Letters to the Editor

Mar 15, 2021 | Letters, Letters to the Editor, Spring 2021

Has it only been six months since we published the last issue of Mirage?

In the Year of Coronavirus, sometimes time stands still and a day spent in self-isolation can feel like a week. Other times, I look at the calendar and marvel that we’ve been at this for six months, nine months, a year.

I distinctly remember my birthday a year ago in March, mostly because it was completely ignored in what was then a new and rather intriguing shutdown.

Could we do this for a few weeks? Stay home? Not see other people? Rely on the Internet for work, shopping, even happy hour?

We could. And we did. As the one-year anniversary of this weirdness rolls around, we’re still doing it and I prepare to ring in another birthday at home with my husband, our pandemic puppy and DoorDash.

At UNM, the summer was spent preparing for an academic year like no other. With no crystal ball to know what late August would look and feel like, administrators made their best guess that close physical contact would still be unsafe and faculty began to steep themselves in best practices for teaching remotely. Students, staff and faculty who only knew FaceTime a year ago became quick studies in the uses of Zoom and other platforms and in the differences between hybrid in-person, synchronous and asynchronous schedules.

In addition to profiles of some especially inspiring alumni in this issue, I’ll introduce you to some students and faculty members who adapted to — and in some cases thrived — in this new academic world.

And what better time to launch Mirage in a virtual-only format?

This is the first issue that we are publishing online only. That means you will not receive this in printed form in the mail but can read the print facsimile on the e-reader you’re most comfortable using — swiping to turn pages and accessing the magazine in its familiar form.

On the web, our storytelling includes a new video component so that you may see and hear fellow alumni to better understand their worlds.

It’s all been a little more challenging under pandemic procedures and we have juggled the twin goals of bringing you a magazine in a new format while also keeping everyone healthy. Almost all of our interactions have been remote. If they have been in person, we have followed UNM and New Mexico guidelines for distancing and wearing masks. When you see photos or videos of people without masks on, I promise you those instances were brief and everyone was at a safe distance.

We’d very much like to hear your thoughts on the new website. You can email me at MirageEditor@unm.edu or alumni@unm.edu.

Stay safe and thanks for reading!

Leslie Linthicum

Photo of Leslie Linthicum

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