This is officially a new era. Libraries are closing. Universities are not safe either. And we are all glued on our screens reading up the latest travel ban. What a time to be alive.
As we—old souls who spend a lot of our time in libraries reading books—start spending more time at home, a few things would need to be tweaked. So here is what I am going to do:
- Not panic.
- Actually have some sort of a schedule. Or try one.
- Have a reading list + reading schedule
On not panicking
This isn’t an easy one. I was just about to board a plane to India and now I have to plan my next month in Berlin because I will have to be quarantined once I reach Delhi and then I will have 9 days left for my vacation. Not happening, in short.
So I cancelled it. Well, technically I would like to postpone it but we have to wait out and see what the airline I was supposed to fly lets me do at this point. And yes, it is tedious but it is literally nothing compared to the people who have to deal with this virus in hospitals (shout-out to my brother who is a doctor in Delhi!) and the people who are vulnerable to it. So many people have perished to it already that the dystopian visions of 2020 seem about right. A postdoctoral fellow in the university where I work told me sometime in the beginning of January that this year would be momentous and, well, here we are.
Speaking of panic, this is an important thing to remember: wherever you are, international student who is facing issues in the US/UK because the people at helm of affairs do not understand that you cannot just leave and come back from some countries, or university worker who is on a contract and does not know what to do; stay strong. I sincerely hope that the universities have the foresight to have compensate people who are not vulnerable in the most visible of ways.
Have a schedule
Today was the first day of me being at home. I decided to have a more practical way of dealing with things. Understand what time of day works for you in terms of work. I am an afternoon-night worker (this is being written at 3:23 am) and find it extremely calming to work at night. Have a schedule, dear academic. Have a rough one, if any.
Mine looks something like this. Yes, it is a little crazy but it works for me.
|12:00||Emails to write/reply to + plan tasks|
|13:00||Coffee + brunch|
|18:00||Break + Plan dinner|
|20:00||Emails to write/reply to|
|03:00||Review + reflect|
And, of course, if nothing works, find time to read. What am I reading right now? I am in the middle of writing my expanded proposal for the March 31 deadline but here is what I hope to read for the month ahead:
- Archive Fever, Jacques Derrida
- The Plague, Albert Camus
- One Hundred Years of Solitude
Have a soundtrack
No, really. It helps. I have been binging on Bon Iver’s i,i forever now and still find it the right soundtrack no matter what I am reading/writing. The Radiohead Public Library option also helps. But the one I am also loving at this moment is the last Slowdive record. I am, as my best friend tells me, the original hipster and am running a shoegaze revival club in my head even before it starts.