Activities to stimulate your mind during quarantine


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One of the many plays available to watch online is 42nd Street, which was a great production set during the Depression.

During this difficult time of living during a pandemic, staying at home may drive some crazy from boredom. After being home from school for four weeks already, I have much more free time on my hands. It can be hard to find fun activities to fill the time at home, but I have found a few that keep your mind active during this time that I want to share.  

One of the activities that I found was a link to online Ivy League courses that you can take for free. All eight of the Ivy League colleges have participated in offering online classes. These classes range from art to engineering to education, with a total of 450 different courses from which to choose. At the end of your completion of one of these free courses, you can even receive a completion certificate. 

I decided to try out one of the classes at Yale called the “The Science of Well Being.”  I was intrigued by this one as I had read that it was the most popular on campus, and I could tell why early on in the course. I enjoyed the professor and found that the class was interesting as it speaks to the science of happiness. I think the class also does a good job with daily activities to help you build habits to be happier. This course got me thinking about happiness in a new way and I learned a lot. I look forward to taking more classes.

The other activity that I found was a link to many different podcasts from a New Yorker article. There are a variety of sources to listen to, which have a range of political leanings and topics discussed on these podcasts. A few of the podcasts listed are about the coronavirus, allowing listeners to get facts and information about the disease, while others may be about historical politics, including Watergate and the Clinton impeachment. 

I decided to listen to a podcast called “Coronavirus: Fact or Fiction”, with one of the episodes explaining how people can help others while staying safe. Through donating blood to helping the elderly, Dr. Sajay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, explains how anyone can make a difference to halt the spread of this pandemic. It was interesting to hear different perspectives on this issue and by branching out to read from other sources I was able to expand my knowledge of the coronavirus. 

Finally, the last activity that I found was a link to be able to watch Broadway plays without leaving home, for a free seven day trial. Some of the plays you can stream include “Phantom of the Opera,” “Cats,” “Kinky Boots,” etc. Attending a performance connects you to humanity in a larger sense. While Broadway is dark, this is really the perfect way to watch great theatre without putting anyone in danger and preventing the spread of coronavirus.

I decided to first watch “42nd Street” which is a show about a theatre company putting on a production during the Great Depression. It is a musical with lots of familiar songs with very good singing and dancing. While the jokes are dated, the choreography is enjoyable. For a change of pace, I am looking forward to watching “Macbeth” with Patrick Stewart next.

These three activities are only a few of the amazing options online that allow everyone trapped at home to expand their education and keep their minds active. I really enjoyed exploring online intellectual activities that I could do, but I would recommend these three, my favorites, for everyone to try.