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  • Stefanie Marvin-Miller

The 2020 Chapters: Part II

In March of 2020, the virus, COVID-19, had reached the United States, and had begun devastating life as we knew it.


This included our corner of the world; Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and our college, Middle Tennessee State University.


We were doing so well. We were passing test, left and right. We were leaving projects in the dust. We were on a winning streak and there was no stopping us. Campus bus drivers recognized Leland and me, riding it everyday. Making the trek across campus was a breeze!


But little did we know, it would soon all end.


It started with an email, warning us about COVID-19 measures across campus. Then, the first case appeared on campus. Our student worker position was eliminated, public speaking events were being cancelled. We had no idea how long this would last, and what our new normal would be.


Leland missed being on campus, working in public everyday, we missed our professors, and the students who would recognize us in the halls.


Our classes began again, online, entirely remote. I worried how we were going to cope, but then a heavy muzzle rested on my leg, with brown eyes looking up at me, and I knew that we were going to make it.


Schedules changed, training sessions remained in our yard area, and boy, did we have to get creative and challenging for Leland. Toys were spread as on obstacle course, treats were laid down as traps. My boy didn't even blink! We both worked, hard, working harder to make things normalized as much as possible, while being quarantined in the house.


And guess what?


We passed.


Every. Single. Class.


All A's, and only one B, but we did it. We came out of the other side of this stronger together, and while it may still be going on, and the world continues to try and find a new normal, I know that we can get through anything now.


But, for now, our next semester is coming up, classes have been paid for, books have been purchased. It's time to go again.


Here's to the next semester, and here's to Leland's upcoming fourth birthday :) (August 25)


-Stefanie + Leland


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