By Mia Ruggiero
Sea Change serves as the student literary and arts magazine for Cape Cod- Community College. It is a place where students, staff, and faculty alike can view and celebrate each other’s fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, and photography. It is also a staple in the college’s history; with the first issue’s release dating back to 1968. Since then, it has grown to be a tradition beloved by many members of the CCCC community. Sea Changehas certainly fought to secure it’s beloved place. Brought back in 2017 after a four-year hiatus, the magazine is created and published entirely through the blood, sweat, and tears of CCCC students. However, things took an unexpected turn when the COVID-19 pandemic came knocking at the college’s door in the middle of the Spring 2020 semester; forcing the Sea- Changestaff to take the creation process entirely online.
“When classes first went remote in March, I’m not going to lie–I was really worried about what would happen with my Sea Change class,” said Professor Rebecca Griffin, who has taught the Sea Changecourse and overseen the production of the magazine for four consecutive spring semesters. Preparations were made if the worst were to occur, but it still appeared to be a tough adjustment for everyone. “The week before we went remote, I asked students to try downloading Zoom on their phones and laptops in anticipation of having to meet remotely. That day, we were running all over the tech building to see if we could see and hear each other over Zoom. Frankly, we all laughed a lot, but it didn’t go well! Needless to say, we needed to figure things out.”
Members of the Sea Changestaff struggled with the new hurdles now in their path to creating the magazine. “It was hard to change into a new routine because we were so focused on getting the magazine done in time,” said Danielle MacNeill, one of the art editors for the Sea Change2020 issue. “The struggle I dealt with personally was when we had to do everything remotely. I’m not good at computer things and I do better in person working together that way.”
The staff had to quickly learn how to adapt to their new work environment. Submissions now had to be reviewed and discussed over Zoom. Files had to be shared and edited over Google Docs. Staff were separated into breakout rooms to work on various aspects of the magazine; such as the table of contents and the staff credit page. Staff members also held several virtual meetings with Professor Scott Anderson’s design class. His class was responsible for bringing the design concepts to life.
Despite several trials and tribulations, things were starting to come together and the goal was in sight. “As a class, we did figure it out. Everyone was so dedicated to the process. I was so impressed by how professional the students were and how much they stepped up to make the magazine happen,” said Griffin.
With the Sea Change2020 issue’s successful release, it seems that Sea- Changestill has a bright future ahead. Plans are already in place for the Spring 2021 semester. Staff will work together remotely over Zoom just as the students before them. Professor Griffin is ready for the task and is more than hopeful. “It’s work that lends itself surprisingly well to online collaboration. I don’t anticipate any issues. I feel much more confident about the process than I did in March of 2020! Students from last semester showed me how it could be done.”
Standing strong through the wake of a global pandemic, one thing can surely be said about Sea Change. It’s legacy will continue to live on with a newfound message of hope, determination, and the power of teamwork.