Day #49: Monday, May 4, 2020

The New Normal…

May 5, 2020


Tim Buckley

Tim Buckley goes to school through his laptop these days.

For someone who is usually alright with a sedentary lifestyle, watching “Grey’s Anatomy” on Netflix all day and playing video games until an unholy hour, you’d think this global pandemic would be a gift from the heavens above. (Spoiler Alert: it’s not)

Let’s start from the top. In my opinion, this pandemic began when the major sports leagues decided to suspend their seasons. I was actually at the Chicago Blackhawks games when the NBA decided to suspend their season; that’s when I knew that we were in for a major societal change. The first major sign of that change to come was when I had gotten an email from the Illinois State University Teachers Education Department, (context: I am a History/Social Science Education Major, and was doing observations for my Introduction to Education class) saying that we were not allowed to go back to schools to observe teachers, which I had planned on doing with many teachers at RB the next day. That was when I knew we were in for the long haul, and I was absolutely terrified.

The first days of quarantine and the Illinois “Stay at Home” order can be described as a horror show. But from my perspective, I got to stay in my apartment all day, and some days I’d go to work. Staying at home and earning money: what could be better? That all changed when someone at the office I was going to be working at contracted the virus, and I became “non-essential” very fast. Okay, money earning is out the window… but sitting on my butt all day? That’s going to be a good time, online schooling can’t be that hard for a sophomore History Major and a Political Science Minor… right?

Welp. If you guessed, “Yes Tim, it will be very hard!” you’re a better guesser than I am! Trust me, I’m grateful I am able to earn credits from ISU and be safe from a global pandemic but come on. Some of your teachers don’t know how to set up YouTube on their personal laptop, and you now expect them to TEACH AN ENTIRE CLASS ONLINE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THEIR LIFE! I get it, times change fast and no one could prepare for it, but jeez louise! It’s made students’ lives a living nightmare!

Schoolwork and online classes have made up the majority of my time during this quarantine. I’d love to talk about all the papers that I’ve written over the past month, the sleepless nights, the 9:30 a.m. Zoom Lectures, the online exams that are easy as heck and the essays… oh god, the essays. Do you know how hard it is to write a 15-page research paper on British and German naval warfare during World War I without having access to resources, like a library or a professor’s office hours, which would be very helpful to the writing and creation of this paper? I’ve had to call my professor and beg for ways to find sources from his collection because I care deeply about my education. Always striving to be the best that I could be.

Now, what about the only times of day that I’m not focusing on schoolwork? I’ve learned how to bake a cake (not well), I’ve learned how to make brownies (kinda well), I’ve mastered the art of macaroni and cheese (except for when I forgot to put water in the cup—it was 2 a.m. and I was tired) and I’ve learned that cleaning is crucial to boosting the morale of someone who is trapped in their apartment all day. I’ve cleaned more during this quarantine than I’ve had in my entire life. I’ve also learned that I enjoy puzzles, which I would have never thought about before this.

But you know what I miss more than anything? I miss my friends, I miss my professors, I miss my residents and I really miss the late-night Taco Bell runs because the dining hall is closed and I have five dollars to spend. I cannot wait for this world to go back to normal once again. I’ve learned that FaceTime and Zoom is a valuable resource for staying up to date with my friends. Seriously though, if you’ve made it this far you obviously care about these daily articles, or you’re just really bored during your quarantine. Thank you for reading this far, and please stay home. Don’t be like those people who are protesting the stay at home orders in Michigan, or Minnesota, or North Carolina in the name of “freedom”. I get it, this sucks! But if you want this over with, STAY HOME! WASH YOUR HANDS! WEAR A MASK! Do it for those who can’t. Don’t kill granny to save the economy… or even to own the “libs,” you’ll regret it.

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