Monday marked the start of the second week of online schooling for PCA students.
Usually, MDRW students would start their Monday mornings at 10am with the Intermediate Research and Methodology course. Instead, professor Hiie Saumaa sent students emails detailing when their online sessions would be. Classes would be held over the video conference application Zoom on Wednesday evenings. However, as it would be difficult for everyone to participate if the entire class were to join the same session, Hiie organized multiple different sessions, breaking students up into their symposium planning groups. On the Zoom call, students and Hiie discussed the readings which were due that week and how they felt amidst this bizarre situation.
Monday mid-day, students and faculty gathered virtually via Zoom to discuss the next steps needed to take for the Graduating Student Exhibition. Later Monday, instead of having the thesis writing course on Monday, professor Martin Phelps encouraged students to send him their papers so that he could electronically take notes and send it back. Further, he informed students that he was available for virtual conferences to talk about their papers, if they would like.
Wednesday, MDRW students and professor Veronique Devoldere gathered at 9am on the application HouseParty. They updated each other regarding their current situations, health and general outlook and discussed how they could make their environment one which might help induce creativity.
They also discussed the Google Drive, which MDRW students all share and update their works, so that Veronique and the other classmates can stay updated. Following the group session, Veronique had individual sessions of about 30 minutes with each MDRW student. In these sessions, students and Veronique talked about where they are in their collaboration projects, and about new works which they had updated to the Google Drive. They also discussed what the coming weeks would entail in regards to their works and projects.
Thursday night, MDRW and other master’s students had the Professional Networking Series course at 5pm on the Zoom application. This weeks guest, Jacob Thomas Simpson, is an urban planner and PhD candidate living and working in Paris.
Jacob Thomas Simpson gave students helpful information regarding the transition from school to “real life,” as he recounted stories of his initial shock in this period. Further, he prompted students to take any opportunities they can get, as they act as stepping stones. Thursday night’s Zoom session was a great way to end the week, as Simpson was understanding and motivational, giving students the encouragement they needed to finish this last month of the semester.