What I Did With My Summer of COVID

September 14, 2020 by Christopher Smith-Adkins


I know that many of my experiences during 2020 are not unique.  We’ve all been trying to find things to do so that we don’t lose our minds being trapped in our houses and apartments. Some people have been making sour dough bread or spending our time in video chats trying to connect to the outside world. While some people have a hard time being locked away, I am grateful for the time I’ve been able to invest in myself and have used this time to teach myself new programs and skills.

Back in March when I first started working from home, the first thing I did was buy a very comfortable gaming chair and a folding desk.  I live in a small apartment in Brooklyn, so I don’t have the luxury of having a “home office.” Back then I foolishly thought I was going to fold up my desk each night after my workday was done.  I think I only did that once. Since then my desk has overtaken my bedroom.

Bedroom/Office — Office/Bedroom?

I used to work in my bedroom but now I sleep in my office.  I’ve since replaced that 30” wide fold-up desk with a new 44” permanent one.  I recently bought a new 27” 4k monitor, so now I have three, which compliments the Surface Book 2 that Marner Architecture bought for us so we can work from home. It’s quite the set up.  I now have a full-blown command center that allows me to work more efficiently than ever before.  My chair is more comfortable than the one I had at the office and I even have a footrest.  It’s amazing.

The extra mile

The other main investment I made was buying a gaming PC.  This allowed me to play top of the line video games in my spare time but also was a huge improvement for doing renderings for work.  It was a win-win.  This also allowed me to use two computers at the same time which further improved productivity.  I even bought a mouse that uses blue tooth to connect to both computers, all you have to do is go to the edge of the screen and it magically jumps to the other computer. You can even cut and paste between the two.

Summer School

The other investment learning new skills and computer programs. One of the great things we did as a firm was to use our extra time taking classes online.  We all took an Adobe Master Class that had classes for PhotoShop, InDesign, and Illustrator.  Now we all know how to use these programs for basic tasks that we use almost everyday but not since college have I had the time to learn more about them.  It blew my mind how much more there was to learn and this is one of the things I am grateful for in my summer of COVID, the fact that we had the time to hit pause and invest in ourselves again and not just rush from one project to the other. 

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