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Unexpected stillness ...

  • Monday, May 11, 2020
    Langston Frazier

    Editor's note: The transition to all online classes prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented adjustment in the journey to realize the goal of earning a college degree.  Here's how an upperclassman is coping with shelter-in-place.

    By Langston Frazier

    College for most students from day one is typically go, go, GO!  It has been that way for me since I stepped foot on this beautiful campus nearly five years ago. 

    That was until March 12 - about 4 pm - when the NCAA and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference announced within 10 minutes of each other that all spring sports, competitions and championships were suspended for the rest of the spring 2020 season. 

    UMES golf teams were competing at Bethune-Cookman University's annual golf tournament in Florida and had no clue their seasons had been abruptly ended mid-round.  The Hawks were peaking, and I was excited to chronicle their performances during a four-tournament run over a six-week span.  Instead, I would be recapping the season on the Friday before spring break, trying to put into words what many couldn't believe was happening. 

    We got “lucky” and got an extended spring break, but with the country quickly starting to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It felt weird going out, or to my local golf course to get in some practice and play a round with friends. 

    So much of my life has been involved in sports and it was strange for it all to stop suddenly.  STILLNESS.  No sports, nothing to watch, write or report about.  It led me to think: “How could I pass the time and still have some type of normalcy?” 

    My first thought was let's restart my podcast … “The Langston Frazier Show.”  I had taken time off since November to clear my head, focus on school and complete some big projects. 

    I reached out to a couple of good friends who were in the industry and collegiate golfers to see if they would be willing to come on my show.  They all said yes.  So, that's what I've been doing during this time … practicing my craft and doing something that makes me happy. 

    I've also been exploring long-form documentaries.  To see how someone's story can be told and how it can have an impact on people is special.  It's the first time in a long time I've been able to take a break … practice stillness, not always be going 100 mph, work on me and appreciate life a little more. 

    With the world battling this new challenge, I'm optimistic about the future.  With classes being moved online and higher education being forced to quickly adapt, I think we are doing alright. 

    But, I feel for 2020 graduates all around the country who worked hard to celebrate their accomplishments on that special day but won't get to do it the way they originally expected. 

    I had planned to start working as an assistant golf professional intern at a golf course in Delaware this month, but that has been put on hold indefinitely.  While waiting for that to begin, I'm working with the university's athletics department on updating the record book for men's golf and creating a record book for women's golf. 

    What gives me hope for better days ahead?  Looking on social media and seeing bright, young faces excited about attending UMES this fall.  Also, people coming together despite their differences to help one another.

    As the spring semester comes to a close and summer break is about to begin, I challenge fellow Hawks to begin a new chapter - find something new you've always wanted to do and give it a try.  You never know what might be around the corner

    Langston Frazier  is a senior from Bowie, Md. majoring in PGA Golf Management.  He is currently a Sports Information Student Assistant (men's and women's golf) for Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks' athletics.  He had the honor of serving as student regent in 2018-19 on the University System of Maryland's governing board.