Saturday, October 10, 2020

Midpoint while teaching & writing in cyberspace

 We're halfway through the semester, and so far the Great Online Experiment is going--as well as can be expected?  In The Invisible Woman, her biography of Dickens's mistress, Ellen Ternan, Claire Tomalin says that's the phrase always used for women after childbirth, and while that is so not me, it seems to fit. Given "these challenging times" in which everyone "hopes you are well," we're doing what we can, I guess. 

  • As mentioned previously, I feel oddly closer to and more relaxed with my students teaching this way. Is it because of the informality baked into the whole Zoom teaching process? Because I have actual books at home that I can use to illustrate points? That I spend more time checking in on how they're doing? I can't tell. What I can tell is that I'm really happy to see them on class days, happier than I have been for a while.
  • They seem to be--adjusting? I offered to meet with them (masked, distanced, etc.) in person and have traveled to campus for that purpose, but only one person took me up on the offer. Or are they more resigned than adjusted? 
  • Of course they don't have to keep their cameras on, and I've told them so. But they do, which is really helpful and makes a huge difference.
  • I'm still getting asked admin questions from time to time, and I am responsible about answering and referring without giving my opinion. Whose circus is it? Whose monkeys? Not mine. And I really do think that a change in perspective in the position will ultimately benefit everyone, despite the absolute perfection of my judgment in all things :).
  • It's still very hard to write, but some glimmerings are starting to emerge of some ideas.
  • WordPress has decided to become more horrible even than in its last "new & improved" update. Now it hides ALL the things I need to access, makes it harder to start a page, sends you to a bunch of clicks when all you want to do is add a file, and is generally behaving in an exasperating and time-consuming fashion. Did WordPress decide that we have too much time on our hands? 


gwinne said...

Hmmmm. That is strange. I'll explore to the best of my abilities. I use chrome.

gwinne said...

One possibility. Do you have a popup blocker? My comments were set to appear in a popup window; now embedded....

gasstationwithoutpumps said...

I find's new editor a pain to use, even with the "Classic" block which restores about 90% of the functionality of the old editor.

I think that everything I could do before is still possible, just harder.

xykademiqz said...

Re WordPress editor, you can always go back to wp-admin, the good old (ugly and super functional) WordPress admin layout. I do things through there most of the time. The previous incarnation of "user friendly" editor was nice and helpful, the newest version is ugly and tedious.