Work in the Time of Corona: Natalie Rowland, Reeder Media Center Student Assistant

Posted on May 19, 2020

By Natalie Rowland

Our library staff members are chronicling their experiences living through a pandemic. If you keep a daily journal of your experience, consider donating it to Swem’s Special Collections when the crisis has passed.

Name: Natalie Rowland

Title: Reeder Media Center Student Assistant

Department: Reeder Media Center

How has your work changed during the pandemic?

On a regular work day, I assist in checking out multimedia equipment to students and faculty. We have everything from DSLRS, projectors, laptops, to audio recorders. I also go through training evaluations on all the equipment and spaces– like the recording booths and screening rooms. 

Swem grants access to LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda) to all William & Mary students, staff, and faculty. LinkedIn Learning offers numerous online tutorials on a lot of the software and video/audio equipment we have at the RMC. Now I am able to dive deeper in my knowledge of equipment and production. I’ve done tutorials on audio for video cameras and I just started a Logic Pro X course – an audio software that I use to record my original music! Having ability to do these virtual courses has been incredibly beneficial as I am able to focus in on what I am most interested in. 

I’ve also attended some of the virtual Cohen Career Center Creative Careers workshops. Since many of the RMC student assistants are A room at dusk displaying a cozy workspace creative individuals, being able to hear from creative professionals who work at Disney or for late night TV is incredibly informative. 

What are your challenges?

It’s definitely hard to keep a consistent schedule and to be motivated to do schoolwork all the time. With all the time I’ve been given, it’s hard for me to focus because it feels like time is boundless, but it’s not! Every day I try to fill my day with stimulating activities and create a routine, but time seems to be escaping me. I’d like to keep better track of time.

What has surprised you?

I am so lucky and grateful that I am home and safe with my family. It’s crazy how fast humans can adapt to a new environment and lifestyle, and I am shocked by how quickly I’ve adjusted. Recently, I’ve felt very peaceful and steady. I am so appreciative of my family’s health and safety and the technology I can use to keep in contact with my friends. I am determined to find joy, from the NYT daily crossword and daily family dinners. I am surprised by the optimism I’ve gained and how thankful I am for this life. 

What do you miss most about being in the library?

I miss the community. The Media Center is such a social environment, as is Swem in general, and the collaboration that occurs is truly inspiring. Students come in to work on all kinds of projects – like EPs in the recording booths and photoshoots in the production room. Getting to talk with patrons to see what they are working on and assisting in even the simplest way, is always so exciting. The whole library staff is also so amazing. I often go to Circulation to check out DVDs for professors’ screenings and to Swemromas for quick coffee breaks. Everyone helps to keep the library running smoothly, and I miss the people the most. 

Anything else you’d like to share:

I encourage everyone to check out LinkedIn Learning and study something they’ve always wanted to. They have so many courses, ranging from time management and developing emotional intelligence to video and audio software/equipment tutorials! Also, Fender is offering 3 months of free guitar and ukulele lessons. Check it out.