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Across my thirteen years as a student, this past week has been one of the most academically challenging weeks I have gone through yet. Between finding the motivation to attend multiple hours of virtual lectures a day, four midterms, a final, and registration, I found myself exhausted and demoralized by the end of the week. However, I found comfort in knowing that I was not alone in these emotions. My brief interactions with my English group members and our group discussions with Paul reminded me that this is something we are all going through, together. Considering the circumstances, Paul intentionally dedicated the beginning of our class time to simply share our emotions and express our experiences as virtual students in the middle of a pandemic. While the discussions only lasted for a few minutes, the welcoming and understanding atmosphere that Paul established lasted through the entirety of the class. This atmosphere served as a reminder that we are all more than students. We are people with emotions and lives that extend beyond the hour and fifteen minutes we spend with each other at 8 AM every Tuesday and Thursday. Although this class, and even my group, is spread geographically across the state (and maybe even the world), our class periods made me feel connected and together in these uncomfortable times.


In terms of classwork, we have started to develop our UP3 literary analysis videos. We started the week with an in-class workshop for our storyboards. As always, I found this workshop to be extremely helpful as it not only gave me feedback on my storyboard but it also gave me inspiration after looking at my peer’s storyboard. I have little to no experience in creating a literary analysis video, so seeing my peers’ ideas helped me reevaluate my plan for the project. Understanding the limitations of virtual teaching and the stress that we are all facing, Paul decided to postpone the deadlines for our rough draft and our final draft. Once again, small actions like this truly display the effort that Paul is putting forth to accommodate for these unusual times. After taking a biology, chemistry, and math exam on Wednesday, the last thing I wanted to do was create and submit a rough draft for the UP3 project.


On Thursday, we looked at genre models to better understand what constitutes a literary analysis video. My group, Middle Finger, analyzed a TED video that analyzed qualifies as a poem. In addition to the material being interesting, this video served as a good example of the structure and content expected from us in our UP3 videos. This video also gave me inspiration to work with the Adobe Premiere platform. As I said before, I have little experience in this field but watching the TED video proved to me the power visuals have in assisting the delivery of a message. Although I do not see myself creating literary analysis videos in the future, I imagine that the skills I develop with the Adobe Premiere software now will help me create medical/scientific videos in the future.


Even though this week was difficult, I am grateful that the majority of my stress resides in the academic environment as I am aware that many cannot say the same. I hope that all of my classmates and their families are healthy and safe. I wish everyone the best of luck with the remainder of the semester and over the course of this pandemic. We will get through this, together.


Below are some pictures of the garden I have been working on clearing this week!



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