By Xiu Hau and Stefani Davila

October 6th, 2021 at 7:00 P.M. EST.  


         What better way to inaugurate a new season for Urbana’s blog than by looking back at our very first piece. It seemed to us that avoiding the pandemic all the way and starting with a new unrelated blog piece was a waste of potential. We also wanted to introduce ourselves as Urbana’s new Co-Editors-in-Chief: We are Xiu Hau and Stefani Davila and we will be leading Urbana’s volume 15.

         Now, if we think back to September of last year and remember how our first blog piece was about adjusting to a remote work environment is a little ironic considering we are still in this process of adjustment. While COVID-19 cases were slowly reducing during the summer, now it seems the future is uncertain again. Some people even do not seem to acknowledge that hey! News for you: we are still in a pandemic. 

         It’s crazy to think how we managed to produce a whole volume for the magazine completely online, and while it was not easy, we all tried to get the best out of it. At this point, we are not even sure that Urbana’s volume 14 staff even got to know each other in person. All of our meetings were through Zoom. We kept some of the work structure from volume 13 when it came to managing putting a magazine together completely online. Despite this tremendous creative adventure, now we are on our way to create a new epic and historic volume 15.

         It seemed to us that after a couple of months of working remotely, we had adapted perfectly. However, we still had our setbacks as does any other team whether it was someone losing connection during a meeting or having to teach a new layout team how to use editing programs through Zoom. There were nights where we found ourselves exhausted from staring at our screens and trying to put each piece of the puzzle together. However, this was one of the best experiences we’ve had during college COVID-19 times. Those late nights were the brainstorming session of ideas for our next volume. Perhaps we all never got to meet each other in person, but Urbana’s staff will always be a family. We joked about meeting each other some day and we would take guesses about how tall we thought we were.


Photo credits: Wolfang Rugeles and Emily Sendin

          After we finished our last meeting for this volume, and we all said goodbye, that farewell was just the beginning of another part of the Urbana family. We realized we might not see certain faces for a while, and we hope it’s not forever. We will miss silly things such as Wolfang’s dog, Nara, trying to play with him while he was trying to show us a layout design, or Laura’s jokes at every minor inconvenience we encountered while working in the magazine that kept everyone in a light mood to try again. We will always remember Professor Sendin yelling “LUCY NO!” every few minutes because her dog was always trying to eat something forbidden while the rest of the Zoom call erupted in laughter. We will miss the “pet online dates' ' where staff members would introduce their pets to each other: Lucy, Nara, Cheshire, and the rest of the pets, will always be a part of Volume 14. Despite lacking the opportunity to see each other face to face, we managed to connect personally beyond our work in the magazine.

         We are now beginning a new volume. This volume will bring back old memories to our audience. Poems, photographs, short stories, and more, will take us to a time travel to our childhood, especially our quinceañera memories. We hope that this new volume with new staff members feels as homely and welcoming as our last little group felt. We are still working remotely as the future of the pandemic is uncertain. But one thing is for sure: Urbana will remain a family. We will continue to carry on the incredible amount of work and effort put into each volume to create a product we all feel proud of. We are looking forward to our readers coming back for this new season of our blog. We hope this semester you stay connected to us and discover more about Padrón Campus’ voices.

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Ashlie Rodriguez

Xiu Hau is currently a student at Miami Dade College and part of The Honors College. She has been part of the editing team for Urbana’s volume XIV and is the current Co-Editor-in-Chief for volume XV. She is originally from Venezuela and has a deep passion for writing and all types of storytelling.

Xiu Hau

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