One year ago, we all retreated to the safe sanctuary of our homes to wait out a global pandemic. Within days, CSUF switched completely over to virtual learning. Zoom, the 4-sided, one-dimensional, glowing box of light and faces, became a lifeline and constant. A menagerie of mute buttons, breakout rooms, chats, “shares” and cameras, all delivered via indirect eye contact and spotty WIFI. Completely new terrain for us all. But students improvised and created virtual classrooms out of their personal spaces — bedrooms, garages, living rooms, backyards and even cars. Life and education intersected multiple times a day. Week in and week out. Month after month for over a year. Student learning has continued. But that doesn’t mean it’s been easy. In January 2021, we gathered a company of actors from the Department of Theatre and Dance. Our goal: to create a space for long-overdue community conversations about COVID, quarantine, virtual learning and the complexity of students’ lives before, during and after they log in and out of Zoom. The podcast, “Beyond the Square” was born.