In-Person Activities Gradually Resume

students, studio, gaming, prgs, terrace, whiteboard

Ann Pendleton-Jullian teaches her studio in the courtyard

June 8, 2021

Once Los Angeles began easing its COVID-19 restrictions this spring, Pardee RAND took careful, tentative steps toward in-person and on-campus activities. One course resumed in-person meetings in the courtyard, and faculty and staff organized several fun outdoor events for students.

"The terrace is such a wonderful place to have class, COVID or no COVID," said Prof. Ann Pendleton-Jullian, who offered in-person and virtual sections of her five-week studio this term.

The morning section took place online and had 18 students plus two researchers who were participating. The afternoon section was in-person on the third-floor terrace and had 15 students. Both sections met twice a week for a total of 5 hours each week.

students, studio, gaming, prgs, terrace, whiteboard
students, studio, gaming, prgs, terrace, whiteboard
students, studio, gaming, prgs, terrace, whiteboard

"I felt it went very well," she said of the in-person section. Even though they were in person, "we used Microsoft Teams to project content to each other, since we could not be in a classroom with projection. Both sections worked very hard and the projects were equally good, though the in-person section profited from being able to iterate on their work together."

One of the studio's projects was to design a strategic game, which Pendleton-Jullian said can be difficult to do remotely. "You can design a game in theory and conceptually, but iteration through playing it and trying things out in real time is very, very important," she explained. "Two of the morning section's virtual teams found a way to get together to do that. The afternoon session was able to do that to a greater extent."

Prof. Armour and students hiked in Zuma Canyon

As for extracurricular outings and activities, Prof. Phil Armour hosted the first "Social Saturday" event, a hike in Zuma Canyon in the Santa Monica mountains on April 10. He was joined by Elliott Brennan (cohort '20), Mike Gaines ('17), Krystyna Marcinek ('17), and Pedro Nascimento de Lima ('19) and his wife, Fernanda. The hike started with a scenic 3-mile loop (moderate difficulty) that circled back to the trailhead, and continued with an additional 2-mile loop for those who chose to extend the hike.

Amy Nabel hosted the second Social Saturday, a picnic in Tongva Park next to RAND, on April 17. Four members of Cohort '20 joined her.

In early May, Jennifer Prim organized a "stretchy bracelet making" event. She said she "threw together 24 fully sanitized kits, so folks could make multiple bracelets of their choosing." The kits included gemstones, art glass, and crystals – "something for everyone!"

Six students — David DeSmet ('19), Ingrid Estrada-Darley ('19), Ah Reum Lee ('16), Diana Myers ('19), Sujeong Park ('15), and Sara Turner ('15) — took her up on the offer and left with lovely mementos. Annie Brothers ('18) and Jamie Ryan ('17) participated remotely. "I sent them beads and they were able to make bracelets on their own," Prim said.

And, earlier this month, Nabel hosted a pizza happy hour in the RAND courtyard.