All the hugs and kisses, and the kindness and laughter I could not bestow onto my loved ones, I transformed into a volcanic energy to entice my students to following me
My personal lockdown actually started on Monday Feb 24, as I had received emails and text messages from the Rettore of Università di Bologna not to go to class and wait for further communication on the previous Sunday when I was visiting the Uffizzi Gallery with my friend and tourist guide Elisabetta Cappugi. Little did I know that in a matter of a few hours everything would change for months…
My last day of supermarket shopping was also Monday February 24, after which I got organized and had everything delivered, organic and KM0 products from my Alveare and ProBios, and delicacies and the yummiest things from Melaleuca! Indulging on great food was my pleasure and I fully enjoyed it, and yes! In case anyone is wondering, I did become softer and rounder as a consequence of sitting at my computer all day, and eating great food.
Since then I have been teaching my university courses, giving exams and meetings online on five different platforms, which I had to learn to use mostly on my own… My creativity was inevitably enhanced by having to juggle many new responsibilities and having to learn new ways to communicate. I enjoyed every moment of it, despite the fact that it was energy consuming and it ended up being exhausting.
Expat Living Abroad in Florence ?
We are an active and varied group of women choosing to live outside of our “homelands” Talk to one of our board members about join us for support, practical assistance, local know how & some great laughs
Member Blog Articles
The hours at my desk in front of my computer increased exponentially as my very demanding classes began at the end of March and I was teaching Academic Writing and Speaking to Professors, Postdoc fellows and Ph.D. candidates on Teams, managing a Moodle Virtual Class and correcting writing assignments as though there were no tomorrow. The university had gifted me with twice as many students as I normally would have in a class to respond to the emergency. Actually the exact opposite should have been the case.
All the hugs and kisses, and the kindness and laughter I could not bestow onto my loved ones, I transformed into a volcanic energy to entice my students to following me into the meanders of academic writing and speaking via remote connections that sometimes were so weak and unstable they could not even use their webcams. I not only did not have a single drop out, but also created a team of people who learnt to do amazing things together in a totally virtual learning environment in very hard times.
It has been quite a ride, and it is not over yet! I am not really experiencing Phase 2 as I am still glued to my computer as we are also running 300 proficiency exams a day, that have been adding more chores to an overfull plate.
Good deeds. Every time I ordered my groceries to my Alveare I also placed an order for those in need, that voluntary associations would pick up and deliver directly. And two days ago, on my first visit to a supermarket I donated 6000 punti COOP for people in distress. If there is something I learnt in isolation, is that there is no end to the blessings I can count in my life.
My joyful moments: What I missed most was the possibility of visiting my daughter and granddaughter in London and not knowing when and if I would be able to see them again. Inevitably I was anxious for them knowing what was going on in the UK. When I realized that I was transferring my anxiety on my daughter I gave up and let go. It’s a good thing my meditation practice helped me to stay in the present and to lower my overthinking mind during those moments of apprehension. I would wake up at night and wonder about it all…
I invented new ways of playing with my 7 year old granddaughter on FaceTime and we would enjoy card games about words and semantic fields to build stories, we would set up her toys for her play sessions, Sylvanian family, Barbies, Play dough, arts and crafts, and then she would call back to show me her accomplishments.
As a result of this new routing and inventing new ways to play and communicate, on a Sunday when I was overwhelmed with papers to correct and I told her I could not play that day she candidly replied that it was not a problem, she would read to me while I was working! And so it happened, How the Grinch stole Christmas, one of our favorite Christmas stories was her choice. She read it to me, and some now and then it started dawning on me that she had chosen it because she needed to process the concept of theft, of being robbed of her life and confined home… We ended up having a great enlightening conversation about that when she asked me out of the blew if the same had happened to me when I was a child!