This and That

Starting in-person teaching tomorrow. With all the gear I’m supposed to wear, it will be wild.

Also, I need to carry a ton of supplies, to clean my station, provide masks and face shields for students, and also cleaning supplies for all of them. I love that my job is now a combo of masked prof and masked cleaning lady. Like I have two secret identities.

The amount of incomplete and contradictory information on how the face-to-face is to be done, despite mountains of email on the topic, is so ridiculous it’s fascinating.


My story got among top 10 (which means it got published) in one of my favorite flash-fiction competitions.

Have a ton of new fiction, thanks to biweekly writing sprints. It feels good.


Did a ton of work this summer and submitted three papers. I almost like them.


Have been maintaining an hour a day of exercise for several months now. Feeling good.

Assembled a rowing machine recently and was sore all over the next day, which emphasized the need for a rowing machine.


Kids are starting school next week, all online. We will see how it all shakes out.


Hearing about all the people who are no longer staying at home, but traveling just a little  here and just a little there makes me feel powerless and stupid. Are we the only ones who’ve not gone anywhere for vacation this summer? It feels like we are the only ones not in on same sort of cruel joke.

How’s it going, blogosphere? 


  1. We’ve been staying in.

    But even people that we know are doing virtual schooling have taken summer vacation trips. Mostly of the camping/beach variety.

    Currently we are discussing with my sister where she is planning on doing Thanksgiving and what we would need to do to make sure everyone is safe to do that. (If here I think everyone would get tests and we would have the actual meal outdoors on the deck or the patio if it’s raining.)

  2. YOU have to bring the students’ masks?! And cleaning supplies? You mean desinfectant? Wow, that is ridiculous. Can they not bring their own masks?!

    We started teaching again 2.5 weeks ago and I already have a confirmed case in one of my classes. We are not wearing masks when seated, people were sitting closer than 1.5 m and students were complaining so much about the cold air that I let them close the windows. But since this class with the infected person took place 54 hours before her positive test and not 48 hours before, nobody has to go into quarantine. YAY.
    It is going to be a long fall semester. I am 100% sure this will not be the only case in one of my classes, I am 90% sure I will have to go into quarantine at some point and about 50% sure I will get infected myself.
    And yeah, it is super annoying to teach like this. We spend quite some amount every lesson arguing about the windows and whether or not a draft of cold air is more dangerous than the coronavirus. Constantly somebody is leaving their desk without a mask and I have to remind them, and often they actually ignore me (I now teach adults so I really can’t force them). I cannot do group work. Also they should in principle all wash hands when they enter the room and they should use these ridiculous plastic mats on the desks. Nobody washes hands and at least one class seems to have lost all their plastic mats already. :))))
    I’m sure you will have some great stories from the lecture halls… I’m looking forward to them. 🙂 Good luck and stay healthy!

  3. Strong work on the three papers and everything else!

    It also feels like my family is a) the only one not to go on vacation, b) the only one not to be going to parties, c) the only one not “podding” with other families for school this fall. I wonder if that’s really true, or if social media just amplifies the voices of the irresponsible, making me feel like I am the only one.

  4. I haven’t gone anywhere on vacation, not even for a day out to a state park (though I will probably do that when it’s a little cooler here). OTOH we moved, so that did provide a change of scene and more outdoor space. We’ve been having people over to our big back yard fairly regularly, since it’s now easy to keep our distance, and it’s great to see friends in person. I wish I could get to a beach.

  5. We took a 3-night trip to an AirBnB 1 hrs drive away at the end of July. The owner emphasized cleanliness and nobody had been in the place for 48+ hrs prior to our arrival. We took all our own food and our activities were all outdoors: looking at a battleship from the parking lot, beach and tide pools (not busy at all because we were there midweek and went in the morning). That’s the only place we’ve been. Like another commenter, I was starting to feel we were the only family not podding up, but then online school actually started and it is clear that none (or certainly very few) of my kids’ classmates are in pods, so I think the feeling stemmed from social media and news amplification (and some jealousy of those who are doing this!). I do see a lot grandparents in the Zoom backgrounds though.

  6. My “vacation” was to go to the dentist two miles away to get a tooth repaired that had chipped. That’s about as far as I’ve been in 6 months.

    My dentist’s vacation was evacuation from his house on the edge of the fire. His family spent the first night in the dental office, then moved through about 4 different evacuation centers (most recently a KOA campground). The fire damage map shows his house undamaged just outside the fire perimeter, but that neighborhood may not repopulate for several weeks still, as they try to restore electricity, water, and roads.

    Oops—I lied above. I did take one bike ride 5 miles from home a few months ago. I couldn’t do it now, as that bike ride is on roads that are closed by the fire. (We didn’t have to evacuate, though we had our go-bag packed and hotel reservations made—the fire was stopped about 2 miles from the edge of town, 1 mile from campus.)

  7. No vacation here, although I did take a couple of days off in July. There have been many days this summer when I never left the house.
    My U is online to the extent possible, so I’ve been recording lots of lectures, populating my new YouTube channel, and cringing at my inability to speak in complete sentences (I would avoid watching lectures entirely, but have to edit the closed captioning). Classes so far have been okay to good..which is a lot better than I was expecting.

  8. We rented a whole house a block from the not-crowded-at-all beach, brought all our food, and just hung out there. Stopped at my parents’ house halfway (we see them every week anyways).

    My college has been open 3 weeks and everything’s about to go to hell/all online (same place, right?). I can’t decide if that or what you describe is worse. We’re supposed to clean but I keep just forgetting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s