April 22, 2020

Through My Window: Five Students Reflect on Confinement

By Debbie Un

As an assignment, I asked my students, who have been spending most of their time inside because of the pandemic, to look out their windows and record what they saw and what it made them think about. Here are their reflections.

Nina Cirkovic (Montenegro)

Spring is an amazing and beautiful season, but these days the streets look so empty and devastated. That is pretty unusual. When I look through my window I see an old man walking down the street with a fluffy apricot dog. On a building across mine a U.S. flag blows in the wind. Birds are chirping and not too many cars are passing by. The stillness of the city shows how boring my life is. All I want is to feel free again and I can only hope this disaster will pass quickly and all people can return to normal life.        


Chiko Kondo (Japan)

I can see the beautiful blue sky and the flowing clouds. The blue sunny sky makes me happy. Also, I can see windows next to my building. A young man is watching TV, sitting on his sofa. A slender woman is drinking coffee in another window. There is a slide for children and some deck chairs on a resident’s terrace on the first floor. The resident always plays music with his drum to encourage healthcare workers at 7 pm. We clap hands for 10 minutes to thank them with our neighbors.        


 Liliana Lopez (Mexico)

Through my window, I see the street outside my apartment where there are trees and flowers. Today I can see the sun. I also see the buildings that are around mine. I see that all the people are in their houses. There aren’t people in the street. The street is desolated. Cars don’t pass. It’s as if life had suddenly stopped. Everything is calm outside, but inside the buildings there is panic, fear and why not? Also, sadness—there’s a lot of sadness for so many people who are dying, which makes us think that the best thing we can do is to protect ourselves and protect others by staying  home. This makes me think about the homeless. Where are all those people who aren’t so fortunate? How do those people feel right now? Those who don’t have a place to protect themselves are also part of the street. They are a very important part of what I commonly see outside my window.  Outside my window I see a lesson that God has sent the whole world, to be better human beings.

Joseph (Ting Meng) Lin (Taiwan)

When I look out of the window, I feel like a caged bird. The daily fun at home is watching a group of teenagers play basketball on the basketball court across from my apartment, but since last week, no one has been playing. I don’t know if they are afraid of the coronavirus or because of government policy. Even the cars are fewer and fewer so now my fun is counting the joggers on the street. Before, I could see some of the double-decker buses pass by from my apartment, but now they also have disappeared. Now, I want to be free; however, even if I go out, there is no place to go.

Angel Minga (Ecuador)

Monday, April 6, 2020, while looking out of the window, I can see the intersection of 24th Avenue and 26th Street. There are a lot of cars that are parked. The streets are empty and there are a few people walking by. All the houses across the street are closed. I don’t see anybody or any movement. I hear the chirping of the birds and I see a cat that just walked by. The day is actually pretty nice. It’s sunny but a little cool and still nice. My neighbor from the second floor just went out to walk her dog. The neighbor from the basement came out to smoke a cigarette. For a Monday it’s pretty quiet. I think people are taking the Covid-19 virus pretty seriously. It looks like everybody is scared or nervous. Hopefully everybody is okay.   

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Debbie Un is a full-time Language Lecturer who teaches in ELI’s Comprehensive English Program.

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