I am a homebody, so I’m enjoying my stay at home. Remote work saved the time of driving daily to and from campus. It is great that once I finish work, I’m home. I think removing the commute time from my schedule is awesome. Now I can sleep more before working hours and spend quality time with my family after finishing work.
For some reason, the workload has increased significantly during the quarantine. I am not sure why, probably because the current conditions required so many arrangements on the IT side to cater for remote work. One thing I noticed is that the working hours used to be those spent on campus, but with remote work, they are not that fixed anymore. I am currently involved in different projects, including regularly updating our webpage with all the IT services and solutions we’re offering; preparing feedback forms; and conducting research, whether focus groups or surveys, to better understand student needs during this period — in addition to other software and mobile application projects. What’s so different for me is that all our activities and announcements now only take place through online channels, such as Microsoft Teams and Google Forms. The number of meetings is also higher than usual. I actually used to find difficulty focusing during online meetings, but I’m much better now. It is an important skill I’ve gained during this period.
Another skill I’m acquiring is cooking. Not being able to order food as frequently as I used to encouraged me to experiment with online recipes. Although it wasn’t of great success at first, it was a fun experience, and I’m hoping I will get better with time. I’ve delved into only one cuisine: Italian. I made green bean salad and spaghetti Bolognese, which I prepared with my daughter. She handled the spaghetti, and I made the sauce.
The main problem I’m facing during the quarantine is not being able to visit my mother. Given the fact that elderly people are at a higher risk, taking this decision was my only option. Aside from this, some other challenges I’m facing include closure of sports clubs and the lack of sports facilities — and, of course, the hassle of sterilizing myself and whatever I bring back home before being able to use it.
I’m hoping this will all end soon. It’s definitely a learning period for me in many ways, but I miss life as we know it, or rather as we knew it, and I miss the fresh morning breeze at the AUC gardens on my way to the office.
By Nahla El Gendy, as told by Mohammad Radwan (MA ’14), customer experience manager in the Office of Information Technology