The city and beyond

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Get ready to go bananas. Would I ever have thought that there would be a bigger twist in the story? Absolutely not, but always delighted by and spiced with the surprises in my life. March turned out to be a rollercoaster after all. Except for the ambulance siren sound at least 5 times a day, the sound of silence around the world was just the beginning… 

Social distancing was tricky but not the impossible Gordian Knot to untie. How? Here are the details not to cut it but to loosen it:

  • Connectedness: I tried to connect constantly with friends and family through text, call, and video chat. I found the regular video chats with them quite revitalizing as we watched movies, played games, ate dinner, read together, or simply kept the video chat on without talking, which engendered a sense of togetherness.
  • Positivity: The heroes of the coronavirus helpers made me feel hopeful and grateful. People who showed love and support for them were also in the hearts of everyone. Except for the data, I stopped following the negative news and focused more on John Krasinski’s Some Good News, Barış Özcan, and The Daily Social Distancing by Trevor Noah as always.
  • Time management: At first, it was hard to stick to the same office schedule. Then, it became better—let’s say so and let it be so. Keeping myself busy made me more productive. Attending webinars, events, reaching out to new people to meet, etc.
  • Tidiness: No matter how I felt during the day, keeping the room tidy was my top priority as a sign of my sanity. Even though there were books and some clothes here and there, I have always kept the bed made because that would remain as an achievement even though the whole day have failed. 
  • Self-care: Every day, I made sure that I was doing something for myself. Diary keeping, drawing, singing, baking, etc. Lately, I started trying out self-talk as athletes do to keep themselves motivated and on-task.
  • Gratitude: I tried to keep a diary of my thankful remarks for each day as much as I could. Despite the initial challenge of adapting the new lifestyle, my physical health and financial situation allowed me to quarantine safely. I regarded it as a privilege and a reason to be grateful every day.
  • Consistency: The more consistent I was in all of these activities, the better results I achieved. The times that I was not consistent with any of the above didn’t per me of well

The internship and beyond 

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Who would have thought that March 11 would be my last day at the office! Since then, life has changed drastically for me, my organization, the US, my home country, and the whole world. The pandemic has not put an end to my internship, though, since one can still continue teleworking while practicing social distancing. How? Here are the details:

As teaching and learning around the world shifted from face-to-face education in a classroom to online education programs and platforms, the program I am part of was also affected in the same way. The new areas of my work included the following:

  • The training of the teacher mentors and teachers for online education and distance learning
  • Offline/Online instructional design and assessment
  • Evaluation of online materials, tools, and learning platforms
  • Online student engagement and participation
  • Digital literacy and divide

My bittersweet twist in my internship story gave me a bigger picture of how things work or don’t work in general. I was quite upset when I was not able to complete my initial internship. However, I was very satisfied with my experience in DC although I have not had a chance to see the field.

Even now, it feels surreal, watching history in the making, but it will probably do so even more in the future.