Scalia Spotlights

Coping with the New Normal

Along with the rest of the nation, Scalia Law School students, faculty, and staff have upended their daily routines, as everyone shelters in place. While students and faculty adjusted quickly to online learning, the new reality is not without challenges.

In this new series, Coping with the New Normal, we ask faculty, staff, and students to share how they are coping and connecting in the time of Covid.

Adam Mossoff as Indiana Jones

Adam Mossoff as Indiana Jones
Adam Mossoff as Indiana Jones

I held my exam review session today for my Patent Law students, and since class is officially over, I ditched my suit and tie and hosted the review session as "Indiana Inventor and the Temple of Innovation." :) (Yes, that's a bust of Thomas Edison in my hand!)


Meet Professor Davies’ Favorite Civil Procedure Student

Chubbers
Chubbers

Since transitioning to online classes, my dog Chubbers has become Professor Davies’ favorite Civil Procedure student. I have attached a gif of him in class, after Professor Davies requested I put him on a background.


Professor Newman Teaches from His Car

Professor Newman Teaches from His Car
Professor Newman

I never intended to teach from my car. Then again, I never intended to live with five people in a two-room basement. The latter happened because we are in the midst of a large home construction project, and once the basement became basically habitable we decided to save on rent by living there until the rest of the house was done. We made that decision in February, assuming that the family would only all be there at night to sleep. During the day, of course, most of us would be out of the house at school or office. Nor would we have to cook too many meals in the makeshift kitchenette we installed, because, hey, we're within walking distance of the Ballston restaurant scene! What could possibly go wrong?

Once I was informed that I could no longer use my office at Mason to teach class, I had to figure out where I could get both reliable wifi connection and refuge from the noise of construction happening in the upper part of the house. Turns out that the best location was in a car parked on the street just outside the corner of the house where the router is located. It’s a bit weird, but the students have been very patient with my weirdness, so it seems to be going okay.


Today’s tips are from Scalia Law Professor Caroline Cecot

Caroline Cecot Navigates the New Normal from Home
Caroline Cecot Navigates the New Normal from Home

“Every morning, my sons and I pick a few worksheets for them to work on that day. The activities benefit me, too; they typically buy me at least a few minutes (and sometimes more!) to work. The iPad or TV buys me more time when I need it. No judgment; we’re in a second-best world here!” –Caroline Cecot


The first person to weigh in is Professor Paolo Saguato

Professor Saguato coping with the new normal
Professor Saguato coping with the new normal

First piece of advice, make yourself a Negroni, Negrosky or Americano (depending on what option you pick in step 1)

  1. 1 oz of Gin or Vodka (I prefer Vodka. For a lighter version you can substitute Gin or Vodka with Club soda.)
  2. 1 oz of Sweet Vermouth
  3. 1 oz of Campari (Bitters)

Pour them into a glass with ice and an orange peel and stir gently, and enjoy it!

Second piece of advice, if I can call it this, is a lesson my wife and I learned in the last weeks:

Virtual happy hour (see above for a great cocktail)

  • Try to stick to a routine
  • Alternate “boring” household task with your roommates/partners
  • Try to end the day with a cheerful note (cool song, comedy sketch, some laughter is always good)
  • Take time to try new recipes

If you would like to add your voice to the series, Coping with the New Normal, please send your best tips, including moments of hope and humor, to kcorcor6@gmu.edu. We will post your tips, along with a selfie, on the Scalia Law website.