Thursday, May 28, 2020

COVID Student Journal: I am glad I have a hobby I can work to be great at.

(Student Submission Spring 2020)

Day one: I was in my regular place in Tallahassee when this pandemic all started. We just finished up the semester and onto spring break. I was excited to go down to Broward and see my friends, while also flying to my family in Texas. I had a girl to give me a ride that Saturday morning to take me to broward. I unfortunately was not able to make the ride in time so I had to use my own truck. I went and got an oil change and started my journey to Broward county Florida. I left around 10 and got there around 6 in the afternoon. I decided to stay with my friend ec bandz. My friends and I make music and put it out on the internet. We instantly started to make music that night. I made a few beats for him to pick through in my truck through my aux cord. I use FL Studio 20. He picked a beat while freestyling in the car and went into his closet to record the song.  We stayed up to about 4 or 5 am making music before I passed out on the floor.

Day two: This day was the start of the routine for the month. Ecbandz and I woke up and went to the gas station to get some breakfast. We then went back to the house and got my laptop. I started on some new beats for some new songs for the day or for the days to come. We went inside to start a new song. He went in his closet, I decided to play some video games. While I was playing Modern Warfare, I received a call from my buddy Kevin. He invited me to go fishing at a nearby lake. This worked out perfectly because Ecbandz was on his way to work as I was on my way out. I arrived at the lake and greeted my home town bestfriends. This was my first time fishing in a while and I really missed the rush of fighting a bass. I was starving after two hours of fishing and I suggested we go to our favorite spot to eat together. We then proceeded to drive to Davie ale house. We walk in and it is a little strange sitting down seeing the tables spaced out. This was the beginning stage of general cleansing. I then proceeded to head home and make music for the rest of the night.

Day three: We woke up and did our regular morning routine. I finished a beat and sent it to him. I often find myself in my thoughts of wanting more in life. My friends and I often have conversations about how we plan to achieve our goals. We continue throughout the day. I eat the seventh mac and cheese I have had in two days. His mom and brother are essential workers so I was a little nervous about their test results before they got back home. Thankfully everyone is negative. Nightfall comes and I am laying on the cold tile floor next to Ecbandz. The kid he uses for the music video calls him and asks if we want to come out to Ft. Lauderdale beach and chill in a mansion for a little. We leave the house around 2 Am and arrive at this huge white house lit up with all different colors. It looked like a movie scene. We walk in the house and everybody is passed out asleep in little chairs and couches. The cameraman led us upstairs. I could not help but stare at how many firearms were on the coffee table as we were on our way up. We get to the top of the roof to hang out in the lounge area they had up there. I stood at the railing appreciating the view knowing one day I will have a better one. The cameraman shot a few clips in one of the empty rooms we found. Now 5 in the morning and I am starving. I am about to throw up if I do not get something in my stomach soon. I waited until the shoot was done to say I was hungry and we all went to get Mcdonalds around six AM. Then drove home to sleep.

Day 4: I woke up around 10 am ready to start my day  and be productive. Continuing the routine I started the day with music followed by gas station food. Bandz had to work around 2 PM, so I went to Kevin's house to fish. He had an old paddle boat that could barely fit the both of us. We paddled to the middle of his lake and fished for hours until the sun went down. I then went home and ate a good home cooked meal. Finished the night off with some beats and then made my way onto the couch for bed around 11PM.

Day 5: The gas station lady was a little meaner today. I met up with Ecbandz at our spot to make beats and brainstorm. He brought a little book I could use to write in. This morning I was determined to get our plans on paper so we can visualize them. We sat there for hours thinking of different ways to promote our music. The plan was named Kovid-19. I wrote four pages of information I felt like we needed to tackle. We arrived home and started taking action. Ordering stickers online, doing online promotion, and finishing up the mixtape we were about to release. I could not stand the thought of wasting a day because of this virus. We were working more than our regular routine. I saw this as an opportunity because everyone is on the internet during this pandemic. We did not need to be outside. I eat leftovers that were amazing from the night before and get ready for bed. I passed out on the couch watching ZombieLand 2.

Day 6: A lot of people are getting infected. I am still not as worried but now wearing a mask while doing my routine. Ecbandz mom gave me a mask that she brought home from work. I ate some ramen noodles for lunch and then headed to see my old friend Meg. Her and I have had a past and she invited me to hangout and catch up. I hung out with her for a couple hours, then went home to make music. I ate some taco bell as I was making beats for my friend Ecdreski. He facetimed me asking for some beats he could make songs to. I was feeling hungry for sweets before I went to bed, so I got some ice cream from the gas station. Hello couch.

Day 7: The end of the week is finally here. This week was historical in the fact that no one in the United States has ever lived like this. This week started a routine for everybody that would continue on for months. I personally love mine but people are going insane with having nothing to do. How well can someone adapt to such change? I was in walgreens getting a few things while waiting in line. I see everyone with a mask on. We all are 6 feet roughly away from each other and looking scared of one another. A man tried entering the store with no mask and the workers yelled at him to leave. He cries “I came here to get a mask!” but they kicked him out anyway. I found that very strange. I stopped by wendys on the way home for a 4 for 4. Telling Ecbandz mom about this experience, she tells me she has had similar experiences. Everyone is now wearing masks and gloves everywhere they go. Regular day life really changed quickly. Ecbandz gets home and we get to cooking up music. We now have three finished songs that are the top songs on his project. I felt like that was a good note to fall asleep on. We are now building a base for our plan.

Day 8: I get my morning strawberry banana shake and get straight to music. Bandz has to work at noon so I wanted to get something done with him before he left. When he leaves I go to Taco bell for some lunch. I really was aIming for the cheapest options the whole trip. Kevin calls asking if i want to fish, I love fishing so I of course agree. I arrived at his house and we hit the water with a cooler full of drinks. I loved being out on the water with my mind clear catching big bass. It felt good talking to one of my friends and just appreciating the moment. Kevin mentioned building a jon boat within the next few days. The sun came down and I headed home for some home cooked dinner. It was great rice and beef. It felt great laying down with a full belly after my shower.

Day 9: Same morning, different day. I Finished making my beats and ate some leftovers from the night before. Kevin calls me up and says he bought a boat and fixed it up. That was quick. I spent the rest of the day in the new boat. We had a blast especially because we did not have to paddle anymore. It was much more relaxing. The sun goes down and we pull the boat back in. I stayed a little longer to play darts in his backyard. His family came out and we all talked before I left to go home. I stayed up with Ecbandz most of the night to hear what he was making. I took my spot on the cold floor and fell asleep there. Very uncomfortable.

Day 10: Our lovely routine was a little different this day. I got coffee instead of a smoothie for breakfast. Our stickers came in the mail so we can do a little promotion ourselves. We rode around the city finding the best places to put them and give them to people. Our mixtape will be released soon so we needed to pre plan what we were going to do. We drive to Ft. Lauderdale to meet up with Ecdreski to make some music in his studio. I made some beats for them and they rapped over them. They are now finishing songs a lot quicker now so the workflow is more fluent now. It feels good being down in broward being productive. I feel like I have a purpose when making music and creating and planning for my future. Most people are going insane being bored not doing anything. I do not like living in Tallahassee for this reason. I can not make these moves in Tallahassee. I have to surround myself with people with the same mindset as me. Most people bring me down with how they see life and how they view certain things. Not a lot of people have positive attitudes and I do not need someone unhappy trying to crush my dreams. I end the day thinking I never want to go back because things are so good. I can not live on someone's couch my whole life though. Eventually passing out.

Day 11: I decided to change it up and change the scenery. Ecbandz and I parked up at a park to make music with a view for inspiration. This actually helped inspire another song that was added to our project. We recorded a video for instagram at the park and then left when we were done. I wanted more footage so we went somewhere near his house. I recorded a few videos and we finally got one we were happy with to post. We get home and he starts on a song while I play video games. I get online with my friends that I can not see because of quarantine. I had a blast and played until night time. Laughing and yelling at the tv screen while Ecbandz records. He finishes the song and we make our way to the car to listen to the final product. Afterwards, I was really tired so I went to sleep while he polished the song.

Day 12: We woke up to find that my computer was not working. I had to go to a couple different stores to finally find one that will fix my minor issue. This took all day. We waited all day, pissed we could not make any new content. He just worked on old songs. His mom came home and cooked steak for us. I then went to go fishing until they got done with my computer. Kevin and I hit the lake once again, ripping bass lips. The computer did not finish that night so I ended up going home and going to sleep annoyed.

Day 12: I go first thing to get my laptop and get back to work. I spent a while redownloading everything. It was a minor set back but we already had enough songs for the project we were releasing so it was time. We decided to release it on the 15th of April. We had everything all set up and ready for launch. We ate at Taco Bell and went home to  play some Madden 20. We played football until it was time to eat dinner. Eating leftovers feeling good. I'm not cooking for myself, I get hot meals cooked for me.  We start planning on what promotion we are going to do in the future after we post our mixtape and then go to sleep.

Day 13: I wanted to do something a little different so I actually bought myself a nice breakfast from Chick Fil A. I start making beats trying to create a good feeling that I can send out. I wanted to go fishing again so I called Kevin a little earlier. We meet up at Walmart to get more bait. Walmart is crazy with everything going on. They are making people go one by one. You have to have a mask on or you can not go in. Kevin and I were in and out. It did not look safe in there. We hit the lake early and did not have as much luck as the other days. Overall it was still fun and better than nothing. I went home hoping there was food and I didnt have to buy anything. Thankfully there was food and I ate feeling great afterwards. His mom made some chicken soup. Ecbandz and I watched a movie to get our minds on something other than music for inspiration. I fell asleep before the movie even started. I do not even remember what we picked.

Day 14: I woke up and wanted to make some beats. I head to my truck with my laptop like every morning. I sat there for a few hours until Bandz woke up. I had plans to hang out with that Meg girl but she flaked on me. I thought that instead of being sad about that I do something productive for music. I drove around with Ebandz slapping stickers where we thought fit. The mixtape is going to be released tomorrow. We have to get people to see it. We went to Walmart, gas stations, strip malls and promoted our image. I am excited people are hearing my beats in these great songs. I am anticipating how people are going to react. We then decided to go home and plan on what we want to do for the summer to get a base idea of that. I then ate some leftovers and passed out from a headache from thinking so much.

Day 15: Today is the day the project goes public. Ecbandz and I have listened to these songs over hundreds of times and are in love with them. We just hope people react the same way we did when we first heard them. He posts it and his phone just keeps blowing up with people reacting to the post. I felt so happy because most people said their favorite songs are the ones I produced. It also gave me a sense in which I should be making music as a career. That I love this in every way. I was so happy I ate well the whole day. Splurging on myself because I was proud of what we gave to the world.  We did what we wrote down and planned on doing. Step by step we keep moving and staying productive. I passed out on the couch after the sugar rush I had from all the gas station ice cream I bought.

Day 16: I am thinking about going back to tallahassee. I feel like my job is done and I came to do more than what I wanted and really enjoyed it. I feel like I will definitely be back soon. I packed my stuff, thanked his mom, and said goodbye to all my friends for now. I started my six hour journey back to Tallahassee happy. Listening to all the songs I made, I had enough to sing for hours. It made the drive feel not long at all. I arrived back at my apartment and sat in my bed and felt weird. I did not pay it too much attention, I needed a shower and some rest. Those long drives always make my brain feel like liquid. I spent the day eating snack food from gas stations, that was one of the reasons I felt weird.

Day 17: Tallahassee is not the same. The first day back I took it slow and relaxed a little bit. I did a little music but watched movies the rest of the day. I hate days like that because I feel like I wasted a day. I was back to barely eating and barely doing anything. Being unproductive depresses me. The day felt very short. I fell asleep late, tossing and turning in my bed. It is not as comfortable as I remember.

Day 18: I decided to get out of the house and go for a walk in the morning. It felt good and cleared my mind. I often need to set time aside to clean my mind so I do not stress myself out. I needed food so I hit the store after my walk. As soon as I crossed the Publix threshold I got hit with a wave of confusion. No one is wearing masks or gloves. No one is following the rules besides the workers at some establishments. Some workers have the safety gear and some do not. It blows my mind that this is a completely different environment. Down south it was super strict everywhere you went. In Tallahassee it is like no one even knows what is going on, or even cares. I am still taking precautions because people are crazy and do not realize what they are doing. I got what I needed and headed home as fast as I could. I decided I will not be leaving the house that much here. I started planning on going back to Broward County. I called it an early night after eating some mac and cheese and hope this virus passes soon.

Day 19: I took another morning walk around my neighborhood because it made me feel good yesterday. I decided to get back in a work out routine. Ecbandz called me up saying he has work off and wants to drive up for a few days and record some more songs. I tell him to come on up so we can work on the next project to release and keep the momentum flowing. He told me he was driving up that night and will be making songs with me by the morning. I went to sleep early in anticipation of him getting here at 6 AM.

Day 20: I get woken up by Ecbandz and his brother walking into my room at five in the morning. He wants to start on a song so I get up and his brother goes to sleep in my bed. I picked a banana from the bunch I have in my room that I have been eating every morning. We stayed up until about 1:00PM until we finished the song. We both took a short nap to be up all night again. We wake up and go get some wings from A-town wings for dinner. Stomachs full we started on a new song before the day ended and I ended up passing out around 3 in the morning.

Day 21: We woke up and decided to get some groceries for the next day. They were just as amazed at the amount of people oblivious to the virus. Coming from Broward, where the place is basically on lock down. We ate publix subs for lunch and got started finishing the song from the night before. We sat there recording vocals and manipulating sound for hours. His brother slept most of the day while we worked. I passed out around midnight while Ecbandz kept working.

Day 22: This was the last day he was here to work with me so we had to make the most of it. We worked on songs all day eating just snack foods I had in my pantry. We made it count and got a lot of work done for the next mixtape. We finished the mixtape and are ready to post it and plan. Ending the day with planning on how we are going to promote this mixtape, we go to sleep.

Day 23: Ecbandz and his brother leave at five in the morning to head back to Broward without me. I have to stay and finish my classes before I can move down there and fully pursue music. I start my day by going to my sisters house to cook her some lunch.  We had a good time talking about what we did while quarantining from the time I was gone until now. I made us some pasta and beef. I took my leftovers home in a tupperware and started on some beats. Sitting at my desk or making music in the car feels like my safe place. I got my creative flows out on my canvas for music and went to bed feeling good.

Day 24: I started my day with some push ups and a nice turkey bagel. It does feel good having some alone time. I fix my room up and get everything more organized. It feels alot better being in here when it is actually clean and has everything I need. I did not see a shortage of toilet paper in Tallahassee when I went to the store, I got more than enough. I ate some KFC for lunch and made some beats while I was eating. I made plans to have lunch with my sister tomorrow. My sister and I are closer than we ever were before because it is just my dad and I. From me living close to her we have become best friends. I eat some mac and cheese before bed and then knock out.

Day 25: My sister woke me up calling me about a family problem. I took it into my hands to solve it. It was not how I wanted to get woken up in the morning but I do not want my sister worrying about anything. I met up with her for lunch and we had a nice time. We hung out for a little and then I left to handle the rest of this problem. Quarantine really takes a toll on people who do nothing with their lives. I am glad I have a hobby I can work to be great at. From all the arguing I was doing with this problem, I could not eat dinner. My stomach could not take it so I decided to call it an early night my brain had enough.

Day 26: I have decided to stay indoors all day. I need time to think. I make myself a bagel and work on my craft. I have to achieve my goals I have set for myself. I find myself on a daily basis thinking on how much better I want my life to be and what steps I can take to get there. I did not stop until I needed a nap. I woke up from my nap and spent the day writing and planning with Ecbandz on facetime about future opportunities. I ate some ramen and went to bed at midnight.

Day 27: I woke up thinking about how I want to be in Broward making music with my friends. The workflow was much faster with another person with me. I am deciding whether or not to make the trip again or not. It is a lot of miles on my truck but I do not care. What else do I have to do. I am basically done with my classes, I am on the final stretch. I eat my bagel and start grinding on homework. I came to the conclusion that I have to finish before I go back. I spend the rest of the day on my computer doing essay after essay. Eventually passing out at my desk head down.

Day 28: Waking up on my desk with a sharp pain in my back, I decide to loosen up with a shower. I reflected on what I did yesterday and figured out what I have to finish today and tomorrow. I eat some cereal and start on my homework. I kept getting distracted so I went to my sisters so I could focus on my homework. She feeds me lunch because I cooked for her the other day. She made some chicken and green beans. It made doing homework all day a little better. I finished up in the afternoon and went home to relax. I did enough writing for today so I put on a movie. I ended up passing out not even ten minutes into the movie for the night.

Day 29: I wake up wanting to relax for the morning. I made my bagel and watched the rest of the movie from the night before. I made some beats around lunch time while eating some frozen pizza. It was a very relaxing day, I did not really leave my bed that much. I watched some more movies at night and went to sleep.

Day 30: This month of quarantine was filled with some memorable moments. This is something I might never see in my life again. This day I drove down to Broward to make some more hits. I think this virus pushed me to work harder and really opened my eyes. It made me realize that it is very real and people are getting affected by it in every way. This will be in the history books along with my name. Do not let anyone get in the way of you and your goals. I will make an impact on this world.