The official release of the news was made, we had to stay home for about a month and start practicing social distancing. Mixed feelings rushed through my mind, among a million of them, some were; how will academic work be handled, and will I still be allowed to ride around a few blocks with my bicycle?
When the semester started, I had most my modules enrolled on the Distance mode because I had work integrated learning to tackle. So, initially I did not have to attend class so I could not say I would miss out when lockdown starts, but I had 2 modules on part-time and those raised some concerns.
For a good week, there were no communications from any of the tutors. I sat at home and wondered. What is going to happen next?
Two weeks into the lockdown and news started flooding in from the government and the university. As time passed we were quite well informed. News was that we had to attend class and write exams online. Since this is a new methodology, it did not sit well with me, especially the exam part.
Along the way I realized that our internet speed at home had become significantly slow. I presumed that it might be because of the thousands of people online in our neighborhood using the internet all at once slowed down the internet speed. Also, where I live, there is only one cell tower for the whole community, covering roughly a 2 kilometer radius.
Days went by, and I ran into some mechanical difficulties with my bicycle. Took it for repairs just to find out that the mechanics were out of stock for the parts I needed. The lockdown misery intensified then and there.
Few weeks later, the situation improved and news was that essential staff may get back to work and academic work resumed. I was still at home at the time and decided to call my director to find out when I can resume with work.
I had called her on a Tuesday morning and she said I should start the next day, which would be Wednesday. I was so relieved to be out of the house.
I got back to the office. Since our office primarily deals with events, and with the lockdown that was in place, this lead to the cancellation of all the events. I can’t really say there was nothing to do but workload decreased substantially. I kept myself busy nonetheless.
Now that I have partially gotten back to my day to day routine, I realized that the internet has stepped in as a medium through which academic work can and should be done. I strongly believe that the way forward with this new normal is E-Learning.