I think that one thing that I am most proud of this month is the publication of the OCA student led magazine edge-zine.
For all of us team members, it's been an emotional, hard journey, where true to the title, we had to connect beyond the parameters of our roles, let go and take on....but we made it!!
This edition, 'No.10 Connection', was shaping up to be something different from the outset. Following off the back of 'No.9 Inside', No.10 was originally meant to be called 'Viral', these themes were chosen in 2019, before any of us had heard of the pandemic. As news of the tragic consequences of covid became apparent, the team chose to change the name to 'Connection'.
'Inside' was published in May 2020 just after the first lockdown, when people were no longer naive to the impact of covid-19. Isolation, poverty, physical and mental health becoming issues for so many.
Between team members there has been a bit 'well that's a bit odd' chatter about how the last two editions No.9&10, fit in with what we now know as current events (The next theme is 'Catalyst', chosen at the same time as ‘Connection’ in case anyone was wondering!).
None of us could have predicted the relevance of 'Connection' both in creating the publication and on our personal lives, as we search for ways to live or connect in unfamiliar territory and yet another lockdown.
During preparations for my assessment and finishing up 'Inside', I found it harder and harder to function with my health both physically and mentally deteriorating rapidly. It wasn't till my last stay in hospital that the connection to this new illness - Long Covid was made.
Along with symptoms mimicking a rheumatic illness, for me came confusion, memory and concentration problems - Forgetting how to use software or how to read the engine diagrams for my VW. I might as well have been reading hieroglyphics, I no longer recognise the symbols or text I was looking at.
The day I told the team I couldn't do the layout, even though every single one had so much going on in their own lives, all of them said 'let us do the pages', 'tell us what you need' and I am so pleased they did as I think this edition, reflects not just the team effort but, more so the variety of contributions submitted by the students more than the others Issues.
'we'll learn with you, we've been wanting to do more' and they are!
Over the last couple of months, my bad weeks have become the odd bad day, I still have problems with memory and retention, spending more time on watching online tutorials, than what I am working on. Getting this edition out was special because it feels like a milestone in turning things around, shown through the fantastic submissions both collaborative and individual made through connecting ideas and people and the positive feedback.
I think I share the opinion of the team when I say, that this edition is the most memorable so far. Thanks guys!!
Sadly this edition is also memorable as the team member who brought us together is leaving. Stefan will be sorely missed and I am sure I speak for all the team when I say we wish him all the best....and ask.....will you be guest editor on No.11? just kidding.....but....
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this edition!
Cover art: The Bound by Sue Parr