Saanvi Dadwal

"I think the experiences and skills I developed during the pandemic and lockdowns were actually crucial to my success." For many people in March of 2020 after the Covid pandemic hit, they were displaced from work because their specific jobs required them to be in-person and they were no longer able to do so. For me specifically, being a 16 year old in high school, I was pretty distraught and confused how I would continue my education remotely, as all I had known my whole life was attending public school in-person and then doing certain assignments online, albeit the minority of assignments. After the pandemic, I had to quickly adjust along with many students with attending classes online, for the same duration that we did during the school day and also doing nearly all assignments online. At first, this change was pretty difficult for me. You know, I didn't think I had the attention span to be able to do an eight-to-three class schedule Monday through Friday remotely, and be able to give it the same attention to detail that I had usually done in class. However, working remotely was an important skill I developed through 2020 and 2021 during the lockdown periods. I had noticed, one day, that I was actually able to work in concentration for four hours at a time. This was something completely unusual for me. Now as classes have resumed in person for the most part and I am at university, I think the experiences and skills I developed during the pandemic and lockdowns were actually crucial to my success. Plenty of jobs are remote nowadays, as well as plenty of classes and classwork, and I think that learning how to maintain focus remotely is an important skill. So although the pandemic was certainly a stressful time, and certainly made us deviate away from the norm, it came with a lot of potential benefits and expansion and people skill sets, especially my own as it pertains to remote work.

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Adam Barnhardt

“… it was basically a modified hide and seek.” Do you have any scars from doing an outdoor activity, like hiking or mountain biking? What happened?” Um, well I have one from, like – from my childhood. Um, I wasn’t doing anything cool like hiking or mountain biking, I was in middle school. And at my school, we would take these trips every fall, we would go to this camp out in, like, rural North Carolina and stay there for, like, half a week. They were always really fun, but we would play this game, usually every night, where we would – it was basically like a modified hide-and-go-seek, where the kids would hide, and we would try to reach a base, and the teachers would, uh, try to catch us, basically. And I remember, I was trying to get to the base, and I could see the base, but it was about, like, hundred, two hundred feet away or something. And I thought to myself, “The best way to get there would be to cut through this, like, concrete soccer field type of thing. It was, like, a small soccer field that was concrete, not grass. So I thought I was gonna do that. So, I started running just as fast as I could, trying to get through this, um – trying to get through this soccer field. And, it was really dark that night, they had, like, minimal lighting and I couldn’t really see where I was going. And I didn’t realize that there was, like, this wooden goalpost that was right at the level where my head was going to be as I ran through the soccer field. I didn’t see it until, like, probably one fourth of a second before I slammed into it and just, like, busted my head on this wooden board. And I flew into the soccer field. And, uh, yeah. It wasn’t great. It was not a pretty picture. So I feel really bad for the teacher who I eventually ran up to, screaming, and clutching my head, my forehead. Because I’m sure that – I’m sure that was somewhat scarring for that teacher, but, yeah. I, uh – they had to call an ambulance and take me to the hospital. My parents were really worried, they had to drive the hour-and-a-half over there to the hospital to see me. And they…

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Dr. Suzanne Wagner

“So I think that that is one of the many ways in which this pandemic period has changed the way I think about my surroundings.” Question is, are you more comfortable being surrounded by buildings or surrounded by trees? If I had answered this question a year or two ago, I would definitely have said I’m more comfortable surrounded by buildings. I’ve always thought of myself as an urban person. I grew up in South East England, I’m used to houses being really close together, joined together,in fact. I’m used to streets being crowded and I love cities. I love exploring cities and I love knowing how cities work and I love getting into all the little neighborhoods and all the corner stores and all the different cultures that particular neighborhood in cities have. Just, in general, I think I’m urban in orientation. But, over the last year, I have been forced to go outside more. There were periods during the lockdowns where there was nothing else to do except go out for a walk and that’s what our family did regularly, we got up in the morning and walked around our neighborhood and then on the weekends we would find some place to go in a park or in a forest and we would go on much longer walks. And we’ve been doing that so often that I’ve come to really love it and and value it to the extent that it feels strange sometimes now to be in a building, I really like being outdoors. And I definitely wouldn’t have said that about myself a couple of years ago. So, I think that that is one of the many ways in which this pandemic period has changed the way I think about my surroundings.

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Dr. Betsy Sneller

"This is actually the third time I've been in the secretary of state's office during the pandemic." I just got back from the Secretary of State, my husband and I moved back to Michigan in November. So it was time to get our plates changed and our licenses updated and I — just as a very short story here and absolutely blown away by Michigan’s Secretary of State. This is actually the third time that I’ve been to a Secretary of State office during the pandemic. The first was in June, in Massachusetts when my license had expired and we weren’t sure yet when we were going to move to Michigan. So, it was — I had to go to the Secretary of State and in Massachusetts to the RMV and get my license and my license plate updated. And there were no appointments. The closest appointment was like 3 weeks out, 2 and a 1/2 hour drive away in Cape Cod. So I went, I took half a day off of work to drive to the DMV and the line that I had to wait in, even though I had an appointment, it was like an hour and half line outside the building, to get into the building was an hour and half line. And as it turned out there was a form that I needed but didn’t have printed off because it’s a pandemic and we don’t have a printer and we weren’t able to make it to FedEx or whatever to print off the form. So it was essentially a wasted half day that I drove 2 and 1/2 hours each direction. Came back a week later and it was the same deal. I had to wait in line. In fact the line the second time that I went to the RMV in Massachusetts was so long that they had two security guards outside to direct people into the line. Like there was a line, to get into the line, to get into the building. And today, I had an appointment at Michigan DMV for 3:30 appointment. I showed up and I was really expecting it to last until 6 p.m. at the earliest. But it is now it was 4:02 when I left the DMV. I got out with our plates updated, registration and my license all done. It was the smoothest operating DMV I literally…

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