Monday, August 03, 2020

in weird times

I did my first ever Zoom departmental tour - a couple prospective students wanted to see what the place was like and I was not entirely comfortable admitting a couple of unknown high schoolers (from different locations) to the building and being close to them, so I suggested a Zoom meeting and that seemed to work.

Spent about 20 minutes answering their questions and walking around the building showing what the classrooms were like, going out and showing the little area in back where there's a flower garden and picnic benches.

But there was the unpleasant undercurrent of "Oh, I guess they haven't removed the chairs from this room they said they were removing yet" or "well, I don't know how many people will be allowed in the student lounge this fall" and all that. A combination of "Wow, These Times are going to upend some of the things we did" coupled with "holy crap, for all their big talk about being ready, Physical Plant has literally done nothing other than glue a few more Purell dispensers up on the walls" and I don't even know.

I am not going to be happy to find out on the first day of classes that I am tasked with moving the chairs that need to be removed for "distancing" and finding a place for them or similar. (I won't. I'll just put masking tape across the ones not to be used, or push them off to the corner of a room. Physical Plant is supposed to come with a trailer and take them to storage)

This doesn't bode so well, but then again: we haven't heard anything about whether anyone is going to be tested, or how tracing of contacts of infected people will be done other than "faculty need to report to some central location if someone tells you they're sick" and there's not even a really final-final word on if we are indeed re-opening in person.

We start back up in 2 weeks.

My anxiety is in overdrive because I hate uncertainty. Though actually....I've passed through that point to some kind of weird acceptance: it will be a dungshow, we should probably get a betting pool going on how soon before we have to abandon campus (I am saying 3 weeks), and I am just praying my little masks and trying to remember to keep 6' from people and washing my hands like I'm Adrian Monk will be *enough*.

Again I say: I didn't appreciate how good I had it before all of this hit. My life was boring but boring is good. I didn't appreciate that I felt safe picking up and getting on a train to go visit my mom, that it wasn't at all likely I'd be taking a deadly disease to her*

(*I get that it's still sort of unlikely, but it's passed into the realm of "likely enough neither of us wants to risk it." She is still telling me not to try driving up here for Christmas but we will see. I have driven five hours in a day....maybe I could drive 11, including a Mississippi River crossing?  Especially if I don't stop for meals)

Anyway. I need to get a bit more reading done then run home for lunch; I have another Zoom meeting at 2.


Kim in Oregon said...

If you do go all online, which I'm sure you will, why not pack up and spend the term at your Mom's?

I've driven 12-13 hours a day on my own and it's very doable.

Roger Owen Green said...

If you stay at your mom's (or elsewhere), make sure there is a dedicated space for you, and that people honor the fact that you are AT WORK> One of my sisters is having a boundaries problem working at home.