Arlene's Reflection in Lockdown

1.5 MIN READ / October 13, 2021

Digital. Virtual. More Flexibility.

These are the changes that I came across over the past and present COVID months.

I have been using computers for decades but I also learned so much during this pandemic. Everything became remote and distant, when before it was always a smiling face to another smiling face. Everything abruptly became virtual.

Before the pandemic I had been issuing digital certificates/letters/documents to a handful of people. This time it was for all the students, old and new. It tested my flexibility, resilience, positivity and the cheerfulness in me. After a while, I became used working with people remotely as it has become easy connecting to everyone thanks to SharePoint and our File Servers. I really look forward to Teams video calls and Zoom meetings — I still put on my lipstick and change to an office attire!!!

At first, I was good with working from home, it was so good to be home – using your dining area as your workstation, with your PJ’s and hoodies on, easy reach of anything you want from food to a blanket, instant cooking and other stuff you do when you are home, but after a week or two the challenges started to build.

First and foremost, the complexities of the computer. I have to call for help from my daughter, or ask Google, or SOS to IT. There were times when my microphone wasn’t working that I had to do video test calls. The silence in our home was deafening, the main noises were the clicking of the keyboard, and no music — as my daughter was also WFH.

I had to call our family back home from time to time, as the Philippines was also a COVID red zone country. My 9 year-old niece calls almost every day — who although living only at Tarneit doing remote classes — considered me to be her call-a-friend-at-all-times. Lots of rollercoaster of emotions and personal issues but through prayers and VICSEG friends I conquered them all.

I commend myself for the following achievements and qualifications I have gained from work the past 18 months:

All the work that I was able to do for the students, for my colleagues, for the management and for the organisation, I consider my greatest achievements. But these wouldn’t have been possible without the camaraderie, cooperation and teamwork of each and every one of the team. These are inherent traits of the VICSEG NFT people!

When we go back I’m looking forward to hugging everyone tightly, to laugh and enjoy laughing with them again, sharing of make-ups, clothes, lashes and nails and FOOD! And especially to sing in the choir once again!!!

The first thing I want to do when we open up — but is wishful thinking — is to take my whole family to France to visit our Lady of Lourdes or to have a Pilgrimage Tour.

But the reality (budget!!) is to travel back to the Philippines. Have a staycation in a beach house with my 88 year-old Mama and the whole family, 26 all in all! travel to nearby islands to go swimming, fishing and enjoy the never-ending storytelling and laughter of my Mama, siblings, children, nephews and nieces.

Oh me, oh my, how I miss them so much now!!!

Spread love, love, love

Arlene — Student Administrator Officer

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