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A Look Inside A Socially Distanced Pollock Testing Center

Honestly, nothing feels normal at Penn State this semester.

Dining halls where students once pushed tables together to fit more people are vacant, sororities and fraternities are holding new member initiation ceremonies via Zoom, and the Nittany Lions will play in an empty Beaver Stadium.

In a time where everything feels so crazy and out of the ordinary, one place feels surprisingly calm: the Pollock Testing Center.

Despite all my classes taking place on Zoom, I recently needed to go to the testing center to take an exam. When my professor first mentioned this, I was shocked. I didn’t even know the Pollock Testing Center was open, but it makes sense considering the dining halls and the library are open, too.

I’ll admit I was a little bit nervous about taking an exam in the testing center amid the coronavirus pandemic. Would the mouse and keyboard be wiped down regularly? Was someone going to be sitting right next to me? Would it be annoying to wear a mask while trying to concentrate? I haven’t ventured onto campus many times this semester, so I had manyapprehensions.

When I arrived at the testing center for my exam, I was pleasantly surprised. There was hardly anyone there!

Tape on the ground allowed for seamless social distancing and plexiglass shields separated me from the proctors at the front desk. A sign at the front let students know that they must bring their own headphones, calculators, pencils, and bags — all of which were usually provided up front.

Upon entering the actual testing room, I could see that every other desk was taped off to ensure that students were safely spaced out. I sat down at my assigned computer, logged in, and completed my exam as usual. I also noticed the proctors wiping down the stations after students were finished. By the end, I forgot I was even wearing a mask.

Honestly, it was kind of relaxing to be in the Pollock Testing Center. For the better part of an hour, I forgot about everything bad going on in the world. And I’ll admit, it was kind of nostalgic to be in there.

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About the Author

Grace Cunningham

Grace is a sophomore advertising major and one of Onward State’s social media editors. Grace hails from Chatham, New Jersey—no, she doesn’t know Snooki, and yes, she will fight you if you tell her that Pennsylvania bagels are good. Grace loves buffalo chicken, the Yankees, and watching Shark Tank. Follow her on Twitter @gecunningham7 or email her at [email protected] if you can get her an internship with Jimmy Fallon.


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