• Denby Weller

Journal Prompt 5

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

Review all the materials in the Empathy module ( , take the empathy quiz ( (Links to an external site.)) and reflect on them in your journal - no rules, no limits. Have fun!

Inside My Brain In Lockdown

Good morning world! Oh, wait, is it a good morning? Not for the 11 people who died overnight. Am I allowed to have a good morning then? Well I'm having one, whether it's allowed or not. Better not admit this to anyone except the Husband. He always understands.

It's run time and the weather is glorious. The riverbank, Wurundjeri Country, is amazing. I should stop and have a look at for the wichetty grubs one day. But I don't know what the tree looks like that they grow on, so maybe that's a better thing to look for. People love to whine about Melbourne's weather but I way prefer it to Sydney. In Sydney, it can start raining on Monday and not stop until next year. Here, the weather changes its mind every few hours, so even when you're in the middle of an Antarctic maelstrom, you know you're only half a day away from burning off your retinas in the afternoon glare. That seems much better than having to weather anything (#SeeWhatIdidThere) for weeks on end.

Back in my teensy tiny office, the sun disappears and the working begins. I don't have any Zooms today so I'm wearing my favourite sloppy jumper. Couldn't do this at work before COVID!

I love this time.

There, I've said it. Hate on me all you like. I don't enjoy the social anxiety of work. I don't like having to wear pants. I don't like wasting part of my day commuting. I don't like people coming up to me at 4:55 and asking for a meeting. And I really don't like working in a space that I can't control. At home, I have my favourite lamp, my X Files poster and total dominion over my heater. I can't achieve all these things in my office.

Okay, I'd love to see an end to all the collateral suffering associated with COVID – to reverse the deaths, the economic ruin, the pain of lost love ones, the fear and sickness.

Okay, I'd happily go into the office once a week. Maybe twice? But give me my freedom to spend those commute hours running in the dirt and thinking about wichetty. grubs. Give me lunch in my fridge and a random snuggle on my tea break. Give me the easy socialisations of times with people who choose to come together – colleagues and friends – and not the waste and rancour of department meetings.

And give me digital ethnography. In reading over this, I know more than ever that the way I want to connect with my participants is digital.

This is a cafe near my Dad's place in Townsville where there's a water pistol on every table. You use them to fend off the plucky seagulls, who are not beyond stealing food from your hand. Seagulls are pretty smart though – they know exactly what's coming when you pick up the water pistol, so you only have to glance at it threateningly to keep them at bay.

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