Capturing Quarantine Oral Histories
Interview with Magdalena Naruszewicz



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Magdalena Naruszewicz (she/her) was born in Chicago, Illinois. Naruszewicz grew up dancing and has held onto the practice ever since she started as a child. In 2014, the same year she started attending Taft High School, her father was diagnosed with cancer. Two years later, in 2016, he passed away. In 2018, Naruszewicz graduated from Taft High School and started at Columbia College Chicago that Fall as a Dance major. In 2019, she experienced a traumatic back injury. In the Spring of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, she continued to live at home with her mother and siblings as she transitioned to remote learning. Naruszewicz continues to pursue a BFA in Dance at Columbia College Chicago and plans to graduate in 2022.

Publication Date

Fall 2020


Columbia College Chicago




COVID-19, pandemic, Chicago, Illinois, United States, coronavirus


Arts and Humanities | Oral History | Public History | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Magdalena Naruszewicz, a junior Dance major at Columbia College Chicago, recounts her experiences with dance, her childhood, high school years, college life before Coronavirus, struggles with social distancing and life as a college student during a pandemic. Naruszewicz recalls her experiences growing up dancing and fond memories of her childhood and father, who, during her high school years, passed away from cancer. She details her feelings about her father’s death and how hard it was for her, as well as her relationship with him and his influence on her as a dancer. She then goes into her struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on her mental health and family life—how it’s changed the relationship she has with her siblings and especially her mother. Naruszewicz gives us a unique view as to what it’s like to be studying in her field under these circumstances and how it’s affected her as a dancer. She explains how the virus has affected her school life and day-to-day routine, how it’s changed the way she thinks and interacts with others, and even touches on her political views concerning the 2020 presidential election.

Naruszewicz explains that she feels she’s grown since the start of the pandemic and shares how she feels about the future and what’s to come—"I’m excited. I can’t wait to see what comes out of this, whether that be creatively or just what the world is gonna be like. It’s just gonna be interesting to see.”

Conducted in fall 2020 by an Oral History: The Art of the Interview student, this interview with a fellow student in the class reflects on the pandemic and how it impacted their life. The interview is conducted based on the life history approach to oral history.

Interview with Magdalena Naruszewicz