[Editor’s Note: Ellen started at OSE in February, after grad school, just in time to complete orientation before the Covid-19 lockdown. I asked her if she was interested in writing about starting her job here under these circumstances, and she contributed the following. – DF]
Two thousand twenty, a new decade uncorked
Dawned brightly for me with a job in New York.
I packed up my bags and left California:
“Off to the Big Apple! There’s no time to mourn ya!”
Settled in at Old Structures and found a nice flat;
Enjoyed a few weeks of city life in Manhattan.
When all of a sudden, whisperings of the virus
Grew into screams, and in our homes it mired us.
My shoebox apartment, now office and dance studio
The only gym and movie theater to which I can go.
Occasionally I escape to my rooftop for fresh air;
Occasionally it’s fun to cut my own hair.
I eagerly await weekly zoom office meetings
To see familiar faces and send them my greetings.
No more office monitors, my eyes are straining
To see all on my laptop, and my concentration is waning.
Moving in here I had no way of knowing
That my bond with this place so deep would be growing.
These months of uncertainty have been a grand pause.
We’ve examined ourselves and found common cause
To maintain distanced friendships, look out for each other,
To unify, support and love one another.
For just as in old building conservation,
We must salvage our strengths, tailor rehabilitation
To preserve the best in our structures and ourselves
And reconstruct flaws, better left on the shelves.