Friday, October 09, 2020

Friday morning things

 * I have learned, through the various ups and downs of this: I need to keep working. I need to not listen to those folks who say "it's okay for you to lie down on the floor and not do anything; we're in a pandemic" because yes, while that may help some people, it is not helpful for me, personally, and I do better with continuing to work ahead, because keeping busy keeps the worries about "will this ever end?" out of my head.

I give three exams week after next so I think part of this weekend will be getting a start on writing those (and, sigh, importing them into BlackBoard, which is time consuming, but given that I have students in two classes having to "isolate" because they might have been exposed to the coronavirus, doing online exams makes more sense right now)

I am going out this afternoon to get a fall soil sample for the ongoing soil invertebrate study. In a weird way, this gives me hope for the future: that there will maybe again be a time of doing research unfettered and even in-person conferences. 

* I also started prepping some new material, about "regulations dealing with resources and resource use" because while I have allusions to them in other sections, I don't have a whole topic just dealing with that, and I'm so far ahead of schedule that I need some more material. And you know? Researching those things and starting to put together a lecture on it made me weirdly happy. I suppose because it feels like progress, but also, it feels like me using my brain again for what it's supposed to be used for. I've been doing some research and also doing stuff like looking up photographs of national forests online (I selected one from Hiawatha National Forest, which is where I have been most of the National Forests) to "decorate" the powerpoints. And yes, that kind of thing matters to me.

* I voted yesterday. Or, rather - dropped off my filled in absentee ballot. I asked for one of these quite a while back when I thought "It's going to be very bad here once campus opens" and also "I do not want to stand in a line with other citizens given how low the level of mask compliance is, and that some people may be hell-bent on going to vote even though they are supposed to quarantine" and amazingly to me, I was approved for absentee voting. (Normally here you have to be over a certain age (like 80, I think) or disabled or a caretaker for someone who is, or someone like a surgeon likely to be on call. But I think this year they loosened the restrictions). So I filled it out Tuesday evening and took it in Wednesday to get it notarized (my secretary is a notary). Didn't make the time window (9 am to 3 pm) that day, so I went yesterday.

It's at the courthouse. It was really hard to find parking, I had to make a couple circuits around the block before I found an open space, so I don't know, I guess a trial is going on? I walked in one door and was immediately confronted by the metal detector. I shied like a horse and the officer sitting behind it asked me gruffly what I was there for. (We were all masked). I said I needed to drop off my ballot and his demeanor changed a little, he pointed to the office and said "please, before you go in, get your temperature checked." I walked through the metal detector and it went off - I immediately stopped and said "oh, no, I must have something in my purse...."(I had my phone and the little metal case where I carry my credit cards). "As long as it's not a gun or a knife" he said tiredly, looking at me, probably snap-judging that I didn't look the type (greying hair, chonky, wearing a dress and sandals, white woman in her fifties - though recently there have been some pretty extreme cases with white women in  my age group). I kind of laughed and said "Oh, no, SIR" and he waved me through. (It's possible a tiny pocketknife is in the bottom of my purse, I forget if it's in there or not. If I were going to court like for jury duty, I'd take a smaller purse and just put the essentials in)

The temperature check is a wall mounted scanner at about forehead height on a shortish adult. It told me my temperature was 97.5, which is normal for me. I'm also monumentally unlikely to have been exposed as I've been staying home except for going to work, and there everyone wears a mask around other people.

So I was able to go in and drop off my ballot. Lucky I did take my purse with  me because even though my ballot was notarized they wanted to photocopy my driver's license to go in with it. 

But at any rate: if case counts go up or there are any OTHER shenanigans in early November, I don't have to worry, I'm done with that.

* Depending on how the research task (getting soil samples) goes today, and how things look tomorrow, I AM considering a quick run to Sherman, mostly for groceries. I think this OU-Texas weekend? If it is, once the game starts, places should be deserted....most people here root for one or the other of the teams, and they'll be watching (at home, most likely, this year - not sure they are even letting people into the stands). I'll have to think on it more. It's also not a payday weekend so that might help too. 

I don't NEED anything particular but it is nice to get out to a bigger grocery where they have some things the Pruett's doesn't carry. And I'm getting low on laundry detergent - I wonder if I chance a foray into Target, if I went FIRST thing when they opened....

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