Monday, April 18, 2022

How long is this semester? Groundhog Day long, that's what.

  • Like a good portion of the rest of the country, Northern Clime is getting snow. In April. Every day. Snow. What is it Bill Murray says? "It's going to be cold, and it's going to be gray, and it's going to last for the rest of your life." Yeah, what he said. 
  • Tulips are coming up, but they're saying "nuh-uh, not going to bloom when we're just going to freeze to death." 
  • I am playing whack-a-mole with our LMS. When I see that someone's turned in one of the minor full-credit assignments, I go in and give it comments immediately, just so I can see it disappear from the ever-lengthening sidebar list of things to grade. 
  • I gave a conference paper (the conference had sensibly moved online), and rediscovered (1) how stressful it is and (2) the feeling of giddy elation when it's over. It's the old story of hitting yourself in the head: it feels so good when it stops. 
  • The mask thing is going pretty well, though. Most places I go--that is, the grocery store--there's a good third of the people who are masked. If you think about it, how much attention did we pay to people's faces before the pandemic? Not a lot, and it's the same now; I barely look at them and vice versa. Nobody's said anything to me about it, and everyone seems pretty chill. 
  • I'm ready if someone does say something, though. Here's my projected response: "Merry Christmas!" Cheerful enough to be inoffensive, and strange enough to make them give me a wide berth in case I am unhinged, and, in this part of the country, armed. 
  • It's hard to get back to writing and thinking, although the conference paper proved that I could do it, so I guess it's time to get back to it. 
  • Updated to add: a Florida judge just voided the mask mandate on planes for bonkers reasons ("masks don't do anything"). This is bad for so many reasons (children, immunocompromised people, and, oh, by the way, the rest of us who don't want to get any flavor of COVID). From an academic perspective, people on Twitter are now fretting about flying to conferences. Not to harp on the same old idea, but you know how you can't get COVID if you're at a conference? Through a Zoom screen. We are all supposed to be throwing praise parades for the in-person conferences, but this is a risk that just got riskier, not that anyone is paying attention.
  • Another update: “who needs a mask? Covid is over completely, so definitely not me” from Megan McArdle ( ) conservative columnist and author of helpful advice like “if you’re not rich, perhaps you should consult your broker” and “old people get poor and die—get over it”

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