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Class project finds that students ‘miss the bricks’

Barry McNamara
MONMOUTH, Ill. – Monmouth College students miss the bricks.

That’s the theme of a new public-service announcement created by students in a Monmouth advertising class for their campus community.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the College to move to remote learning in late March, professor Tom Prince pivoted and used the transition as an opportunity to teach his advertising students about the fluidity of communications in the digital age.

“We’re working from outside of our norm,” Prince told the students of his 300-level advertising class in a Zoom video. “We are now part of what it says in Chapter 14 of our text: we are customers in the digital age. So let’s do a shared experience with creating something as ad agency work would.”

Prince had his students, who are now located in different parts of the country, collaborate remotely to create a public-service announcement as an “open letter” to the Monmouth community. Through nearly two dozen bullet points, the students highlighted “the important differences between learning in class at the College and learning online.”

As they revealed what they missed about learning together in a shared environment on campus, a title for the letter emerged: “I Miss the Bricks.”

“That red brick was so appealing,” wrote Jacob Durdan ’20 of Flanagan, Ill. “Not just the bricks, but what happens inside those brick buildings is what I miss. ... There were still memories we didn’t get to make.”

Julia Oakson ’22 of Lombard, Ill., said she missed wearing her Greek letters on Wednesdays around campus. Joe Krall ’20 of New Berlin, Ill., reflected on missing his unique group of friends.

Added Durdan: “I’m a little lost.”

Prince shared that sentiment.

“I can’t check on each of you like I like to do every week,” he said over Zoom. “What I can do is tell you I’m thinking about you and I want you to learn about advertising. So there you go. There’s my first Zoom lesson of my life.”