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  • Max Weintraub

Spring Break Continueth - Working From Home

Updated: Apr 7, 2020

If you've read my last blog post, you might remember that I haven't been in the highest of spirits recently. I've been suffering from a lack of motivation and an even greater lack of focus. I wasn't sure what to blame it on, and I'm still not quite sure. I don't think that there's necessarily anything tangible to blame for the ruts I fall into every now and then. If there was any easily identified cause, I'd have addressed it by now and be an ultra-efficient super-soldier of game design.


Regardless of what the cause may have been, I can feel that I'm in the middle of exiting that rut. It'd have been nice to kick back at home over the course of Spring Break. The plan was to play Shadow of the Colossus to unwind this week while getting a decent amount of homework done. That plan was immediately thrown off by an email that was sent in the middle of the break with a minimal warning before. This email announced that Champlain College would be extending Spring Break by one week and that the following three weeks (or more, depending on the situation,) would be comprised of online classes. Thanks, Coronavirus. Pretty much everyone was blindsided by this, and even the faculty at school have been scrambling to figure out how they intend to restructure their classes. It was at that moment that my depressive rut was renewed like a library book, just as I thought I was done.


 

The negatives of the situation were immediately apparent and were severely enhanced by the fact that this announcement came in the middle of Spring Break, with minimal and generic forewarning. The most obvious issue, especially for people studying one of the game majors, has been the lack of access to our stuff. Many of us left rather important stuff up in Burlington with the expectation that we'd have access to them again in a week. For some people, it's the stuff needed for work, and for some, it's the stuff that helps them pass the time. In my case, I left my art tablet, my Nintendo Switch, all of my games, and my nicer toiletries.


To try and make up for this, Champlain has given us windows of time to come to pick up whatever we may have left in our dorms. While that was a nice gesture, from where I live to Champlain, it'd be an 8-hour drive in each direction. As someone who gets carsick after about 40 minutes, is it really worth going up to get what could be described as useful nonessentials. I'd have to block out at least two days to get there, and considering how difficult that travel is becoming these days, I'm not sure if that's worth the time I'd have to dedicate.


Another major issue, and the one that made me the most upset, was the separation from my friends. I have a fantastic and rather large group of friends, some of whom will be graduating this year. If school ends up remaining online for the rest of the semester, that means I wouldn't have had a chance to say goodbye to them. That... really sucks. Since I go to school in Vermont, most of my friends are localized in the New England area, quite a bit North from me. I can't help but feel that we're being robbed of some of the most precious moments of our lives. It's made me really think that in this limited time I'd like to do more exciting things with my friends.


Then there's the last of what I'd consider the three main issues, and the most significant for many of us: living situations. I'm not especially productive, nor happy while I'm home. I get along with my family fine, but I don't get the same kind of energy I do from my friends from them. Additionally, my family got a cat when I started college. I'm very allergic to cats, and this has made my life around the house somewhat of a constant hell of an itchy face and a habit to avoid soft surfaces. Many of my friends are trapped in far worse living situations, so it's not like this is the worst place or situation to be in. Not by a long shot. Even still, I can't help but be upset.


 

It's taken a bit of time to sink in, and a good bit more time to shift to a more positive mindset, but there are pros to being home. To compensate for our inability to use the programs we typically have at school, Champlain has granted us access to the Adobe Creative Suite. Needless to say, that's pretty awesome. Plus, while I'm home, I have a chance to work on cooking and driving more before I go off into the real world. I'm going to make the most of the circumstances despite my mixed feelings.


Oh also, my laptop fan needs to be replaced. It became rather squeaky about a week ago. One of my friends aptly described the intermittent noise as sounding like a Beyblade. I'm not very experienced with cracking open the backside of a computer (although I was able to confirm that it's not dust or debris in the fan). Since every event everywhere is canceled, getting the parts and installing them is going to be a hell of a time.


Writing this from quarantine,

Max Weintraub

 

#college #computer #coronavirus #covid19 #existential #personal #quarantine

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