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Madison Dell

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Madison Dell

The gratitude of little things

The Bay Area’s shelter-in-place order and Stanford’s transition to online classes for spring quarter has left me thinking a lot about how our communication has to be much more intentional now than ever before. We don’t get to run into colleagues and peers at the proverbial water cooler. We have to make an effort to reach out to them via email, text, phone call, Zoom, etc. I realize now that I took those little interactions for granted, and I miss those informal encounters. However, I consider myself incredibly lucky. I have two amazing advisors (Eric Bettinger and Tom Dee) who have checked on me and supported me as I continue my coursework and research. Our first-year cohort of PhD students has organized all kinds of virtual activities that allow us to remain in touch. The GSE has devoted immense resources to supporting its students and facilitating a smooth transition to online learning. I’m acutely aware that not everyone enjoys these same privileges. Above all else, these uncertain and challenging times have reminded me to be grateful—especially for the little things.

Madison Dell is a doctoral student focusing on the economics of education at Stanford Graduate School of Education. 

June 2, 2020

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