Chilling at home: Learning a new instrument, finding a silver lining and drafting a dissertation proposal

Chilling at home graphic

Chilling at home is a segment that focuses on how CHALK readers have been spending their time during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We asked you to submit photos that best represent how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted your daily routines and how you’ve been spending your time. Here are some responses that were gathered by email.

Andi Kerbs

Andi Kerbs is using this confusing time to learn how to play the guitar


Learning a new instrument | Andi Kerbs, a sophomore from Fort Riley, Kansas

Since COVID-19 has changed my life I have put my extra energy into finally learning the guitar. Here I am trying to get my face, guitar and chord sheet in the same picture after a long day of homework. I've been nannying three days a week for 9 plus hours, doing my regular homework, as well as chipping in with work for The Project on the History of Black Writing as it comes up. Unpopular opinion but I actually really like doing school online!

Jaida Fulton

Jaida Fulton sits on the couch multitasking between listening to music, online shopping and watching shows on streaming services while trying to find the motivation and focus to finish school work.

Finding a silver lining | Jaida Fulton, a senior from Topeka, Kansas

My screen time has significantly increased since this quarantine began. I had to turn off my screen time notifications because I’m embarrassed by how much time I spend looking at my phone. If I’m not on my phone, I’m watching TV or I’m online shopping. This is all a result of me trying to find a sense of escapism. 

I feel like I’m slipping through the cracks as we spend each day in our homes for an indefinite amount of time. My home has never been a space for me to be productive, but now I’m forced to attend class through Zoom, complete the course work and work from home, all of which I’m struggling to maintain.

My anxiety has also increased. It was especially heightened during the first couple weeks. I think this drastic change took a toll on my mental health as having a routine was vital for me. My anxiety is becoming better as I become accustomed to this new reality. However, I think I’ve found a silver lining. Now that I have more time on my hands, I am cooking and working out more, which were both activities I had stopped due to the lack of time in my schedule.

Christopher Peace

A snapshot of Christopher’s desk, the space where he spends most of his time during this quarantine, along with some books for his dissertation research, tarot cards, and a stack of incense.

Drafting a dissertation proposal | Christopher Peace, a doctoral student in the English department from Clinton, Mississippi

COVID-19 has tied me to my desk in ways that I could have never imagined. I’m in the middle of drafting my dissertation proposal on African American religion and genre studies, so this quarantine has given me some space to write more freely as I prepare for my upcoming proposal review on Zoom. Since the classes I’m teaching are online now, it seems like I don’t have ample time for anything outside of schoolwork. For digital relief, I am learning a new tarot deck centered on African American iconography. If nothing else, COVID-19 has given me a stark awareness of my social privileges and disadvantages as we attempt to move forward to a very uncertain future. 

Want to be on CHALK? Send a picture and description of what you’ve been up to for a chance to be featured. Email us ( or send us a message on Instagram (@chalkmagazine) and include your name, hometown and year at the University of Kansas if you’re a University student. We can’t wait to see what you’ve been doing. 

Person 1: This song slaps.

Person 2: Your mom slaps.

Person 1: Thank you, my mom is a kind and wonderful lady.

 Person 1: I’m so sick of alcohol.

Person 2: I don’t know, I’m getting stronger every day. I love it.

Person 1: Do you do the vegan wrap here?

Person 2: We can do the chicken wrap with no cheese?

Person 1: I’ll take the Beyond Burger please. 

Person 1: Oh my God! I feel like I know you somehow…

Person 2: Yeah, we went to high school together. 

Person 1: Oh! *walks off*

Guy 1: Is the black market even real? Has anyone ever been on it?

Guy 2: I tried once but I couldn’t figure out how to get on.

Guy 1: I stayed up until 2 am watching Disney plus

Guy 2: I told my girlfriend I fell asleep but I was actually watching the Mandalorian.

Girl 1: How long have you guys been dating?

Girl 2: Since the summer, well actually for like two years but it’s a long story.

Girl 1: Who are you looking for?

Girl 2: This guy, wait I found him. Fanny pack boy. He flipped off my professor after a test and ran out of the classroom.

Girl 1: How did you choose KU? 

Girl 2: Honestly, I flipped a coin. 

Boy 1: Did I tell you? I think I had a threesome this weekend.

Boy 2: Woah, hold up. You think?

Boy 1: I was born a Phi Delt.

Boy 2: Please don’t ever say that again.

Girl 1: How do you get your boobs to look like that?

Girl 2: I don’t ever wear a bra? I don’t know. 

Girl 1: I just really want a guy to bend me over you know?

Girl 2: How do you know? You’re a virgin!

Guy: Sometimes I wish I could just be a dog and sleep all day. 

Girl: You wake up at like three every day. 

Guy: I know.

Girl: So…

Guy: So does that make me a dog or something?

Girl 1: I wish I was a little bit taller.

Girl 2: I wish I was balder.

Girl 1: I wish I had a...wait, wait, wait balder?

Guy 1: Let’s slap dicks

Guy 2: You ever pee and it feels like throwing up?

Woman 1: *holding baby* He would have been safer at the Hawk

Woman 2: Oh absolutely.

Girl 1: I would never date that guy.

Girl 2: Well, it depends how much money he has.

Girl 1: I’m going to the doctor to see if I have bronchitis before I hook up with him again.

Girl 2: Yeah that’s smart so you don’t give it to anyone else. 

Girl 1: No I mean I want to make sure I infect him.

Guy 1: I'm cutting some of my unnecessary costs, starting with Juuling.

Guy 2: Ight man, good luck.

Guy 1: Actually I might just start chewing

Guy 1: How was work?

Guy 2: My manager was chastising me for not dressing up in a Halloween costume, she doesn’t understand I’m strictly here to get paid.

Guy 1: I am so tired of this week, man

Guy 2: Dude it’s Monday

Guy 1: I know

Person#1: I want to be on the first ship to mars

Person#2: Not me, I doubt they have Wi-Fi

Perons#1: Yeah but at least they’re evolving up there. We’re all just devolving.

Girl 1: Um, I don’t eat pig.

Girl 2: You eat bacon all the time, bitch.

Guy 1: You better get going. 

Guy 2: Yeah, see ya. I’m off to get some Adderall.

Girl 1: Are you home right now?

Girl 2: Yeah, why?

Girl 1: I bought a cat

Girl 1: I just don't understand what fishing is for.

Girl 2: I don't know. Food, maybe?

Guy: I’m just gonna have to like carry an entire box of spiders up the hill tomorrow.

Girl: What?

Guy: Yeah, just like a hundred spiders in a box.

Guy 1: Sometimes ya just gotta give yourself a haircut.

Guy 2: Dude, you shaved half your head. That’s not a haircut, that’s a mess.

Girl 1: Can you eat fruit raw?

Girl 2: How else are you supposed to eat it?

Girl: That class is killing us. ​But they say rest is for the dead.

Guy: Well, at least we'll be rested.

Girl: She's not in class this semester

Guy: Maybe she's dead

Girl: Or studying abroad