In her 2000 book examining psychological and philosophical ideals of love in modern society, Gloria Watkins (pen name: bell hooks) writes, “But many of us seek community solely to escape the fear of being alone. Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.”
Never in our lifetime has it been more necessary to be comfortable with being alone, at peace in solitude. In following national efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Santa Clara University took the unprecedented action of shuttering campus, and moving classes to the virtual realm in March. Quarantine efforts will last at least through the fall 2020 quarter.
In a video message to students, SCU President Kevin O’Brien, S.J., noted this uptick in the University’s reliance on virtual communication. “It’s the right thing to do,” he said, as we practice social distancing. “But it’s very hard. Because more than ever in these challenging times, we need each other…these times can be especially lonely in an age when there is already too much social isolation.”
If there is a silver lining to be found in this situation, it’s that we live during a time of profound technological advancement. Current SCU students continue their studies virtually. SCU employees (this writer included) are extremely privileged to be able to work from their home computer. Families and friends can connect in the virtual realm, through free conferencing apps like Google Hangouts and paid ones like Zoom. And never has there been a better time to catch up on our reading—the best way to travel, meet new characters, and engage in interesting dialogue, all from the comfort of your couch.
To stay together while staying apart, Santa Clara Magazine, along with friends from around campus, has compiled a list of ways to read as a Bronco community.