Vanguard staff discuss what they’re doing during ‘quarantine’

Nicole Vogelpohl: Photographer

COVID-19 has kicked off 2020 in a way nobody ever expected, causing universities nationwide to shut down and finish the rest of the semester through online courses. If you are an artist trying to figure out how to navigate online performance classes, here are some tips and tricks on how to successfully finish out the semester online.

  1. Set a schedule for the times you would typically have your studio class, turn some music on as loud as you want and get to work. Take one day at a time and just focus on the subject carefully.
  2. You have every opportunity to go outside and work on your art (being that we do not typically get to do that in the art department). Take advantage of the inspiration nature will express to you.
  3. Go out of your comfort zone – nobody is around to judge you, and taking risks is what being an artist is about.
  4. If your teacher actually wants to meet over a conference chat on Canvas, Zoom, etc., take advantage of that opportunity to make sure you get all of the information, even if you think you know all of it.
  5. Ask for feedback. Message your instructor, classmates, or friends to make sure you are on the right path or what corrections should be made.

Remember, Cardinals: We are in this together! Wash your hands practice social distancing and do not give up on your academic career.

Melissa Vennix: Reporter

In classes that require more group work instead of independent assignments, I’ve learned it is so important to stay connected with your group mates. Virtual group projects are harder to work with because you can’t work through things in person. It’s useful to have virtual meetings and still connect in real time rather than by email so you can talk through what needs to be done. It’s also more important now to check your email so that you can stay on track with your classes and group mates. For the group project I have, we use collaborative tools to make documents and meet once a day over Zoom to touch base with our work. This has helped me to still feel like I’m a part of a class instead of being isolated in my classes. Unfortunately, there are also people who don’t have access to reliable internet which can cause a huge barrier to necessary communication no matter what methods we try.

Connor Rousseau: Reporter

Being stuck at home is not as new of an experience for me as it must be for students who lived on campus. As a commuter, I have spent every day at my home in some way, shape or form, but being stuck at home for this amount of time is becoming depressing. I have nothing to do except sit on my phone and watch the news of the coronavirus unravel. I have been keeping an eye on the stock market as well. I can say with great conviction that this is no vacation. There is little to do at home, and it has become depressing. My dad still has to go to work because he is employed at Hemlock Semi-Conductor, so every day I am concerned about his health and safety. The worry has become insurmountable and the Internet memes are only funny for so long. I want to be in school and I want to feel productive again.

Brooke Elward: Photo and Design Editor

Sitting at home wondering what you can do to help others during this pandemic?

For starters, you can help those you love and even strangers by not going out anywhere you do not need to and when you do, make sure to frequently wash your hands for 20 seconds frequently to avoid the spread of COVID-19 among everyone.

Consider buying groceries for your grandparents and their friends or just your family. While at the grocery stores, do not buy in bulk or more than you need. People who use WIC to feed their kids are limited on options, and elderly cannot move fast enough or fight for their necessities and you only need enough food to last you at home for no more than two weeks at a time.

Kaitlyn Farley: Editor-in-Chief

While those of us who prefer to live, work and socialize with parties of one (yours truly included) probably haven’t noticed, I’d like to break the news to you that you probably haven’t heard literally anywhere at all over the last few days: There is a pandemic, and people are doing what people do best. Hoard toilet paper. Zoom past their elderly neighbors in grocery stores to get the last loaf of bread. Buy 10,000 gallons of hand sanitizer and sell it black market.

To those people: You are the reason I don’t leave my home. I realize my feelings about you will not change your terribleness, but you are the true plague on our society, and there is a special place in quarantine for you.

To those less awful human beings I am graduating alongside this May: I didn’t plan on walking at graduation, but it still sucks that you can’t. You know what we should do instead? Learn the dance number to Shakira’s “Waka Waka” and perform it on Facebook Live together sometime in May. It’s good exercise, it’ll keep your mind off #coronawatch and your mouth off the bitterly disappointing taste of Corona – or worse, Corona Light – for a few hours a week and it’s just plain fun. There’s really no good reason to do this, but is there a good reason not to? I think not.

Maria Ranger: Reporter

One of the hobbies I picked up a few weeks before the pandemic was trying to bake, mostly from scratch instead of mixes. Now that classes are online, I’ve been baking a lot more, and I’m trying to hand out some of the cookies I’ve been making to friends to help keep morale high through all this. I’ve also been using the time to work on art projects. I reached out to my Instagram followers to see if any wanted a card with some artwork, and a few did. So, I sent cards with watercolor nature paintings and other fun things like stickers and pressed flowers to hopefully brighten their days.

Audrey Bergey: Photographer

The coronavirus has controlled much of what we do in our everyday lives. During this time of uncertainty, musicians still need to practice. SVSU music professor Norman Wika created the hashtag #SVSUMusicDepartmentCOVID19PracticeChallenge to encourage musicians not only to practice but “come together as social enjoyment of making music.”

Students could struggle to find reason to practice due to the university closure. The goal is to help encourage those who may put off practicing. The Facebook group is open to all students, faculty, alumni and friends of SVSU.

Members post a short video of what they are working on to the group so others may share any thoughts and have the chance to learn more about each other and their musical path.

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