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.
“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.
In a world where visual cues are key to interaction and accessibility, some people have to do without it. Adam Hixson, a 42-year-old Tennessee native, is all too familiar with this issue. When Hixson was 32 years old, his optometrist told him that he had about a year until he would lose one-hundred percent of his vision. Hixson was understandably confused, frustrated and scared. When asked what he misses the most about having his vision, Hixson stated, “Used to, when I could drive, if I wanted to go somewhere, I got in the car and went, I didn’t rely on other people. Since I went blind, I have to rely on everybody to get places.”
Johannah Hardy is one of the two owners of Creative Vision Hair Salon, along with her husband Jerry Hardy. This year will be Hardy’s 15th anniversary of the opening Chattanooga’s Creative Vision Salon.
Kevin Bate is Chattanooga’s humble, quirky, and paint-covered yes man.
Bate moved to Chattanooga in 2005 in search of an older home, full of character and potential. This led him to the Highland Park neighborhood on McCallie Avenue, which at the time, was ripe with crime and boarded up storefronts. The neighborhood lacked life, color, and was deemed the “bad part of town.” As depressing as the neighborhood seemed, Bate questioned how such a place made its residents feel. He saw this as an opportunity to breathe life back into a part of Chattanooga that had been forgotten and overlooked. Bate picked up his paintbrush and quite literally began to recolor his town. His initial goal was to give his neighborhood a sense of pride and to draw more public attention to an area that he quickly grew to love.
Bate started painting large murals on old, dilapidated buildings that lined the streets of McCallie Avenue. He was an instant success. Chattanooga natives, who previously sped through the neighborhood, were stopping and taking pictures in front of his murals. An area that was once avoided was now a destination. The City of Chattanooga and various business owners wanted more from Bate. He started doing commission murals, including “The Fallen Five,” that are now iconic Chattanooga staples.
Bate has an original artistic style that is easily recognizable all over the city. He uses implied lines and abstract shapes that force the viewer’s brain to see a face; they make people stop in the midst of their busy days and just look. Beautification was Bate’s goal. Now, after being an established Chattanoogan, Bate has poured his heart and talent back into the art community. He states, “I’d like to be the person to put more local artists to work.” Bate knows how it feels to be an aspiring artist, living off mac n’ cheese and criticism. Therefore, he wants to inspire local artists to pursue their talents by collaborating with him on large projects to continue to paint this city.
Story Corps preserves human history through the oral storytelling of its participants. With a travel trailer converted into a recording studio, Story Corps road trips to 10 cities around the country to record and broadcast the stories of local residents. This year, Story Corps has partnered with WUTC to showcase the untold histories of Chattanooga. Participants can tell anystory they want, and it can be told alone or with a partner.
Through a series highlighting young singer songwriters, Rising Rock Media decided to showcase the musical talents that hide in Chattanooga. With genres ranging from folk, americana, and rock, each musician creates a wide variety of talent that ought to be brought to light. This series focuses on each musician involving a music video of Spencer Denning’s song “Pen Pals,” Rachel Smith’s recording of “Wedding Blues,” and Jamesen Rees’s recent Spotify released song “The Weight of Change.” Through sharing each of these artists musical talent, Rising Rock attempts to bring about focus on the talent right on UTC’s campus.
The 33rd anniversary of the Challenger Shuttle accident was January 28th. Wife of the late Commander Dick Scobee, Dr. June Scobee Rodgers, and their daughter Kathie Scobee Fulgham, remember this day with peace and find power in making huge efforts to further the mission of the Challenger. It’s about keeping the fallen astronauts memory’s alive.