Day: March 18, 2020

Play the Long Game

I promise I won’t blog about the quarantine every day, but this is as new and overwhelming to me as I am sure it is to you, so let’s just all take the time to adjust. It takes as long as it takes.

The university is closed for the semester and, as of today, K-12 are closed indefinitely. Homeschooling my two kids (3rd and 7th grade) will now become a reality. This feels surreal to type and will take some time to sink in.

I have been checking in with my grad students and assuring them that I don’t expect great productivity from them, that these are highly unusual times, and that, first and  foremost, they need to do whatever they need to do to stay sane. I will institute group-meeting check-ins twice a week, less for productivity and more for maintaining group cohesion.

Creative and cognitively demanding work is hard now, with all the anxiety and the kids at home. I’d say if you can do 1-2 hrs/day of this kind of work, you are well ahead of the curve. I’ve been catching up on the backlog of papers to review and my associate editor duties, and sloooowly working on some of my group’s papers. The rest of the time goes on the maintenance of family and my own sanity. (Example: I made a gigantic batch of mushroom risotto. It took forever. If it doesn’t last at least two days, there will be blood. Having rage issues over risotto might be a sign of cabin fever. Or, you know, just my baseline temperament.)

Blogosphere, how are you adjusting to what now seems like it will be a several-months-long new normal? 

Here is a good thread on how to shift mentally and not burn out. Hint: Play the long game. (Below is same thing but in screenshots, because you never know when the threader app discards threads.)