Here's an uncharacteristically emotionally candid post from me, posted on my blog where it's unlikely that anyone other than a stray bot will read it. So, wandering code beast, if you're not up for wallowing in the misery of planning for classes in a Covid world, feel free to drop your awesome offer on Ray-Bans or ED medications in the comments and skip on by. Don't worry - I'm sure I'll post a cat picture on my instagram in a few minutes and the algorithms will right themselves once more.
For this fall, I'm prepping a class that I last taught during Spring 2020. Going back through my daily class notes, I have just arrived at Mar 9, 2020 - the day when we started having conversations with our students about how things might change if the situation got bad. "This is all out of an abundance of caution," my notes copied from the faculty emails said, and we were so hopeful that none of these contingencies would end up being necessary. A week later, we sent all our students home.
Here we are a year and a half later, with almost less certainty than we had back then. We have vaccines, but we have variants. And how long until the hateful, willfully ignorant hordes incubate for us a fancy new variant that skirts the few defenses that we have? How many people will be sacrificed to the egos of our stubborn politicians and our myopic neighbors?
What will classes look like? What do we do for the students who are forced to miss class due to a 2 week quarantine? (In a lecture based class this is one thing - but I'm teaching Improv!) What do we do if WE are forced to miss class due to a 2 week quarantine? What of the plays we've already started designing? What of the students who are looking to a theatre industry whose position is so precarious that it's hard to conceive of what world we are preparing them for?
My natural cynicism already has me believing that things are going to get worse before they get better... but how much worse?
I'm angry. I am so so angry right now, and I don't know what to do with all of that anger (aside from my daily ritual of shaking it up in the cocktail mixer of my psyche, along with my festering anxiety, and a little fear zest as a garnish).
So... that's a little text-based selfie from me. What's the instagram lingo? Felt fragile. Might delete later. IDK. I really DK.