This year, each student at Tufts needs to complete an onboarding process that includes 5-6 days of quarantine. The onboarding process requires that we are all tested immediately upon arrival, before starting “arrival quarantine,” during which we must stay in our rooms at all times, except when using the bathroom. After our first negative test, we are allowed to venture straight to and from the dining halls to receive pre-ordered, pre-packaged meals. Then, four days after our first test, we get tested again, and if that test comes back negative, we are allowed to fully participate in campus activity (attending in-person classes, exercising outside, and studying in reserved spaces).
My quarantine experience started on Saturday, at Gantcher, the gym, where I got my Covid test. Then, I walked around the gym to several stations, at which I received 24 hours worth of food, 50 disposable masks, and one pack of wipes. Among my stash of food was pasta with marinara sauce, Quaker maple and brown sugar oatmeal, two granola-type bars, an apple, a bottle of water, a bottle of Snapple, one chocolate chip cookie, a bag of BBQ chips, a container of green beans, a salad with lentils and eggplant, and a can of chicken noodle soup. (While Tufts Dining did a spectacular job offering several options to accommodate those with dietary restrictions, I do question the thought process behind the soup—who brings a can opener to school? Not me!)
After unpacking, the real fun began. While five days of quarantine may seem dull, I am actually having a rocking time—literally. Today, I painted rocks. See above.
The rocks pictured above were a gift from my friend, Zach, who gave me a rock-painting kit for our Secret Santa. The kit came with two rocks, a mandala design book, three different-sized circular dotters, and five colors of paint—black, white, red, blue, and yellow. After somewhat carefully reading the instructions book, I mixed the colors together, feeling quite professional, and then, I got to work.
It turns out that my early confidence in my professional-level art skills was a little overly enthusiastic, and I quickly realized that I am not the artist I imagined myself to be; however, I did enjoy attempting to copy mandala designs from the mandala design book that came with the kit. When I excitedly showed Zach, he claimed that my rocks were "literal masterpieces," and that he was contacting the Louvre as we spoke, to feature my work.
When I am not writing blogs about my rock-painting experiences, you can find me reading Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn (If you liked the Netflix series, I highly recommend the book.) In addition, I am throwing it back to the 90s and watching Dawson’s Creek, making elephant designs out of my string lights, and doing Zoom workouts with friends. All in all, not a bad way to spend a week.
My Emma’s advice today is to enjoy the moments of down time you have. Maybe painting rocks isn’t your thing, but I think that these quarantine times, while frustrating, are also kind of nice. This is probably the only time in our lives when we will have this much free time to slow down and relax, so while we can, let’s try to enjoy it!