Day: March 19, 2020


As I said, I’m running a drabble contest on my fiction site, so the entries have been cheering me up. Btw, I have the submissions set up through Google Forms, which is free and super convenient to collect submissions.

Today was a grumpy day for me, not sure why, but I battled the mood with one of the two ways I know. The first is mindless entertainment, which I was too antsy for, and the other is rolling up my sleeves and getting something useful done. I cleared out my associate-editor backlog and investigated the teleconferencing options available through the university, so tomorrow I get to see my grad students again after more than a week. I hope they’re all in good spirits.

I received a positive report on one of my own papers, so in the near future I have that and a book chapter to revise, then about five papers in various draft stages. Honestly, if I could just do some research and tend to the family, life would be fantastic. Actually, I don’t mind teaching. So why are the academic years so insane? We are all like headless chickens, and it’s mostly self-imposed. And by self, I mean self-governance.

For instance, I received hundreds of emails in the last few days from various levels of administration in regard to the virus alone. From the chair; from the dean, then regurgitated by deanlets, then chair; from the chancellor and/or provost, vice chancellors, dean, deanlets, chair. Whom do they think they’re fooling? Or is it a lack of understanding how mailing lists work? These emails have very little substance, or have whatever substance they have endlessly wrapped in adminspeak and then re-forwarded ad nauseam. They are all just covering their butts (“Look, I’m proactive!”) and maybe transmitting some of their own anxieties onto us. But mostly covering their butts in front of students’ parents, alumni, and the general public.

Not sure where I’m going with this, other than I feel this quarantine is reconnecting me with the parts of the job I love, parts where I can be genuine, which is interacting with my graduate students and doing research. I know this sounds selfish, but I can’t think about all the sick people 24/7. Sometimes I have to focus really hard on the silver lining.

How are you doing, blogosphere? How has the COVID-19 response been at your institution? Your city and state? Your country, if you’re not in the US?