Covid-19 and studies during a pandemic



I certainly never expected to be finishing my studies in isolation and under lockdown during a flu pandemic. I had flu in 1999, not a nasty cold, but full-blown flu and I have never been so ill in my life, ending up on antibiotics and steroids to clear the pleurisy that ensued. My heart goes out to everyone who has been touched by this outbreak.

I have used the enforced isolation to work on my dissertation. Thankfully the research and early chapter drafts were in place, so it remains only for me to exercise some discipline and set time aside to focus on the one aspect of my studies that has really taken me by surprise. Having no experience in academic writing it has certainly been the steepest of my Uni learning curves, but it has also been the most fulfilling. Each year the challenge has progressed, from a 2000, to a 4000 word essay in levels 4 and 5, onto dissertation in level 6, this my final year. With each step up I have achieved a better grasp of research skills and the all-important referencing.

The Easter break has given the University chance to redesign the remainder of my degree, to adapt it to remote learning and assessment. The biggest disappointment is the likelihood that we will not enjoy a timely degree show, although plans for one in VR are afoot. For my own part, I hope that we can, at some point in the future, manage a show, in actual reality, with actual glasses of wine and in the company of the friends we have made over the last three years.

On a much bigger scale, there are some wonderful things to have come out of this strangest of times, not least the amount of free to view galleries and theatre. I am fortunate to live in an age where I can get a front row ticket to a blockbuster performance or a personal guide around an exhibition.

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