Every piece of the mundane activities is extraordinary nowadays, yet has started to become normal each day. No one could make me believe that I follow this fellowship remotely outside of the US, in my home country, where curfews on weekends will be put in place soon, in the comfort of my home but with the familiar terror of the ambiguity of even the nearest future. I remember how we used to talk about the bizarreness of the absence of social interaction in-person almost every moment in the early days of the pandemic. Then I’m looking at the present moment and feeling the impossibility of reuniting in physical and “real” spaces sometime in the near future. And all the small talks related to the pandemic have disappeared when we all got back to our “businesses”.

While our quotidian activities are squeezed into few square feet -square meters in oversees where I reside for now- these doomsday scenarios -well, they are all more hopeful than real life for the time being-, are making me find myself grateful to the digital technologies that most of us did not notice or value enough up until the pandemic. However, it does not necessarily mean that I am perfectly advancing my skills, yet I’ve been tried with my peers in CHI. For instance, we “enjoyed” struggling collectively in order to achieve one of the challenges of this year’s fellowship that we had to incorporate JavaScript libraries and GitHub and we failed. Or let’s put it differently, we partially had success. However, as my fellow peer puts it, we have learned to work together alone in different time zones and places. Hence, with its remote setting unique to this bizarre year, the CHI fellowship is valuable in providing us a medium to communicate, work collaboratively, and present our partial successes. With the unrealistic hope that this failure will be my last, I’m leveling off to our next challenge and the ultimate project in the midst of new normalcy.