Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Notorious Has Come Unstuck in Time

Here at Grit Beach U, we whipsawed in the course of a week from "Good morning! Today's class is the last class for a week and then we're all online for the next five weeks!" to "oops, okay, now that you spend five days doing that, we're switching it up to next week for a start, and also it's till the end of the semester." Understandable: our university, like all, has been struggling to respond, and it's had to change with events. So: so have we.

But one thing that has happened to me -- and to others, if anecdotal evidence can be believed -- is that we have, like Vonnegut's Billy Pilgrim, come unstuck in time. What day is it? How did it get to be 11:30 at night when I never managed to put on pants? Should I be doing something right now? Is there a class? Does time have any meaning at all anymore?

And I realized that, with all the talk about how parents at home are needing to provide structure for their children's days while coping with the way this has upended their own lives (and mad props, as the kids used to say, to both professor-parents and suddenly-unemployed parents, both of whom are coping with a completely upside-down world), we were forgetting that we, like children, used to go to school, and that provided our structure: weekdays & weekends; spring break and summer; finals week and commencement. And we, like children, need that structure.

Longtime readers will know what this means.

The Chore Chart is back:

The categories are:
  1. Writing/Research
  2. Teaching/Class Prep
  3. Exercise
  4. Household chores
  5. Something I've been putting off
  6. Get some human contact
The goal: check off five out of six each day. A bit of a bumpy start, as you can see. But even done bumpily, it's already been helping.

Now, I just need to find a box of gold stars...