During the spring 2020 transition to remote learning necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Oral History: the Art of the Interview classes were forced to abandon the planned interview projects During the three week interruption before classes resumed online, Associate Professor Erin McCarthy and Archives staff created Capturing Quarantine, a digital oral history project designed to document the student experience during the global pandemic.
The collection documents a frequently overlooked voice, that of the undergraduate student, and will be a valuable source for future study by those interested in learning about daily life during the pandemic from the student perspective.
Students interviewed each other, created biographical and interview abstract statements, and authored reflection pieces on the experience of the abrupt mid-semester switch and overall thoughts about the process and the pandemic.
This project resumed during the Fall 2020 semester, with additional interviews collected, as the college offered both remote and hybrid courses. As with the spring 2020 interviews, these fall interviews continue to capture the undergraduate student voice narrating their experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Other oral history projects conducted by Dr. McCarthy's students in support of archival holdings:
Ben Tufts (he/him) was born in Crete, Illinois in 2002 and was raised in Crown Point, Indiana for most of his life. Music has always been important to him since he was young: he began learning guitar when he was seven and formed his band, ASP, in high school around 2018. Not long after starting a band, Tufts got a studio internship where he does audio engineering work and gets a chance to record material with his band. Tufts graduated from Crown Point Highschool in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic began before he started college, so he chose to attend Columbia College Chicago completely online, where he is majoring in audio arts with an interest in music production. Tufts currently lives with his parents in Crown Point.
Bridget Ekis (she/her/hers) was born in Waterford, Michigan.At a young age, she bought her first camera and started photographing surroundings. Soon after, she had started working at Waterford Coney Island and she graduated from n Waterford Kettering High School in 2017. She then quickly moved to Chicago to attend Columbia College Chicago. When she moved back home due to the pandemic, she was unsure if she would continue attending Columbia in the fall and while livig at home, she attended community college. She came back to Chicago to attend Columbia and moved into her first apartment with a roommate and dog, and started a new job at Stepping Stones Nursery and Preschool in August, where she is now and is in her senior year of college at Columbia.
Caitlyn Gee (She/Hers) was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1999. She grew up in Memphis and moved to Indiana to study at the Indiana Ballet Conservatory with her mentor. She attended Carmel High School and her sophomore year St. Mary’s Episcopal School. During the first semester of her junior year, she decided to study dance abroad, in Marbella, Spain, for the first half of the school year. After her first semester, she returned to Indiana, attended Laurel Springs School, and finished her high school degree online. After graduating from high school, she decided to take a gap year to join Hubbard Dance Street Chicago in their Professional Program and began interning at the Buckman Theatre. After living in Chicago for a little while, she decided to apply to Columbia College Chicago for Arts Management in order to stay active in the management side of the dance community. During her freshman year in college, she worked as the Children’s Dance Director at the Woman’s Athletic Club and as a Special Events Intern at the Lyric Opera. After Coronavirus caused the school to switch to online learning, she moved back in with her parents for a month and a half to quarantine before moving back to her Chicago apartment. Currently she is doing school remotely and is working as a campus ambassador at Columbia College Chicago. She is expected to graduate in 2023.
LaCole 'Purlz' Purley
Christopher Donahue (he/his/him) was born in Bethesda, Maryland in December 2000 then raised in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Growing up, he did a lot of travelling with his parents to numerous cities throughout the country and took photos of all his experiences. While in high school, he realized that he had an appreciation for nature, Donahue believed that he should have a career in writing, photography, and film, After graduating high school in the spring of 2019, he decided to attend Columbia College Chicago for a degree in filmmaking in Fall of 2019. After the pandemic hit and Columbia shut down in Spring of 2020, Donahue had to return to La Crosse to stay with his parents and went through months to focus on his creations in film and to better his mental health. He was finally able to return to Chicago when schools reopened in Fall of 2020 and plans to graduate in Spring 2023.