We’ve  all said it before and we’ll say it again – this has been a difficult…month? Year? Who even knows?

Get some inspiration from your colleagues who are doing their best to keep moving forward.

In short, the past few days have been challenging. Anyways: in terms of sanity.

First, I have to find some way to exercise each workday. Currently, that means hopping on my Peleton and listening to my favorite instructors.

Second, I derive a lot of my energy and sanity from music. I make it a point to listen to a variety of music, curate playlists for friends, select songs for my weekly turn-up Thursday, etc. Actually, right now, I am listening to 24 hours of Stevie Wonder, a music marathon celebrating the artist’s birthday.

Third, even though we are social distancing, I make it a point to find community. On Saturdays, I write online via Zoom with 20+ mostly female academics of color. We post our goals, celebrate each other, and reminisce about the food from the place that brought us together, Easton’s Nook. I also make a point to call my mother, as someone outside of academia, she keeps me grounded and, most importantly, sane.

Denva Gallant

Art History

During a time when everyone is encouraged to distance themselves from people, Josh Zide, a Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department and Molly Olney-Zide, who is an Associate Librarian at the Morris Library have found a creative way to travel and make a positive impact. Josh, a licensed pilot, and Molly, a volunteer with the organization Pilots N Paws, transport dogs from high kill shelters in southern states to new homes in the northeast. So far the duo has rescued a total of 17 dogs, and their travels have allowed them to visit Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York all while maintaining (vertical) social distancing.

Molly Olney-Zide

Associate Librarian, Morris Library

My students and kids as a combination are keeping me grounded. While guest speakers, project presentations (with over 25 groups presenting this week!), assignments, and home-schooling 2 young ones is a crazy combination, it’s amazing to see that students are empathetic to the chaos, as they’re in the same situation trying to stay sane and organized. A constant reminder in the back of my mind is to prioritize – and to constantly reassess these priorities. Sometimes priority is my students, as they worked hard to prepare a presentation and I have to give them my undivided attention, and sometimes it’s my kids and their crazy Zoom schedules.

Julia Bayuk

Online and face-to-face BUAD classes

I’ve been doing three things to keep busy during these crazy times, although I do them during non-pandemic years as well. I fish all the time in New Jersey; I make, collect, and drink wine; and I run. I was all set to do the 10 mile Broad Street Run in Philly until it was postponed until the fall due to COVID-19. I have also enjoyed numerous emails and conversations with some of the wonderful students that I have in my classes this semester.


Mark Bambach

Online and face-to-face BUAD classes

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