog off my glasses. Thus, I begin my commute to DePaul. 

A more or less 30-minute commute from the South Side of Chicago to Lincoln Park, I arrive at DePaul’s Campus. Using the SpotHero app, I park under the “L” as the train rumbles and screeches, shaking everything around me. I sit in my car, preparing for the class as I finish my breakfast banana. I step out of the car and begin a snow ridden walk to class. 

It is the winter quarter and walking on DePaul’s Campus for the first time after almost a year since “Zoom University” began… it felt strange, almost eerie. The feeling of a “ghost town” would devour over any other thought I had. Walking to the Art & Letters Hall to attend my French class was surreal. Felt almost wrong, like I was going to get in trouble for being the only soul in sight. Nevertheless, I entered and attended class with just three other classmates, and of course, my Professor.

In our socially distant setting, we commenced our French lesson. If any class would be beneficial to in-person learning, it was a language class. The one-on-one attention and frequent interaction with my classmates was and continues to be absolutely incredible. I would consequently love every minute of it. Though as the lecture went on, the feeling of community crept back. The feeling of being an actual student reemerged. The spark and desire, the yearning to learn, the feeling that was gravely absent for myself for over a year through E-learning was starting to resurface. 

When the class ended at 11:10 a.m., I left, and uttered “Au revoir, à bientôt.” I stepped out of the building, and the great exodus began. Walking back to my car, I see the snow shower down; the snow almost blankets my vehicle below as the train’s rumbles above. Thus I wipe the new Jackson Pollock theme off my car, and begin my commute home… just like every Tuesday.

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