Over the past few weeks, we’ve been giving you some insight into how different librarians from the Leatherby Libraries have shifted to working from home. In this new blog series, we’re talking to a different group of people, a group that makes up the youthful core of the Leatherby Libraries: our student employees! Since the transition to online-only instruction in mid-March, our student employees have been away from the Leatherby Libraries, but we’re so happy that, along with other Chapman University employers of student workers, we’re able to continue paying our student employees for the duration of the semester. Our first interview is with Ruby Blakesleay, a sophomore Screen Acting major who has been working for the Leatherby Libraries Events & Marketing team for over a year.

1. What has been the most challenging aspect for you of studying from home so far, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge with studying at home so far has been finding the motivation to exceed in my classes at the same pace as I did before. At Chapman, I’m a part of four organizations in addition to my job at the Leatherby Libraries. I didn’t realize how much staying involved really motivated me academically. I always felt like I was constantly running around, too busy, and had no time. Now, I have all the time in the world and for a while there, I didn’t want to spend all of it towards academics. I found myself wanting to sleep, eat, and watch The Crown all day! While this was okay for Spring Break, I had to force myself out of this. FaceTiming my friends, going to virtual club meetings, and working out has helped me regain my motivation. I don’t think there’s an ideal way to adapt to life in quarantine. I think everyone has to do what’s right for them personally to get through it. I’ve found those things have helped me, but I also think it’s perfectly okay if you don’t have the most efficient quarantine lifestyle.

A rose gold Apple laptop sitting on a glass-top table, with a candle and a potted pink orchid behind it,

Ruby’s home study space

2. What do you miss most about coming in to work at the Leatherby Libraries?
I miss working at the Leatherby Libraries so much! I miss the first floor of the library the most. I love putting up decor at the Reference Desk and preparing new book displays on the first floor. The energy downstairs is always high with students passing through or hard at work. Every time I’d go downstairs to finish a task, I’d always see at least one person I know. With that said, I also REALLY miss working events for the library! I love making connections with other Chapman students, faculty, staff, and interested high schoolers. Oh – and I really miss my coworkers Taylor and Jimmy. Whenever I walk into the office and see their smiling faces, I know it’s going to be a great day. 

3. What book(s) have you been reading recently?
I recently reread The Selection by Kiera Cass. It definitely was an escape for me. I’ve been writing more than reading during my quarantine. I’ve been doing a lot of screenwriting and I’m working on an idea for a book right now.

4. What remote resource(s) from the Leatherby Libraries have you been using the most while you study from home?
I’ve been using Kanopy! I found this awesome streaming service provided to students by the Leatherby Libraries this year when working on my blog on resources for Dodge students. I watched the French film La fille du puisatier a couple of weeks ago using Kanopy. There’s a nice range of older films I couldn’t find on Netflix or Hulu. 

5. What is your number one piece of advice for other students learning remotely right now?
To my peers studying remotely now: be nice. Be patient with your professors and peers as we figure out all the technological aspects of remote learning. Check in with your friends. Be supportive.