The Quarantine Question

How has the past year's quarantine affected your professional life?

A confession: I was happy when my Rutgers University colleagues and I were first directed to work from home in mid-March 2020, with no clear sense of when we might return to the office. The previous months had delivered a series of frustrations at the museum, culminating on March 1 when a major deferred maintenance project affecting my department was canceled after multiple assurances that it was moving ahead. I struggled to make myself go to work in the mornings that followed, and then, suddenly, I was relieved of that particular struggle. However, the months at home, followed by a limited return to the office, confirmed that I am most satisfied with my job when I am working directly with collection objects and making the collection accessible to faculty and students. As we prepare to reopen fully this fall, my only professional goals are to spend more time doing the parts of the job that I love and could not do from home, and to draw the boundaries that I will need to establish in order to devote myself to these aspects of my work.

CHRISTINE GIVISKOS, curator, Zimmerli Art Museum