Alan Olinsky has been a professor at Bryant University for 54 years. When Covid appeared last March, Alan and all the other teachers switched to teaching remotely. Alan found it challenging to use his computer, headphones and microphone to teach from home via Zoom. He found the students benefit much more from face to face, classroom lessons, and he missed using a chalkboard. Although, Bryant was very successful at being open this past fall, with every faculty member and student being tested weekly, Alan was given permission to teach remotely. The semester began in August and ended in November, enabling Alan and his wife, Anita, to travel to Bethesda, MD, and spend some time with their son, Benjamin, Elissa and their young granddaughter, Maya Rose.
Alan is presently on sabbatical, but continues to stay involved. He mentors some of the younger professors, assists with their research, and helps them find outside references when they are applying for tenure. Even while on sabbatical, Alan continues to mentor international students, who have stayed in their home countries because of covid. Often there’s a time difference, so Alan may be conferring with a student by Zoom late in the evening.
Alans’s wife, Anita, has had some health issues. While on sabbatical, he’s been able to give her a hand. Alan will be teaching full time again in the fall. Hopefully, this will be back on campus.
To stay sane during these times, Alan and Anita attend Tuesday and Friday evening services at Torat Yisrael by Zoom. They also have lots of Facetime with their sons and their families in Bethesda, MD and Seattle, WA. Although, they really enjoyed the streaming services last fall, they hope that services will be back at the synagogue for the upcoming High Holidays. Anita is also hoping to be able to return to the synagogue where she enjoys helping out in the office. They are also very appreciative of all the volunteers, who keep things running at Torat Yisrael, and are happy to be involved.