I am going to have to level with you: it is very difficult to have thoughts on/between/before a deadline, and it feels as if this last week has had a semester’s worth. The dark nights of November come as a surprise every year, and this year I am even more indignant – a global pandemic and we only get 8-ish hours of sunlight? It just doesn’t sit right with me… but maybe that’s just the COVID-19/MS Teams fatigue speaking.
In Normal Times, we would be preparing for study week right now, and that seems both hilariously premature to our coronavirus-delayed college year, and deeply unsettling to think we ever sat in lecture halls and not in front of laptop screens. I imagine if we at least took a poll, November would be the month to get the chop if the Gregorian calendar ever needed a hypothetical update. So, maybe emerging from our locked-down lives on December 2nd is not… so bad? Or maybe we are now so used to missing out on things that we are desensitised, that November just seemed the next logical step in what we can sacrifice to 2020.
By the time this issue publishes, we will have just over a week to go before Level 5 lifts. As I write this, we are still unsure what our lives post-Level 5 will look like, but the general consensus is that we are very unwilling to sacrifice what of Christmas we can still salvage (is it too early for the C-word?).
This issue reads as close to normality as I think we will be able to muster this semester, and maybe if you cover up the word “pandemic” with your finger as you read down the screen, things just might simulate a strange dream for a while. There is the usual exam-talk, Autumn-conferring-talk, research-talk, planet-talk… and hopeful vaccine-talk to drag you back to our skipped-over November.
I hope this issue offers a welcome break from word-counts and deadlines – it’s just 37 days until we start to get that grand stretch in the evenings back.