Scene on Campus

Still learning in 3D

At an in-person class in the pandemic, there’s lots of elbow room.

Bob Handleman

Bob Handleman

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Juan Ernesto Recoaro ’24 (far left) took one of Yale's few in-person classes last semester: The Purposes of a College Education, taught by Yale vice president and comparative literature professor Pericles Lewis. Recoaro is from Argentina, and Lewis gave preference to first-year international students. (New US immigration regulations last July had required those students to take an in-person class or leave the country.)


If you’ve forgotten what your college education did for you, here’s Lewis’s list in the course catalogue: “development of personal character, participation in a community, conversation with others on intellectual matters, . . . and pursuit of knowledge for its own sake.” Readings included Plato, Confucius, the Bhagavad Gita, Virginia Woolf, and Martin Luther King. More than 60 students took the class, held in Yale’s new O. C. Marsh Lecture Hall on Science Hill. Recoaro says the experience gave him a connection to Yale he wouldn't have had otherwise. “We were able to interact after class,” he says. “That is something that is not available on Zoom.”  

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