This Monday kicked off the first day of online classes for PCA students. As things are still being set up, MDRW students did not have a virtual class meeting for the Intermediate Research and Methodology course. Instead, instructor Hiie Saumaa sent students an email detailing what they should do during their usual class time of 10am-1pm instead. Hiie asked students to work on their individual proposals for the symposium they are planning. Further, she stated that future classes will be held on a virtual platform.
For masters students, the usual thesis class with professor Martin Phelps was also addressed by email instead, stating that for the rest of the semester, there will be no more classes between 2 and 5pm on Mondays. Instead, there will be one-on-one meetings between Martin and students to discuss their thesis and the next steps they need to take. Martin also informed students that the deadline for their final thesis submission has been extended one weekend as the Dean and Associate Dean understand that this is a stressful time for most.
Monday 16 March, 8pm, the French president addressed the country, requesting that all citizens stay indoors. Macron stated that unless there is an essential act that must be done outside, such as grocery or pharmacy shopping, seeking medical assistance, caring for elderly or children, or exercising alone, one must stay indoors. Further, if one does need to step outside their home for any of the aforementioned reasons, an attestation must be filled out stating the reasons. Click here to find the official attestation given by the French government. If one does not have this printed or hand written and filled out along with their residency card with them outside, they will be fined.
Tuesday was a quiet day for MDRW students, including myself. We had no scheduled online meetings or classes, so I worked on my final project and went on a run.
Wednesday was a busier day, as MDRW students met on HouseParty, an online platform for video conference calls. At 10am, students and professor Veronique Devoldere connected and checked in, discussing how they have been doing and feeling since starting the mandatory quarantine. Veronique also appointed set times for individual sessions between students and her to discuss their collaborative projects until the end of the semester. MDRW students also made a plan to have a group call on Monday for an hour to virtually hang out and show each other the developments and new works they have been making.
Thursday, the first online Professional Networking Series course took place over Zoom, another online platform. This week’s guest was Leila, a photographer based in Paris. The virtual interview worked very well, aside from a few technical difficulties regarding the screen sharing. Overall, it was a very interested presentation and the online platform worked well.
Friday was another quiet day for MDRW students. Personally, I spent the day working on my final project and proof reading my thesis. This day marked the end of the first week in isolation.