3.29.20-4.4.20

Happy first week of online classes!

In all seriousness, while this week has been very difficult and emotionally draining, I do acknowledge how lucky I’ve been throughout this whole horrible time period. The fact that I was able to move back home to Atlanta and both my parents and I have the ability to work from home (and the infrastructure to do so) is something I am so immensely grateful for. My number one priority right now is focusing on getting through this with my health and my loved ones.

Which, as you can imagine, does not lend itself to a productive school environment. But I am determined to get through this, same as everything else. So, onto the weekly blog!

My mornings start the same: work remotely for my job. I’m a student worker in the Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Award Collections in the Special Collections Library at UGA. I adore my job, now more than ever. The projects we’re currently working on are mostly transcription, but of the Peabody Awards archives, which is always my favorite.

In my Innovation in Entertainment course, we’re trying to move forward with our pitch and idea for executives at the end of the semester. Unfortunately, we hadn’t settled on an idea for our pitch before everything happened and trying to do a group project like this while under a shelter in place has been interesting to say the least. However, I do think we’ve made progress with our idea (which I will hopefully get into more detail later this semester) and turned in a weekly report on Friday outlining our next immediate steps.

For my Global Industries class, we’ve transitioned entirely to an asynchronous virtual classroom structure. We read Aynne Kokas’s “Soft Power Plays: How Chinese Film Policy Influences Hollywood” and then contributed to a discussion board on the article on our student portal. ­­­____

Also, for Global Industries, we are currently editing our spec script which is due next week. Before Spring Break, we pitched an American remake of the Chinese drama Well-Intended Love, and in lieu of a traditional exam we opted to write a spec script of our pitched pilot. Working in a group of three, this has definitely been interesting to complete virtually, but it has definitely been fun to get back into screenwriting.

I also sent my updated bibliography for my Honors option paper, which I still want to finish writing (especially considering the implications for my thesis in the fall), but I am also more than a bit behind on the schedule we set out to complete, due to both the school shutting down and other personal factors. So we will see how that goes. I am going to finish writing it no matter what, but I am not sure on the timeline anymore as I once was.

For my Transnational Literature course, we continued with synchronous discussions over Zoom and our eLC discussions of pre-recorded presentations. It’s definitely been interesting, and we’ll see how my presentation goes next week, but I’m optimistic. We finished discussing Helon Habila’s Travelers this week, and I loved that book so much. My professor says they are going to try and reschedule his campus visit to next semester, and I am so hopeful that they can make that work. I spent all of Saturday working on my PowerPoint and 4-page paper on Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck, and an egregious amount of time editing said PowerPoint on Photoshop to match the aesthetic and cover of the book. I stand by it.  

My last class is my German senior seminar on the German American experience, which is now without lectures but otherwise pretty much the same schedule. We read two short stories/articles this week, one about illegal alcohol sales and the other about prostitution (we love a theme!). The way the online class works now is that we post answers to discussion questions, and then have to respond to someone else’s answers. It’s less than ideal, but I suppose it gives me more time to draft my eight-page essay that is due next Thursday.  

To round out the week, we’ve moved both Stammtisch and Kaffeestunde entirely virtual. These were our German conversation hours, Stammtisch Mondays at 5:00 downtown, and Kaffeestunde Fridays at 2:00 in the Germanic & Slavic Studies building. We do them at the same time as normal, but obviously in the comforts of our own homes over Zoom (we still bring coffee to Kaffeestunde, though!). Those have been really wonderful for me, because it’s been nice to have a scheduled call with my friends and practice my German. However, we were supposed to come up with a new hobby before Friday’s Kaffeestunde, and the only new thing I’ve been doing is playing Animal Crossing. So…need to figure out something better, I think (although I do still love Animal Crossing).

I did have a low moment this week, and it honestly came out of nowhere. This summer I was supposed to be studying at Oxford in June, and I had already settled and come to terms with it being cancelled. In the grand scheme of things, it was so far from my priorities that it almost felt like it didn’t matter. I had bigger things to worry about – there’s a global pandemic going on! Unemployment is skyrocketing! People are dying! I felt content in losing Oxford, because I still had so, so much to be grateful for. They hadn’t officially cancelled, but I felt certain that that was the inevitable conclusion.

But then I got an email in my inbox informing me which classes I had been placed into, and that I had until Monday to register for these courses. That’s when I realized that I could no longer just go with it and see what would happen: I actually had to decide if I felt comfortable going, and if I didn’t, I needed to withdraw and give up my spot.

I realize how inconsequential this is, I really do. But in the moment when I wrote my email to the program, the program that I worked toward for years, that I saved up money for, that I planned for months on end, I just broke down. I don’t fully know why – like I said, I made peace with its probable cancellation weeks ago. But emailing that I was immunocompromised, that my semi-functioning lungs and anxiety combined wouldn’t allow me to plan anything earlier than August (which is a solid maybe), that my parents, both of whom with underlying health issues, were not comfortable with me going and eventually coming back home – that broke my heart for some reason.

I think with everything getting cancelled it almost feels inconsequential. It’s not that I was not looking forward to those things, too. But it felt like it was all for the greater good. Like we’re all in this together. But this, me acknowledging that even if this program doesn’t get cancelled, things still are not going to be the same for me and my family for a long time, that just got to me. The rest of the day I was in this weird fugue. I do think I’ll move on – maybe I’ll even apply for Oxford again next summer, maybe I’ll do something else. I just hope to someday get back to the person who used to love planning and trying for things in the future, because the future seemed real. Right now, it kind of doesn’t.

On a much lighter note, if you’re still reading, here’s what I’m watching/reading/listening to this week!

Movies

  • And Then We Danced (2019) (rewatch): It has happened! I have done it! I finally rewatched my favorite movie for the first time since last May! Maybe more than once if I’m admitting it! 5/5 stars. Click here to see my Letterboxd review.
  • Sleepless in Seattle (1993) (rewatch…obviously): After my mother demanding seven (7) times that we watch this film (which may actually be her favorite movie now that I think about it) in order to celebrate Tom Hanks’ and Rita Wilson’s health, it finally came on TV and we had no choice. In all seriousness, I do actually love this movie, so I felt the need to review it on Letterboxd here.
  • Blinded by the Light (2019): A new movie! I did it! See my review here.

TV Shows

  • Nothing new really, so this week only watched the newest episodes of my usual favorites which are still airing: One Day at a Time and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I want to start Aytpical next week though.

Music

  • Here is my Spotify playlist from this week.

For next week, my goals are not the most glamorous. I did a bunch of work this weekend (as half of my GPA this semester is due this upcoming week), so coming into this week I’m trying to focus more on acclimating to this new, weird environment we have going. Get back into working out, get enough sleep every night (sleep the same hours every night), and try out some new hobbies. Nikon is having all of their photography courses for free this month, so I think my dad and I might do that together along with some yoga classes. Try to read more for fun, and get back to a regular schedule with my entertainment blog and Instagram. And to be completely honest, a very real goal of mine is to get my island in a better state on Animal Crossing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.