Interview of Nicole Frisch-Scott

“I think the big thing for me was just not having expectations about what was coming next.”

– Dr. Nicole Frisch-Scott

Dr. Nicole Frisch-Scott is an assistant professor in criminal justice and criminology at Merrimack College. In the interview, she discusses her experiences being newly-married, pregnant, and teaching remotely during the pandemic. She describes how she was able to transition to remote teaching and how she coped with all of the struggles that came along with COVID-19, including life in lockdown. Frisch-Scott also reflects more generally on how the pandemic has changed her teaching and the lessons that she has learned from it.


Gabrielle Paulding: …if you were to talk to somebody from future generations, what would you want people to know about COVID? Or about your experience? Or really, anything that you’ve learned throughout this experience?

Nicole Frisch-Scott: I would want people to know how difficult it was to get toilet paper. Um that’s a joke. I mean, I think I would want people to know, sort of how scary it was, and especially coming from the place of somebody who was like, you know, who was pregnant bringing a new baby into the world, like a lot of people sort of heard if you’re young and healthy, that you know the symptoms, you’re likely to be asymptomatic and it doesn’t matter. And you know, but like that sort of, like casualness about the situation can actually be dangerous for other people. And I think there’s a lot of a lot of fear and a lot of anxiety that needs to be acknowledged. And you know, it still exists. So it’s not like it’s over. And it’s sort of like in the past now, I think there are still risks, and especially to young kids who can’t yet be vaccinated. Or anybody who can’t can’t be vaccinated, even if they would want to be. I think it’s important for us to, you know, know what they’re going through during a time like this.

GP: […]I guess one thing I could ask is like, What is your biggest, like, piece of advice? Or how you coped with everything? Because I think you being pregnant, your whole work, life was kind of turned upside down in a way. And like, I know, you said, like, you adapted really well. But, how, how did you do that so easily?

NS: Yeah. I mean, I think the big thing for me was just not having expectations about what was coming next. And, and not getting my heart set on being able to do something, or having certain restrictions lifted, I just sort of either didn’t assume anything, like and just acknowledge, I don’t know, and I have to be okay with the fact that I don’t know what’s gonna happen next. Or I set my expectations like really low. So that I was pleasantly surprised if you know, something, something positive happened, or we took a step in the right direction. And I think that helped me sort of keep things in perspective. You know, like, like, so for example, with my doctor’s appointments for the baby, I was told point blank, that my husband wasn’t going to be able to come and I wasn’t even sure that he was going to be able to be there when I delivered my daughter. And so I just, you know, I was upset about that, obviously, but I tried to not get my hopes up, that things were gonna change when the baby came, or that they were gonna, for some reason, make an exception and let him come in. Like, I just tried to accept the information that I had, so that I wouldn’t be disappointed later on. And acknowledge that, you know, if they are restricting who’s able to be there and stuff like that It’s for my own good. And for the good of the baby, like, I guess, and I guess maybe that’s another like, piece of advice is I put a lot of trust in the health care system and the advice of, you know, the people who are the experts in this area, and that allowed me to feel comfortable with everything that was going on, because, you know, I trusted the information that I was getting in terms of what was safe and what wasn’t.

Interview Details

The interview was conducted in North Andover MA, on November 16, 2021 by Gabrielle Paulding.

Accession Number


This interview is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.