My name is Caroline Gardner, I am a recent Georgetown graduate! I studied Government, Journalism, and Public Health. I am from Indianapolis, IN & I completed my archive project from my childhood bedroom there! During my time at Georgetown I hosted trivia for The Tombs, walked many dogs, worked in many office buildings (Capitol Hill being the most beautiful by far), hosted a radio show about jazz and became incredibly passionate about women's empowerment as VP of my sorority. Currently, I am living in Indianapolis, working at a brewery (with a mask, of course), babysitting two very nice kids and teaching yoga classes!
About the Collection
As a student with a learning disability, I feel lucky to look back on my time in school and feel supported and empowered by teachers and their actions. Teachers have an incredible opportunity, not to only teach young people what they need to know in order to navigate the world, but also to teach them how to advocate for themselves, how to be kind, and how to connect with others. I wanted to learn more about the education system during the pandemic - How were teachers coping with the physical distance of teaching through a screen? How were students learning? What else was going on in the lives of students that might take away from their studies? How are low income students being affected, and how are they being supported by their teachers? How are mental health challenges being exacerbated by a global pandemic? Teachers are some of the most passionate, caring, and communicative people. Both my parents are teachers, so I live with two of them. I asked every teacher what he or she is doing for his or her mental health. I asked them about lesson plans, the lives of their students, and the future of education. Some conversations left me in tears of gratitude for their hard work or in tears concern for the challenges of their students and for them. Some conversations were with friends, many of whom I'd known for years: I am so grateful for this opportunity to get to know them in a different way. There are some holes in my project: I did not speak to a teacher who is a person of color, I did not get to hear from the students themselves (interviewing someone under 18 is frowned upon, if not illegal), and I did not get a full picture of the life of a teacher during a pandemic. Overall, this project was the first assignment to bring me back to focus and passion for my own education during my last semester of college. I am so thankful for Prof. Chakravarti and Onder for their encouragement, support and awesome Zoom classes in March, April and May.