‘We are all characters in the same story’ says Cătălin, a literature professor from Romania. Cătălin shared his experience about teaching online during the pandemic. He and his colleagues made a big effort to make information available digitally for their students and facilitate lectures. His experience was quite challenging as he saw the students only through web camera, and was not to be able to meet his colleagues from other universities abroad. As a result, he incorporated various methods such as video presentations, graphics and PowerPoint in order to make the digital courses stimulating. His effort was successful and his students were able to maintain this ‘’connection’’ with him like previously on-site in class.
Despite the fact that information technologies have evolved, not everyone is familiar with them. Fortunately, ‘ideas, magazines, books and movies are all around us’ says Cătălin and because of that nothing is able to stop a dialogue. He observed two main reactions to the physical restrictions imposed during the pandemic: people either became more self-sufficient, locked in their own culture during the pandemic or tried to achieve the opposite: the assimilation of every culture, as it is the best asset we have in our hands in order to get to know and understand the world better.
However, one of the things he has learned through this experience was about the core meaning of reading. During the pandemic, many people have started to read in order to pass their time. Cătălin believes that the act of reading helps us develop ourselves and learn how to read properly. This is something achieved during the pandemic.
Covid 19 surprisingly enabled us to find new answers to pre-existing questions, understand why we read, how we benefit from reading and the true impact it can have to a human and its personality. According to Cătălin, what truly defines us is that we belong to the same world. Since the pandemic has somehow affected all of us to some point, what is important is to work together with solidarity and overcome the obstacles as a team. We need to appreciate our differences, embrace them and encourage each other. At the end, being different is just being different and nothing more!
What is the project Together Apart about?
‘Together apart. Mobility in times of COVID-19’ is a collection of testimonies about how people experienced the COVID-19 pandemic and especially how it affected their ability to move freely.
It is a project developed jointly by the European Parliament’s ‘My House of European History’ online platform and the House of European History.
Fifteen people from Italy, Romania and Sweden, with various occupations (artists, teachers, students, parents, seniors, doctors and supermarket workers), at different stages of their lives, share how the lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions changed their daily lives following the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020.
Are you curious to learn more? Watch Cătălin’s full story in the interview he gave for ‘Together apart’ in June 2021. You can pick the subtitles of the language of your preference.
In addition, you can find and watch all the stories of the participants in all 24 EU languages on the ‘My House of European History’ platform.
Curious to participate in an exciting project and spread to the world a message or a lesson that the pandemic has taught you? Do not hesitate to share your story with us at the My House of European History!
© Images provided by the interviewee to ‘My House of European History’ – 2022
Written by Ioanna Mavridou
Ioanna holds a Bachelor’s degree in Translation from the Ionian University in Corfu and has also studied her Master’s in Communication at Gothenburg University in Sweden. A digital communications enthusiast, she has completed a professional Social Media & Digital Marketing certification. She speaks Greek, English, Swedish, German and Russian. She is a Communications Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament.