Category Pandemic life

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

lots and lots and lots of rain…

Good news from the beach where, after being uninhabitable since early September, 2018, we’ve actually got a walk-through scheduled for next Wednesday afternoon. Hard to believe and, frankly, our expectations for seeing good, quality work are lower than low but…if we can get back in there, deep clean, get our furniture out of storage, start fixing whatever mess the crews leave, we’ll be very happy.

Numerous email exchanges today related to fall planning at work and, as seen on a ‘net meme, this summary seems spot on;

-we don’t know much
-what we know we can’t share just yet
-everything is going to change
-given the above, please make a plan.

A good survey of current thinking at this moment.

Turns out not everyone enjoys green beans…
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Monday, May 18, 2020

A visitor to the yard during this morning’s rains brought smiles to our faces.

A friendly visitor on this rainy morning.

A very sweet and pleasant birthday party for Pattie’s sister was a real highlight of the day.  With the six attendees all distancing around a large table, it was so very nice to see them all looking well.  Jen and Ciaran came over to our porch for a drink/tea later in the afternoon, and we really enjoyed watching so many in the n’hood walking and jogging while the four of us caught up a bit on life. 

As Jenny said, it’s just so hard to not greet people more personally, to reach out and hug; to meet someone and not shake hands.

Those habits, not universal practices, but certainly the norm here in the U.S., aren’t the most healthy...

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Sunday, May 17, 2020

A blissfully boring day. 

Chores around the house, yoga, writing, cooking. Readying to do some more cooking tomorrow for a social-distancing b-day party for a sis-in-law. What a relief to have a quiet day. 

As soon as the weather is a little nicer (doesn’t have to be great, but hope for slightly warmer water) Pattie and I will rent some tanks and go for a few dives in a quarry about an hour west of here.  That’s something we’re really looking forward to, but want to do it before the coming Memorial Day weekend, if possible.

Wasn’t completely able to avoid the reality of our time, though, as I did do little bits of thinking about fall teaching. And in reading this very persuasive essay, the fall’s appropriate teaching setting seems clear…one never knows how long administ...

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Saturday, May 16, 2020

Such a wild week, especially with that unexpected lay-off hitting close to home.  Thankfully, those closest to his work, those who know how good he and his work are, were surprised and angered at the layoff. So supportive of him that they immediately recommended him for good and available positions.  Within 24 hours of their offer to help, an interview happened this morning and, pending approval up the chain, an offer is likely this week.  We’ll see if this place’s hiring is effected in a way that will prohibit or forestall this delay, but the job seems a good one, with good compensation, and we’ll keep fingers crossed.

In the meantime, recruiters have been contacted and three of them are looking into openings in the south—specifically NC (Raleigh, Charlotte)...

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Thursday, May 14, 2020

A video-chat meeting with my department at school today.  Sharing some elements of the ‘plan’ for the fall, which involves 8-week terms each with half-courseloads for both faculty and students.  The claim is that this makes us more ‘academically nimble.’  Without even noting the implicit oxymoron at play here, I really have absolutely no idea what that phrase is supposed to mean, nor how this arrangement is a benefit.  But, at the same time, I don’t see this scheduling as any worse than a single extended (15-week) semester, as is the usual.

The meeting involved an explanation of the plan to use/assign/trace practice rooms—these are 6’x8’ rooms with small pianos, for the most part...

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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The news came yesterday that a major American university—Northwestern, a private one—is taking drastic steps to deal with fallout from this pandemic.  This article notes that, among a number of very frightening actions, Northwestern is going to cut into their endowment.  That’s a step of last resort, as the golden rule is to never touch an endowment’s capital unless in an existential crisis. This is all a very clear indicator of just how desperate this very well-endowed institution is right now, and this is surely not a unique situation. 

And then the news that the California State University system, the largest system in the US, with 500,000 students, is maintaining all-online classes through the fall; the same with several Canadian universities (McGill, UBC, others).

This ...

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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Feeling things hitting close to home.  Hearing of a few more people ill with Covid, both family and family of dear friends; and more people losing their jobs now. 

So many musicians have lost every job on the horizon, really through August and, in some cases through October.  Those in my sphere who’re in academia are relatively safe still, though furloughs and pay cuts are likely not far off.  But others in the ‘professional’ world are now also being laid off.

The most recent layoff hits very close to home, though the reaction it’s causing is a jump-start to job-hunt action, which I’m glad to see...

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Monday, May 11, 2020

The online/virtual graduation ceremony last Friday was more than I expected.  Brief (35’) and efficiently delivered, there were some moments of touching sentiment, moments of worldly wisdom, moments of kitschy school pride.  But it was a meaningful event, well done.

During the event I was thrilled (really) to receive messages from cap-and-gown-clad pictures of students I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with during their time in the School of Music.  The personal messages, rather than the mass graduation ceremonies, were very moving expressions...

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