Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Hey, this is Sterling! Maybe this is clickbait since I’m not in a relationship with anyone. However, I thought I’d update my progress on my ‘seconds of the day’ project. In the linked post, I’ve detailed the app I use – 1SE – and how to use it. Basically, you record a second every day and put it together after some time. Most of my seconds now revolve around my home life, and that is where I find love: with my family.

As you can see, the video contains a lot of footage of my cats. Often, they are the highlight of my day (though they can be a nuisance). Otherwise, there is a lot of my cousins, parents, and uncle. You can see things from quarantine haircuts to Zoom calls with friends. It is interesting to reflect on this footage and see how small my physical social circle has become. As you can see, I chat with my friends through video call. The first few times were just calling, but now we play online games and are trying to organize a watch party (using the browser extension Netflix Party). Once school is over, I will have to be creative and find ways to entertain myself.

Apart from reflection, I find value in these assignments (“A Day in the Life…” and “Favorite Moments in College”) because of their universal application. My ‘day’ can happen at school or at home. In some ways, I’m encapsulating an entire day at home – just spread throughout several clips. Even though it might not be my favorite moments in college anymore, isolating that section of present moments has been somewhat therapeutic. Looking towards the present and the future are valuable skills to have during this time. I’m grateful to see what a loving family I have. Even though I’ve had personal hardships being at home, these highlights are what help: it’s what we reflect on the media. They are, indeed, my ‘favorite moments’.

I’ve been able to make 1SE a part of my daily routine, and would certainly consider transferring to a different editor. I was also tempted to overlay it with music here, but the sounds and the joy in each clip all mean something to me. Even those without context should be able to find some if it entertaining as well.

Since this entry was rather short, please enjoy a couple of videos I have been featured in recently:

Anybody Have A Map? from Dear Evan Hansen – UMW Theatre Edition

The past several weeks have definitely been a challenge. Each and everyone of us has been trying to navigate this new normal, and all we can do is take it day by day. And some days, we could really use a map.Thank you so much to the support of University of Mary Washington and University of Mary Washington College of Arts and Sciences, Pasek and Paul, the creators of Dear Evan Hansen at the Music Box Theatre, who graciously approved our dialogue edits, and of course, all of our faculty, staff, and students who continue to keep our work alive, even from a distance. #OneUMW Playbill BroadwayWorld TDF Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS On Stage Blog COVID-19 Musical Theatre Nerds

Posted by UMW Theatre on Monday, April 20, 2020
A social distancing-themed music video from Dear Evan Hansen, with lyrics approved by the creators themselves!

Our sport clubs want you to know… we’re all in this together ❤️🥎🧹🥏🎾⚽️ #umwishome

Posted by UMW Campus Rec on Wednesday, April 22, 2020
A community-building video featuring club sports! (I’m #2!)

These are love as well.

86,400 Seconds In A Day

‘Ello folk! This is Sterling. Hope you’re doing well. I’m sure you’ve heard of an app called 1SE, or ‘One Second Everyday’ where you record one second everyday. My friends have been doing it and they hooked me in November 2019. I’ve been doing my best to keep up with it, though there are certainly notable gaps. Some of it comes from me transferring to a new phone, and I still have clips to recover from it. Regardless, here is 107 days’ worth of seconds:

The first assignment I chose to combine was “A Day in the Life…” by Chloe Morton, and is worth three stars. “‘A Second A Day’ has become popular in videos recently. A moderation for this class would be taking 3-5 seconds of video at the beginning of each hour or every half hour throughout the day. The time can be adjusted as long as distance between videos is consistent. The point is to experience ‘A Day in the Life’ of YOU and everyone and everything you encounter! To make it easier set an alarm on you phone to remind you at each time interval!” Of course, I already had several videos and felt like it would be interesting to do “Four Months in the Life…” instead. In all of its ups and downs.

The other one was “Favorite Moments in College” by Kendall Resnick, and is worth two stars. The description is as follows: “Create a video using some of your favorite pictures/videos that you have taken while in school this year! Add a wide variety of pictures from throughout the year. Make sure to add some music to the video before you post it!” Since a very large portion of my seconds involve my time at UMW over the past year, I thought I would include this one. I always try to record one of my favorite moments of the day. I do keep some to myself and purposefully forget to record certain moments (lest they be ruined).

1SE is a very easy app to use. Sometimes I wish I could include multiple clips in a day, but the beauty lies in its simplistic limitations (unless you pay for premium, which also has several editing functions). One simply takes a video and then clicks on the day they wish to add it to. They can record it within the app or on their camera app. I had to go into my Google Photos to locate some of the clips that had backed up from my previous phone. It was slightly tedious to comb through it all, and to know that there were still more clips to be dealt with. However, once I downloaded them, it was easy to upload to 1SE. It was also interesting to find clips to fill in some of the ‘holes’.

The “Mash” button puts your clips together: you can select which ones it combines, too.

One thing I would consider changing as I continue to add and recover clips is music. I was initially resistant against the idea because I think it is fun to listen to some of the snippets, but they pass in a second. People would not be able to make out the context except for those involved and likely become disengaged. I would consider using music without lyrics so that people could hear the clips that are loud enough. I would also consider muting the clips that have songs playing through.

Overall, I think this assignment encompasses my life quite decently. It features some mindless clips that come from the down time in a busy day. Gaps in February come from always being on the go for theatre. TV clips represent my favorite movies and shows. It features immense highs like getting my black belt to cat videos to make me feel better. I was in VA, DC, and MD. It was very reflective to witness those moments all together. There is certainly merit to be gained from this assignment because one can learn basic video editing skills. There is no layering required other than audio. The power of mobile devices can certainly make this happen if one is seeking an easier format. To have clips only limited to a few seconds makes it flow together seamlessly.

I would definitely recommend doing this assignment: whether it be a variation or not. The end product can be re-watched for years to come.

Out of 86,400 seconds in a day, there must be something special about the ones I’ve chosen.