My Week in ESTEEM: Quarantine Diaries, Pt. 2

Author: Risa Takenaka

[Editor's note: Departing somewhat from our usual "My Week in ESTEEM" format, current student Risa Takenaka shares her experience, candidly and with humor, since learning that Notre Dame's classes would move online. This news came on March 11, just as the class was finishing up their Spring Break week in Silicon Valley.

This is the second post in the series. Check back often for new installments.]

The South Bend Homies 
As the Bend finally starts to thaw out from the brutal winter months, Audrey Shannon and Julie Doran have been taking full advantage of the weather, going for bike rides around campus and enjoying a breath of fresh air. Audrey says, “While this isn’t the ideal circumstance, we have made the best of our time here in South Bend. For example, we’ve been going on a lot of bike rides through campus and by the river, lots of Zoom yoga and workout sessions, and also Zoom happy hours!” 

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Audrey and Julie riding down Notre Dame Ave

Jake Mound also seems to be making the best out of his time in South Bend -- enjoying a quick fishing break outside with his bucket hat and some cold ones, he looks very much in his element. When I asked him how he’s been doing, he offered me these words of wisdom: “The best way to get through quarantine is to make new goals and do everything you can to stick to those commitments. For example, I grew a quarantine beard.”

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Jake, his new beard, Ashwin and Anshul

And it’s always good to see 2⁄3 of our favorite doctor squad, Tsion Sadore and Chuck Meakin, continuing to spread the love. In a socially responsible way, of course.

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Tree huggers, Tsion and Dr. Chuck

Artisan Desk Maker 

Meanwhile, Meli Serrano has held down the fort at 818 and has tapped into her creative side, making good use of the cardboard boxes laying around the house. Glad to see she’s fighting consumerism, recycling, and reusing to make up for the rest of us going ham on Amazon. 

Home alone, but need to snap a pic at your new standing desk? Not a problem. She even built her own Jenga inspired tower to prop up her iPad so that she could take a picture on a self-timer. Very impressive. 

Meli Standing Desk
Meli Rock, queen of innovation, taking “reduce, reuse, recycle” to a whole new level

The Dog Whisperer 

According to Abby Pavlik, social distancing does not apply to dogs. Abby says she’s been able to spend her time at home reflecting, re-centering her emotions, and she told me, 

“Though the circumstances that cut ESTEEM’s year short have been quite unfortunate, I've found quarantine to be a great way to reconnect with my family and -- even more importantly -- my dogs. I’ve been keeping sane by hanging out with my siblings, taking walks in nature, and catching up on all of the TV shows I missed during the year. I look forward to being able to hangout with ESTEEM classmates after this passes more than anything. In the meantime, my dogs’ company will do just fine.” 

Look at that smile! By the way, those are some massive dogs you got there. 

Abby Dogs

Abby with her pups, Riley, Molly and Jax