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Why Jacoby misses the classroom

By Jacoby Cochran | @JacobyCochran


Running to the Metra station at 71st and Stony Island and barely making the train was a ritual of mine every Monday and Wednesday. 

So March 11, 2020, started normal sans the global pandemic announcement.

My first stop was DePaul’s Loop campus to teach communication. The ease of it being the last day of the quarter overrode the public speaking anxiety so we were quick to finish presentations. I wished the class a safe spring break.

The leisurely stroll up Wabash from Van Buren to Lake is my preferred pace. Harold Washington College was still in the middle of the semester, and my classes were on informative speeches — my favorite part of class. Students dread them, but they always outperform their expectations. One student asked if we’d have class Monday, and I said I couldn’t make any guarantees. I told them to have a safe weekend before we left. 

That was the last time I stepped in a downtown classroom

City Colleges told faculty that night to prepare to move classes online in case “things take a turn for the worse.” DePaul pivoted to remote learning, too.

Two years deep into e-learning, I miss teaching in person. But with the podcast, I am not sure when I will return to the classroom.

But I’m lucky: I have some really engaged students this semester, and we are working on informative speeches, my favorite part.

Two years after COVID-19 shutdowns, what was the last normal thing you did? Are you back at it? Email or text/call (773) 780-0246.


▪️ Taxpayers paid $40 million for Chicago police misconduct lawsuits in 2020 — and that number has likely only gone up. [The Daily Line]

▪️ Today is the last day for 11th Ward residents to apply for alder. The city’s unique process comes after former Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson was found guilty in the federal tax fraud case.

▪️ The MLB lockout is over. [NBC Chicago]

▪️ CPS’ selective enrollment schools could become more diverse: CEO Pedro Martinez is proposing opening more seats to lower-income students. [WBEZ]

▪️ Obama for…mayor? [Chicago magazine]

▪️ Ready to spring forward? After staring at the sunset countdown all winter long, we’re losing an hour Sunday for daylight saving time ☀️

▪️ This week’s must-read.


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TODAY: Women’s History Month Bazaar in Garfield Park
Support dozens of local women-owned businesses, and see an exhibit from Chi women artists at the Garfield Park Conservatory from 5–10 p.m.

SATURDAY: Goose Island’s 312 Day
Celebrate the original Chicago zip code, and see local rapper Mick Jenkins and other musicians at venues across the city. 

SATURDAY: Indoor farmers markets in Woodlawn, Wicker Park 
Get fresh produce, locally prepared foods, and seedlings at the Experimental Station Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. Snag more goodies and catch a kids’ storytime at the Den Theater from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m

SUNDAY: Sidney Poitier tribute in Lincoln Park 
See the late actor in “A Raisin in the Sun” at Facets Cinema Sunday at 1 p.m. The North Side theater is showing his films all month.

THIS WEEK: St. Paddy’s Day deals at Stan’s Donuts 
Wash down an Irish cream bismark with a mint oreo milkshake or some other combo of the special doughnuts and drinks through Thursday. 
☘️ Check out more traditional Irish feast options.
☘️ Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day at parades and events across the city.


Today, Chicago Sun-Times’ Cheyanne Daniels and Block Club Chicago’s Quinn Myers join us to discuss the week in Chicago’s news — from the CTA increasing unarmed security and police officers to resilience in the city’s Ukrainian Village. Listen here

Miss an episode? Catch up.

THU: In Avondale, Polish Music Is Replaced By Construction
WED: South Siders Are Fighting to be Part of Obama Center ‘Transformation’
TUE: ‘Love is Blind’ Chose Deepti. She Chose…Herself. (Sid’s pick)
MON: Chicago’s First Maskless Weekend

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