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A Time to Come Together

Thank you for tuning into this April edition of Yusif’s MAC journey. It has been some time since I last wrote and there are many things I’d like to share with you; however, in light of the current state of the world, I feel like sharing something other than exam results or personal goals is in order. Therefore, I’d like to share some uplifting and positive ways Jenkins MAC students, faculty and staff are adapting to our current state. I hope that some of these accounts inspire you as much as they did me. 

Jenkins MAC Students

In the first picture above, check out the view from Jenkins MAC student Alexis . This is how she has been studying for the CPA exam!  I should also note that she is already most of the way through the first four chapters. Thanks for reminding all of us to keep the eye on the prize, especially this guy who should probably be way further along than he is right now.

Randawnique reminds us to create some personal goals in the second picture. In this case, she is self-learning sign language. As an aside, I think she already speaks more languages than I can name. Randawnique, consider the challenge accepted. Thanks for the push to try a little harder at learning SQL (yes, it counts as learning a language.)

We are very fortunate to live in a time where friends and family are just an email, text, call or Zoom away.  In the third picture, Julia shows us how being states apart can’t stop her from enjoying some Scattergories with her family.

The conversation in the last picture I imagine sounding like, “you better be studying! I don’t want to see any online shopping, when I look over. Unless it involves chew toys, in which case you have my blessing.”  Jokes aside, Julie shares, “ It was a hard transition to online classes at first but I have enjoyed the flexibility they give me and the extra time I get to spend with my sweet puppy”.  He looks like he is keeping Julie on track with her law class. 

I could not help but share my daily ritual with my son. We both love to queue up Weird Science by Oingo Boingo. Getting asked what experiment are we doing today is the best part about being stuck at home. The lack of hair was a science experiment gone bad. No comments please, desperate times call for desperate measures.

I also want to mention my future employer, Blackman & Sloop,  for hosting virtual happy hours. They are a great way to connect, unwind & share the good vibes. I would dare to say that they are better than real happy hours. I think the best part of the camaraderie is the light hearted atmosphere. During these events I completely forget about the quarantine and laugh more often than not. 

Faculty & Staff

Everyone at NC State has had to adapt to the new temporary ways of doing things. This includes the faculty and staff. They have had to make some swift sweeping changes to their lesson plans and delivery.

With the stay at home order, in addition to her job, Andrea is now a teacher and coach for soccer and gymnastics to her kids. She says, “I have found sticking to a routine as close to my old one makes me feel the best. Most weekdays I am still getting up early to exercise and will start working early before my kids wake up. I made up a daily schedule for my kids too so that I can fit in my work and help them with their work. It doesn’t always go as planned but we try our best. We have definitely been playing more board games together and I encourage lots and lots of outdoor time. A bike ride in the middle of the day does everybody some good.”

I agree. So, get out there, get that heart pumping & make those family moments despite the situation.

In our next submission, I learned that Dr. Marianne Bradford is in Hilton Head, where she and her nieces rely on the meditative and restorative qualities of yoga to get them through the day. She has continued her practice and has reminded me of how much that sense of zen can get you through the day. She has shared that since her class was already online, there was little adjustment needed. Additionally, she commented that she is making excellent progress writing her new book because “I save a lot of time not doing makeup and figuring out what to wear.”

The beautiful view with the amazing sunset backdrop above was submitted by Bonnie Hancock. She also shares that she has taken up assembling jig saw puzzles. I spent a couple hours cleaning out the attic a week or so ago, and found some of my own puzzles. Thanks for the motivation to start that up again.

I want to end with a special sincere heart felt thank you to the entire Jenkins MAC team. I suspect my cohorts would also say the same. I also want to extend a very special thank you to our fearless leader Scott Showalter. At some point I’ll get to give you and the rest of the team an in person thanks, until then, thank you for making margaritas from lemons. You and the entire MAC team created a great experience for our class. I doubt anyone could have asked for a more seamless transition. Scott wanted to share a few words:

“The response by the students to these unusual times has been impressive.  It is great to see the positive attitudes exhibited by all the students.  I look forward to our virtual interactions.”

Thank you everyone for the amazing experience. I have a metric that I use to gauge the value I place on relationships. The highest point is when I can answer yes to, “would I go out for coffee with them?” I understand that this may be a strange metric for some, but we live in a day when we send out friend requests without a second thought. I think being able to say that I would travel, spend money & share personal time with you speaks louder than an electronic message. So to everyone mentioned here and MANY others that I have not, let go get coffee soon!

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