University Professor bringing positivity to campus
Professor Amy Bryzgel comes up with a new way to support students through negative times
By Zsofia Kiszely
Photo Credits: Unsplash
Professor Amy Bryzgel, Director of Postgraduate Studies for the School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture, has started something new at the beginning of this academic year at our university in the hopes of bringing some positivity into students lives who are completing their studies during this difficult time that the pandemic has brought on us. In our interview Professor Bryzgel said she clearly remembers what the driving factor was in starting her video series called My Monday Message.
‘I remember it very clearly. It was the weekend before the term started, so students have already returned to campus and all you saw, all over the news, was all of this negative messaging about the students and how they were spreading Covid and then breaking Covid rules. And, of course, that was the media. I was just so upset, because I thought the students don’t deserve this. It is the universities’ job, and this is not just our university, it was all the universities’ job to set up the protection and the regulations. Students were just doing what students do: coming back, having a freshers’ week. And I thought we can’t start the semester like this, I’m going to counteract this by having a positive message to appear on the first day of classes. I planned it originally to just have it through the semester, but it became kind of popular. I was surprised how many people liked it and followed it. I do have a core group of followers and because of that, and their excitement made me want to keep going with it.’
Professor Bryzgel posted My Monday Message episodes, or in short MMM, on every Monday morning to start off the week with positivity. She has been sharing her day-to-day life in the videos, what she’s cooked, where she’s been, her struggles with lockdown and how she stays positive through it all. The content is mostly student focused, but through it all it’s all about how to stay positive during a difficult time, which many people can relate to, whether they’re studying or not. However, MMM has served its purpose, said Professor Bryzgel, and the last episode was posted on the 31st of May 2021. The month of May was all about closures in the messages in order to bring the series to an end.
MMM has clearly been a helpful tool for students at the university, and even though Professor Amy Bryzgel teaches in the school of LLMVC, the videos have reached students in other schools on campus too, as well as staff at the university. The videos have even reached the US and thus gained some international audience.
When asked about if MMM is returning in the next academic year, Professor Bryzgel gave an unsure answer. She thinks there is a place for these type of videos (which I completely agree with) and therefore we can only hope for a comeback of MMM episodes in September. She’s got a few new ideas in terms of content, but since it is a time-consuming activity, it might only be a monthly message rather than weekly, if the videos do return. She was even jokingly saying that it might turn into a series with academic years being the seasons.
One focus for this year for the Professor was to stay authentic and bring positivity into people’s lives. I, myself, have watched MMM and I would highly encourage other people to do so as well, especially if they are feeling low, because sometimes just watching a positive video can help lift a person’s mood.