9 things to improve your self-quarantine

Frederic Edwin Church, “Five Studies of Autumn Landscape, possibly Vermont” (1865), Smithsonian Design Museum Collection.

By Forum Staff

With Vermont Law School’s physical campus closed for the remainder of the spring semester to stem the spread of COVID-19, many Swans might start feeling a bit stir-crazy. Maybe you’ve burnt through your Netflix queue in your first week under lockdown, or maybe you’ve stress-baked yourself into a food coma. Well, we’re here to help.

Here are a few ways to stay sane and expand your mind while waiting for this global pandemic to blow over.

1. KANOPY AND CHILL. VLS students can access Kanopy, an on-demand streaming service with more than 30,000 documentaries and independent films. The collection includes dozens of illuminating titles from HBO and PBS. Simply log in using your VLS credentials here.

2. TAKE A VIRTUAL MUSEUM TOUR. Google Arts & Culture has partnered with more than 500 global art institutions to create virtual museum tours. (Think Street View, but for museums.) Participating museums include the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and many, many more.

Last month, the Smithsonian released 2.8 million high-resolution, two- and three-dimensional images onto an open-access online platform. The expansive collection includes materials from 19 Smithsonian museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo.

3. STRETCH IT OUT. Molly Smith will continue to offer yoga classes during her normal times—Tuesdays and Fridays, 12-1 p.m.—using the video streaming function on Microsoft Teams. Email Smith to join the team—”Disruptive pets hogging your attention highly encouraged!” There are plenty of quality workout videos on YouTube, like this one.

4. BORROW E-BOOKS AND AUDIOBOOKS. The Cornell Library has thousands of e-books available; here’s how you can access them. Do you have a Royalton Memorial Library card, or one for your library back home? You can use Libby to check out free e-books and audiobooks as well.

5. SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES REMOTELY. First Branch Coffee Co., for example, is shipping freshly roasted beans anywhere, in addition to local delivery. RB’s Deli will also deliver—just not to Florida.

6. LEARN SOMETHING NEW. In case you need a palate clensers from the online courses you are paying for, CourseCentral offers 450 free online classes from Ivy League schools. For Swans with kids (cygnets?) attempting home-schooling for the first time, Scholastic is offering free online courses for students in pre-kindergarten to grades 6 and higher.

7. ASP. Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that the Academic Success Program remains here to help. The ASP team is available to meet remotely over phone, e-mail, or video conference using Microsoft Teams. And although the ASP Library is closed at the moment, you can access online study aids via Westlaw.

8. HOP IN A MUSICAL TIME MACHINE. Fancy some Ethiopian synth-pop from 1984? Or some Chilean hip-hop from 1999? Radiooooo lets you explore music by country and decade. Find something that gets you moving—just stay six feet from others.

9. FALL DOWN A JSTOR RABBIT HOLE. The online academic resource JSTOR has a wealth of open and free books and scholarly journals, in addition to those available through your VLS account.

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