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Aggies BTHO COVID-19: Katherine Kimball ‘17

Making the most of a challenging time is easier said than done, but that’s exactly what Katherine Kimball ‘17 has done through the coronavirus pandemic.

By Rachel Knight ‘18

Katherine Kimball ‘17 wrote, illustrated, and published her first series of poems during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Katherine Kimball ‘17 was teaching English in China when the global pandemic began. Since then she’s experienced quarantining in both China and the U.S.; she’s lost a loved one; and been furloughed.

Although the pandemic has been challenging for her, Kimball has found unique ways to send her love to the Aggie family. She’s written, illustrated, and published a series of poems since COVID-19 began. 

Our interview with Kimball, which has been condensed and edited for clarity, sheds light on how she’s used her English degree throughout the pandemic. 

Have you used your liberal arts education during the pandemic? If so how?
I have utilized my English degree a lot! 

When I was in quarantine in China, I wrote a series of poems. When I had to return from China for my grandmother’s funeral, I had to quarantine in the U.S. a second time. I used that time to illustrate my collection of poems and created a book called Truth and Poison, which centers around overcoming hard times and mental illness. It’s now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

It was a life-long dream of mine to publish a book. Publishing the book was a way for me to turn a terrible situation in my life into a surreal one. 

What tips or advice do you have for others who are coping with the pandemic?
Focus on what you can control. I have a history with anxiety and depression, so when my grandmother died amidst the pandemic, my company furloughed me, and I had to leave my life in China, I was afraid of slipping back into a very dark place.

Every time I felt overwhelmed, I focused on the things I could still do. I can work out, make sure I’m eating healthy, and meditate more. I can feed my mind with books and podcasts, and I can write and draw. I can strive to get a little better every day.  

Even when a nasty plot twist hits your life’s story, you get to write your reaction to it. That’s the one thing you can always control. Remember to be kinder to yourself. The entire world is struggling, not just you; it’s okay to have bad days.

What does your daily routine look like during the COVID-19 pandemic?
I wake up and listen to Deepak Chopra’s Daily Breath podcast, then I write for a couple of hours then head to the gym. After my shower, I write more and watch something on TV. In the evenings I go for a drive with my family and we get coffee. 

Anything else you’d like to share?
I’d like to send lots of love to the entire Aggie family, especially our international students who have had such stressful times lately. My heart is with all of you.

Share your COVID-19 Story!
We want to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted your life. Share your story with the College of Liberal Arts by filling out this survey