How to stay on track with online classes during troubling times

Photo courtesy of AP Photos. Bags of potato chips are displayed at a market in Glendale, Calif.


Photo courtesy of AP Photos. Bags of potato chips are displayed at a market in Glendale, Calif.

Who knew that my budding career as a student film reviewer would be one of the many things that would…poof….disappear almost overnight with THE CORONAVIRUS? 

Dang. No theatres to go to. No films in production. No one even talking about films. 

Even our beloved Manny the Movie Guy from NBC Palm Springs is searching…there are simply no films…anywhere. Period. Yes, yes, there’s Netflix. But I’m saving that for when I get desperate.

So, what did I do when I discovered that my passion virtually disappeared overnight? 

I did the only honorable thing any COD student would do. I decided to nobly and single-handedly throw all my weighty support behind the potato chip industry. Yes, my fellow roadrunners…I ate and ate and ate, hoping that if the world was going down…I could at least try and save my second most important passion….potato chips. Finding these salty, crunchy, critters presented its unique challenges, but as they say, “where there’s a will…there is always a way!” After eating my way through two BIG bags, I decided I would have to suspend my well-intentioned efforts and turn my attention to online classes.

The diversion worked, but I gained five pounds. ‘Nough said.

Anyone else out there struggling to adjust to 100% online learning? Anyone else finding they might be “snacking” just a tad too much? Anyone still trying to figure out how to deal with emotions and complete assignments? Is anyone feeling unmotivated?

All of the above would be me. Instead of a meaningful, insightful film review, may I offer three things in this article I’ve learned to do to stay on track with online classes?

  1. I’ve learned to not watch the news before I do assignments and prep. Before I knew it, hours slipped by, and after hearing all the doom and gloom, I just didn’t have the emotional energy to be creative, on-time and frankly…care. But care I do. Now it’s only the headlines first thing in the morning and then NO news until after dinner. Guess what? My attitude changed and once again, I look forward to learning.
  2. Figure out whether working in small time chunks or big blocks works better for you, your attention span and the environment you’re in. I’ve learned that my pace has slowed down…a lot. It takes me longer to complete assignments and reading. Avoiding the news helped. What I discovered for me, is that I work best now in short bursts. I used to do long stretches of assignments and readings, but it’s just not in me right now. I’m also learning through trial and error, what the best times are for me. Bingo…it’s working.
  3. Park my emotions. Hey, I’m a girl. I have crazy, all over the map emotions. So, when I feel emotional, I give myself 15-30 minutes to “feel” them. After that I place them in my imaginary box, go for a short walk to clear, and then I can concentrate on the task at hand. This is a hard one for me…but with practice I’m “working it” and for the first time since our worlds were turned upside down, I have the emotional stamina to finish. Up to yesterday, I wasn’t sure I could finish. The jury is still out on that one, but at least it won’t be for the lack of trying!

So, what do you think? As good as a film review? Probably not. But maybe me finding my way, will help you find yours. Good luck. Remember to remain kind and share if you are able. Gail is a second semester film student at College of the Desert.