Category: Family

A New Normal by Amanda Brooks

Journal Entry #4

Zach McNease, Anna Brooks Wilcox, and Spencer Brooks laugh while dyeing Easter eggs. Dyeing Easter eggs is a tradition that many families partake in. April 12, 2020. (Photo by Amanda Brooks)

April 20, 2020

“Mom, do you still have our Nintendo DS?” Looking for new forms of entertainment, my 24-year-old sister turned to the old ways we used to occupy our time before life started moving so fast.

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A New Normal: A Quarantine Commentary

Two to fourteen days. That is all the virus is supposed to live for, but the inability to stop our fast pace capitalist society from going keeps the COVID-19 going. Small businesses hurting, stock market crashing, unemployment rate increasing, people social-distancing, colleges closing. Not just the nation, but the world is having to learn new ways to live their day to day lives. The digital age has taken a whole new level of meaning. Every person is affected by the coronavirus in different ways. Rising Rock, a group of students from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga seek to tell their stories on how this pandemic shapes their experience, and what this extraordinary moment in history looks like from their perspectives. A New Normal: A Quarantine Commentary is a creative and documentative project by the students of Rising Rock. Step foot into the perspective of college students as they share what their world now looks like in this rapidly changing society because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Scroll to the bottom of this page to click on individual stories.
By clicking one of the names below, you’ll see a glimpse of how this global pandemic has now shaped each of our lives.

This week’s featured story:  A New Normal by Elian Richter

Waverly Hunter poses for a photo from her back yard in Hendersonville, Tenn. on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. (Photo by Elian Richter)
“As the days blur together and the heavy weight of isolation builds, it’s easy to dwell on the negative emotions brought out by the current situation: boredom, loneliness, depression. These emotions are certainly overwhelming at times but there’s also a brighter side to this too. … I’ve recently realized that the pandemic has also brought at least one positive outcome during this strange time; the opportunity to spend time with one of my favorite people in the world, my little sister Waverly.” To continue viewing more of this post, visit A New Normal by Elian Richter.
Produced By Rising Rock Media

Vintage Kaitlyn

Kaitlyn Evans-Witzel is a 22-year-old photographer and new mother. She manages her own photography business known as Vintage Kaitlyn Photography where she focuses on weddings, elopements, and portraits while also balancing the life of motherhood. She has always had a love for the 1970s and country music. Johnny Cash is among her favorites. She incorporates these vintage styles into her photographs and further into her lifestyle.

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The Heart of Dixie

Dixie Heiss, a 30 year old woman from Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, found out at 12 weeks she was going to be a mother. Due to medical issues she was told she could never have children so this baby boy was a miracle in her eyes. She feared complications with the birth, but nevertheless continued doing all the right things to ensure her baby boy would be healthy. Unfortunately, Dixie started experiencing a lot of pain six months into the pregnancy and then gave birth prematurely at 26 weeks. Her new baby boy weighed 1 lb. and 15 oz. and was placed in Erlanger’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit. Dixie wanted to be with her baby boy, CJ, every step of the way but lived almost an hour away from Erlanger hospital. Hotels were not an option because of expenses, so she came across Chattanooga’s very own Ronald McDonald House. Ronald McDonald House provides private bedrooms, showers, health products, toiletries, and food to families who have children in intensive care. Dixie lived in Ronald McDonald House for three months while CJ was being taken care of by Erlanger’s NICU staff. After being in the NICU for 82 days, CJ was finally discharged then weighing 5 lbs. and 14 oz.

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