Productive Week

This past week was probably the busiest one since quarantine began (though that’s probably not saying much) and it felt good to be in a routine with set times for things to do. I hate to wish time away, but I am looking forward to being on the other side of this – whatever that may look like – and I find that having these routines gives my life enough structure that it feels like time is passing by at an appropriate rate, rather than ticking by slowly and monotonously.

One of the things that I am most proud of that came out of this week was my CommAgency team’s hard work. For those that don’t know, CommAgency is Penn State’s student-run video production agency, and where I work as a part-time job. Each semester a team of five members are matched with a paying client who has a video project idea that they want us to bring to life. When we left for spring break, my team had only filmed a few of the interviews that we had scheduled for the semester and we hadn’t gotten the chance yet to film b-roll. For these reasons, it was a really daunting task to create videos for our client without all of the footage that we had intended to get. It was even more daunting of a task to do the editing remotely, because if we had been back at Penn State, we would have been able to meet at the computers in the agency room and go through the editing process together. So, we had to tackle the projects from a different angle. Despite the adjustments, our team was able to create rough cuts of the video and send them to our clients, who were extremely happy with the product, especially in the remote environment. We felt really good about how we made the most of the situation at hand, and even better when our clients expressed their satisfaction.

I also finished the first draft of my thesis this week! It has been a long and effortful process, so it felt really rewarding to put the “Fade to Black. The End.” at the end of the first draft of my screenplay. The screenplay ended up being around 107 pages, which would equate to an approximately 1 hour, 47 minute long movie. Up next comes the editing process, which I know will require a lot of re-writing and re-arranging, but I really do want to make the final draft as good as it can possibly be. I am proud of the story and the work that I have put in, and I want to have a successful and entertaining final product to show for it.

Love in the Time of COVID-19

Okay, so I’m definitely stealing the title of this blog post from many things I’ve seen and heard recently – it’s a short story title, a magazine column title, and a rip from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel “Love in the Time of Cholera.” But, I love love and I love talking about things that make me feel warm and fuzzy these days to offset all the bad I seem to hear every time I turn on the news these days, so why not write about it?

Well, let me start out by saying that love in the time of COVID-19 is not all warm and fuzzy and wonderful. Love in the time of COVID-19 is HARD. I’m not just talking about romantic love; I’m talking about friend love and family love, too. I’m the kind of person who conveys how much I love through quality time and in-person actions. The times that I feel love the strongest are when I’m baking cookies and watching bad movies with my friends, or getting together with extended family for a BBQ, or giving a long hug to those I cherish the most. COVID-19 is denying me these seemingly simple pleasures of love, and that’s why it is so hard.

I absolutely love talking to my friends over zoom and facetime, but there’s a feeling of something being a little bit off…like when we accidentally talk over each other and have to repeat ourselves, or have audio problems, or have screen lags when we try to watch movies. It’s those little moments – even when we can shake them off easily and move on – that remind me how things aren’t quite the same, and can never quite be the same as being together in person. And I talk to my boyfriend for over an hour every night, but it gets harder and harder each day to have to press the “end call” button and feel the suddenly overwhelming awareness of being completely alone.

But this post was intended to be positive, so I want to make it that way. Yes, talking over zoom and facetime might not be the same, but how lucky am I to have that possibility? How awesome is it that I have friends who can carry on conversations for hours about the most random things? How grateful am I to have someone who loves me in any circumstance and always goes the extra mile to make me feel that way?

Every single person has to adapt to these new and ever-changing times, and the way we approach and disseminate love has had to change radically as well. But I feel that love that I crave so much every time we have a zoom call with my extended family, or my friends and I stream movies together, or when I’m able to talk about anything and everything with those who are closest to me and know everything about me. And I feel love every time I see something good in the news – the glimmer of light and hope on the horizon that can feel so so dark sometimes.

If anything, Love in the time of COVID-19 is a story about persistence, resilience, adaptation, and making things work as best as we can because it’s worth it.