15 March, 2020

like a duck...

...all serene and floating on the surface of the water
everything's just fine

while under the water

oh shit oh shit oh shit

it's total, churning chaos.

The university went all online for spring quarter early last week.

On Saturday, the high school went all online until mid-April. Fortunately in the latter case, we are in the group-project stage, and the groups can, in theory, collaborate on Google docs together. (Whether or not they do is not up to me. Online learning is bloody difficult, particularly if it is asynchronous).

The uni classes, though. Fuck me running. I had them built for face-to-face. Now I must rebuild and recast. I am not especially afraid of teaching with technology, and I can self-teach pretty quick (which is good, because besides two truly amazing colleagues, the university is largely expecting us to watch training videos and be autodidacts). But the conversion is time-consuming, and I had been rather counting on almost 2 weeks of break to revise the RORY manuscript coming out in October. Now I will be lucky to get one week of break.

(The manuscript is currently sitting in my word processor. I looked at it. I am having extreme anxiety actually doing anything with it, because I have half a class to finish converting (and two weeks to do it, which is FINE for fuckssake, because I converted four weeks of the course in two goddamned days already, except for pre-recorded videos, if I even do those). Anxiety is not rational. I should apply some donuts.)

So the conundrum is--synchronous teaching, which plays to my strengths, or asynchronous teaching, which is a lot more work on the front end but may free up some time later on?

And we had a leak in the bathroom wall this morning. Big old bulging drip in the paint, spreading like some bizarre D&D monster. Amazing how fast the weekend maintenance guys show up when you say "water leak." It was the upstair's neighbors' shower, and easily fixed. Evidently there's no drywall damage, so...good?

And in other positive news, today's Trader Joe's run (after yesterday's abortive attempt, which did net us donuts and cheese, not insignificant) yielded bacon, some sausages, eggs, and frozen peppers (no other frozen veg). I ordered another box from our CSA this week, too, partly b/c they can't do their usual farmers markets and partly because they have stuff in stock. So we're good on healthy stuff. We won't starve. We'll be fine. (The cats won't starve either. Or run out of litter.)

But there is good news. One of my students from fall quarter came dashing into the gap between my last two face-to-face classes this school year, damp from the downpour, to give me a stuffed bunny. She gives stuffed bunnies to her favorite teachers, but she thought I hated cute things (because my desk at work is populated with small rubber and stuffed lizards, frogs, snakes, an a small, plastic Godzilla), so she got me some lovely handlotion from Origins at the end of fall quarter. When she discovered that I do like cute fuzzy things, she promised me a bunny. And when they announced spring distance learning, she made sure to get the bunny to me so I would "have something cute on my desk."

("I did not get you a pink bunny, though, because I know you hate pink."
"I do not hate pink."
"...Oh. Well. I didn't get you a pink bunny anyway.")

And she did not. The bunny's name is Buttermilk, because that is what color she is, and she's currently on my desk at home, surrounded by the stuffed things (I have, among other critters, a krogan and Bill the Cat).

But here she is under my desk with The Patchwork Terror (formerly known as the Kaiju-kitten, but really, PT is more apt) because they both have little pink noses and are stupidly photogenic and maybe I'll just use them as my stunt doubles for live-streaming classes this spring.

Anyway, that bunny and that student were possibly the best thing that happened all year, y'all.

Stay healthy.

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