Continuation of Katie’s interview from Ebling Post…10-14-2020
I asked Katie how it felt to move to Madison, start graduate school, and work at Ebling, during a Pandemic. What is it like being a student in an environment whose convention is face-to-face instruction and help- but is now virtual?
“To be honest, COVID-19 couldn’t have happened at a better time for me personally. When the waves of changes came, I was already at a crossroads. I was ending college and applying to graduate programs. We had news that my dad would spend the summer getting chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Since my work and in-person classes were cancelled, I was able to return home and be with my family for the duration of dad’s treatments and the start of his recovery. My sports leagues were cancelled. Time with friends was cancelled (except through texts and Zoom). I registered for online classes for the first time. So, yes, it was and still is the most bizarre period of change I’ve ever been through. But somehow it doesn’t feel as disorienting, since everything was changing for me anyway. COVID rules and masks are new to me, but so is my new apartment, city, job, major, and school.
As odd as it sounds, I feel like a toddler, having to learn everything again and clumsily figuring it out as I go. I know everyone else is doing the same thing, having to stay flexible. And when I stop to think about my situation in a larger context, I feel grateful in many ways. I know there are a lot of people in a worse situation than I’m in to deal with something like this. To be able to describe this time as “bizarre” instead of “devastating” is a blessing in itself. Now more than ever, I lean on my family’s longtime motto for coping: do the next thing. So for now, I just do the next thing, whether it be watching a lecture video, checking out a laptop for someone at Ebling, or just cooking dinner. That said, I certainly look forward to the time when I can shake a hand again, see everyone’s smiles, and give out hugs.”
Welcome Katie, we look forward to those connections as well.