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Blogs from a quarantined college student: Week five

Tuesday, April 13th, 2020

Piano

I think part of me wanted to minor in music because I wanted to learn more about music theory, get better at reading sheet music, counting rhythms, etc. Eventually, I decided against it, mostly because I only got two years of proper instruction over music theory in high school and I didn’t feel confident that my knowledge would carry me through college.

Lame, right?

Though I could totally still change my minor, I like what I’m doing right now– majoring in DMP and minoring in communications. I feel like that’s just right for me. Still, I love music and don’t want it to fade into the background of my life.

I’ve been in choir for eight years (long time, I know). In high school, it was a source of equal comfort and stress, but in college, it’s one of my favorite classes. I love my professor and the people I sing with, so it is incredibly disheartening to have that class gone. We haven’t even done much online, either.

Even so, I don’t want music to stop being a priority to me. I’m going to start learning piano, and I mean actually learning piano. Learn all the proper finger placements, correct ways to play chords, chord progressions, all of it. I really want to come out of quarantine with a lot of piano skills under my belt. Even though I’m just watching 10-minute YouTube tutorials, I think I’ve already made some progress.

Wish me luck!

-Maddy

 

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

Wanting some work

I finished my mom’s graphic design project she gave me. Let me say, I loved getting my hands back into Photoshop and working with this software again. It makes me miss my old job at the Muleskinner a fairly great deal. Even though it was my first job, it was the best job I think I could have found.

Before UCM shut down, I felt as though the newspaper was really gaining some momentum. We were gearing up for another printed paper and stories felt like they were coming in more than ever. It’s definitely saddening to lose that, but we’re still keeping things running the best we can.

I loved my job a ton, stresses included. I’ve grown up to be quite the perfectionist when it comes to digital media, spending hours editing a short transition in a video, searching forever to find the perfect font, or working tediously on a tiny piece of a graphic that no one will ever notice but me. It’s a blessing and a curse.

That being said, those tiny details are what I love about digital media. I want to work in editing, either in cinema or live-production. Focusing on the small details and edits after shooting, it’s the place where I feel I thrive.

With that in mind, I’m definitely sad not to have another little project to work on in the meantime. I did volunteer for an outside project with my internship to edit some video submissions and my boss at the Muleskinner mentioned the possibility for a story graphic, so I’ll hold onto hope that those opportunities arise.

I love digital media with all my heart, so it’s definitely hard not to be surrounded by it like I was at college. Still, little projects like these are all I need to lift my spirits!

-Maddy

 

Thursday, April 16th, 2020

Zoom meeting

I mostly use Zoom for my CACU internship and my communication theory class. I have it because I need it, but otherwise, never think about using it.

My little sister uses it a lot more than I do and she had the clever idea to arrange a big Zoom meeting with the majority of my aunts. I would have never thought about it. Around 4 p.m. today, my little sister sent out a Zoom meeting link, got all my aunts online, and surprised my mom with all her sisters.

We all talked for a solid couple of hours. My older sister and I tuned in from upstairs, my mom and little sister from downstairs, and four of my aunts and a handful of their kids from their homes. Even my grandma got to talk for a little while. We caught up on life, joked around, and laughed. It was so great to talk to them all.

I think everyone is dealing with their own stresses: work, money, school, isolation, you name it. When we all chatted today, however, I felt my own stresses melt away and I could see everyone on call was feeling the same. Like I said before, my family is extremely close. I was raised right around not only my sisters and parents, but also my aunts, uncles, cousins, and of course, my grandma. She’s the center of everything for us and she brings us all together. I think it’s pretty safe to say she’s the reason my extended family is so close to each other.

A lot of my friends’ families aren’t like that, so I always feel extremely blessed to have such a supportive, funny, caring, and let’s not forget crazy family like them.

I hope that some of you are reaching out and/or staying close to your family during this time. Self-quarantine and social distancing may keep us apart physically, but remember, a phone call can go a long way.

-Maddy

 

Friday, April 17th, 2020

Theatre

I’ve always had a deep appreciation for theatre, choir, ballet, orchestra– the arts in general. I’m fairly artistic myself, which plays a huge role in that love. Though my time as a “theatre kid” was very brief, the productions I got to be a part of were really great.

My mom found an article yesterday stating that Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals and operas were going to be streaming on YouTube for free. First of all, this is massive. As someone who has a deep, deep love for theatre, I’m constantly watching short clips of performances (or bootlegs if I’m lucky enough to find them) as a way to feel as though I’m watching the real performances. I would love to see some of my favorite musicals live, but I digress.

One of Webber’s most well-known works is the “Phantom of the Opera,” which live streamed today. My sisters, my mom and I, who are all huge fans of the musical, made sure we were going to watch it. Though the livestream was in British Standard Time and not an North American time zone, we were still able to watch a post-stream version of it on our PlayStation.

It. Was. Magnificent. 

I can’t lie– I was blown away by the performance. My mom has seen the musical live three times before now (hugely jealous of her). She said that the video couldn’t compare to the actual performance, and though I believe her, I was still in awe of how amazing it was.

Theatre is definitely an activity I wish to be a part of. It never really worked out for me in high school, but I’ve debated auditioning for some of UCM’s productions. Watching “Phantom of the Opera” tonight only made that urge stronger. I’d love to be a part of something next fall. Performing in choir is really fun and I think theatre could present that same enjoyment and a new challenge.

I mean, I’ve already got the being-a-huge-musical-fan thing down. Maybe I could actually be in a musical for once. Wouldn’t that be cool? For now, it’s merely a dream of mine.

-Maddy

 

Saturday, April 19th, 2020

The great backyard

When you live in a rural area, you typically have a pretty massive backyard. It’s honestly one of the things I love most about where we live, the scenery is very pretty.

My family and I took advantage of the beautiful weather today and did some yard work. We took apart an old playset that we didn’t want anymore and laid down some new mulch for our flowers and gardens. With all of us helping, it was enjoyable and we got through it pretty quickly (as my mom would say, “many hands make light the work!”).

It really was so nice to get outside and feel like I was actually doing something, if that makes sense. Being in quarantine makes me appreciate more of the little things I would normally take for granted, like gardening. I find it to be very therapeutic for me and I highly recommend anyone in quarantine to try and grow something of your own! My family saved seeds from some bell peppers we bought and started our own starter plants. They have already grown a good deal! It’s really rewarding.

I hope all of you took advantage of the beautiful weather today!

-Maddy

 

Sunday, April 19th, 2020

Reflection

My mom and I had a conversation tonight about thinking about other peoples’ perspectives. She told me that when I come to her with my problems, she tries to put herself in the mindset of an 18-year-old college student and really tries to put herself in my shoes instead of her own. I funnily enough do the same thing to her. When I want to talk to her about my problems, I think about what she’s dealing with.

I think that’s really important to keep in mind during all of this. Even though the whole world has seemingly turned on its head, making sure we take into account what the most important things are for other people right now. For some, it’s their business. For others, their senior year. Someone is worried about making it to the next paycheck. Maybe someone is struggling with online classes. Someone else is worried about the health of their family and themselves.

People deal with vastly different issues every day. In our minds, one is more important than the other. My mom is dealing with a crazy, stressful job on top of her regular adult stresses, and I’m merely worried about an online class. But my mom doesn’t ever make my concerns or problems seem invalid, as foolish as they may sometimes be. 

I think that we all need to keep that in mind as we progress through this crazy time. Our important life issues vary depending on a variety of factors, but that doesn’t mean that they should be dismissed by anyone else.

Being supportive and kind to one another during this time is one of the best things we can do while many of us hang out in quarantine.

-Maddy

P.S. Our essential workers need kindness and support the absolute most during this time. If you have the opportunity, do something kind for them. I promise it will make a difference.

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