Monday, August 24, 2020

Sure do love the morning video calls that often come in from Joe/Jackson. The call yesterday morning (in addition to watching Jackson enjoy his peanut butter & banana breakfast) was a particular treat, as he took on a flight of stairs successfully for the first time.

First stair-steps, captured on a video call (alas, no sound)
and finishing the flight of stairs with an assist from dad

And that was the best news of the day.

Shortly after that call, received official notice that ECU will go all-remote (for undergrad classes) beginning Wednesday. No classes today/Monday and Tuesday, allowing students to begin clearing out of dorms–although they have until Aug 30 to do so. Don’t know what all the people who’ve signed lengthy leases will do, of course.

Am glad to hear that they’ve extended the deadline to Friday to drop classes and still get refunds. And they will be giving pro-rated refunds for housing and meal plans. Really, the least they can do, but i know some schools aren’t even doing that much.

Students are disappointed, to say the least. They’re also upset that it took so long to do this, instead of going all-remote from the get go. But there have been more outbreaks, and it’s all undeniable at this point.

So, with this news, i’m glad that i chose to go all-online a while ago, and have been prepping in this way well in advance of the semester’s start. And, of course, the students know how to get materials, how to log in, what the routine is, etc., so that will limit the adjustments. Still lots of variable, of course, not the least of which is what kind of access students may have from home; their ability to find a quiet place to sit for class, and to do work. Let alone how they’ll practice their instruments–thinking particularly of students who depend on university instruments (pianists, percussionists, some bassists)–and, of course, the loss of even the limited ensemble experience they need to build fundamental musicianship skills.

Too many problems, too few solutions.


And yet another police shooting of a black guy, this one as he had his back turned will undoubtedly lead to more justified outrage, now in Wisconsin. What will it take for us to get our country to see people as people instead of “types of people”?