At Emory Law Library we are all still working from home, but for me, one of the unexpected perks of staying at home is the making of new friends. Emory Law requires all administration and staff members to have daily Zoom chats with each other and you never know who you are going to be talking to each day since the “chat buddies” are randomly assigned every morning. The chats are supposed to be non-work related, fun chats, just to keep us all connected. Not everyone likes them, but one of my co-workers “loves” them and I think they are enriching my life too.
One of the interesting things about the chats is that many of these people, I don’t really know. I know them only from hearing their name or passing them in a hallway a few times a year. The Emory Law Library is in a different part of the Law School building, so some of these staff members, the librarians have very little contact with. So some work-at-home days I may be “cold chatting” with a stranger, but in doing so, I’ve discovered people who live near me with similar interests that I might never have gotten to know otherwise. One of my chats with a stranger lasted over an hour and was very enjoyable. I also discovered someone who lives in a quaint, historic, old house with fabulous molding (an interest of mine and that was visible in the background during their Zoom chat), who later sent me multiple pictures of the architectural details of her home. To my surprise, it turns out her house is almost identical to the house my grandfather built in the 1930’s for my grandmother when they were newlyweds. It has the same 4 pane vertical windows, layout, everything! I’m hoping to get to see my chat-buddy’s house in person when things are a little safer. I now also have a list of great movies to watch, books to read and card and boardgames to play. I have no doubt that several of these cold call Zoom chats will turn into friendships when we return to campus.
Besides making friends, I also am focused on making some memories during his time. One of the best ways I find to do this is by having a new soundtrack with new music. You could make a Spring/Summer of 2020 soundtrack too. Instead of news of the coronavirus playing all the time in the background, what if you listened to music on a speaker while you made dinner, folded your laundry, did a jigsaw puzzle, took a bath with candles or planted some vegetables or flowers in your yard or pots on your patio. What if you listened to music while you had dinner with someone, social distancing if necessary, over a glass of wine or not. Music creates memories, but it also creates atmosphere. Your living room with dimmed lights and the right music can easily have a speakeasy feel. Your patio or deck can easily be made festive. I tend to prefer singer-songwriters with good lyrics as well as good music. I am in the market for new music or underappreciated old music to increase my enjoyment of this stay at home summer. Everyone’s life has a soundtrack of songs that remind them of different people or times in their lives. I’m planning on adding to my soundtrack this summer. Let me know if you have any suggestions