• DH’s niece who is legally blind has been switched to in-person schooling.  It sounds like their midwestern school district is doing this correctly where the high-needs students get priority for in-person schooling.
  • Instacart continues to get worse.  So we’ve been shopping more and more at the grocery store that does its own curbside.  I really hope our preferred grocery store stays in business and keeps carrying the things that we can’t get without driving into the city, but instacart is just too stressful to deal with.
  • Of course, I’m also irritated at our curbside place because I have to provide my own bleach/alcohol wipes for work and wipe everything I’m going to touch down before class… and I’m running low on wipes.  So I ordered some from the curbside place and for $10.30 they gave me a huge container of wipes that are not approved against covid (active ingredients:  citric acid and lemon grass).  I wish we’d had them last week when I accidentally spilled defrosted meat in the refrigerator (which is why we are running low), but in general they are not useful for us since we mostly clean with rags and the occasional paper towel.  (Fortunately I do have a couple extra bleach sprays and paper towels so I can take those to work, they’re just heavier and bulkier than clorox wipes.)
  • DC1 wants to know why someone always has to die in order for a privileged white dude to come of age.  Granted, it’s usually a privileged white dude who dies in these books, and sometimes the one who you know, came of age by dying alone in Alaska, or defied his father by committing suicide.  But sometimes it’s a less privileged best friend that the protagonist kills.  (I guess when someone else comes of age it’s a black man who has to die?  Not to point fingers at much better books, but… there is kind of a pattern…)  DH says it’s like dogs dying, which yeah, that was the earlier trope.
  • It’s all about the PATHOS.  Or as one of our terrible male high school English teachers said, all great literature is about sex or death.  (Which our classmates carried through to the next class to sometimes hilarious results… since it turns out Bartleby the Scrivener isn’t, and Emily Dickenson wrote at least a few poems that aren’t.)
  • DC1 had to do some stupid rote thing for a chemistry lab so zie programmed hir calculator to do it all automatically.  I’m so proud.  (Though I do wonder if it’s something that could have been done using fill down in Excel…)
  • They also had to cut straws in order to use them to make a bar chart?  Which seems really dumb to me and wasteful.  And it was a lab that was due the day it was assigned, so we didn’t have enough straws (DC1 found 2 from a leftover take-out order) so zie had to roll up paper.  Which is at least less wasteful.
  • I went to a small virtual conference with people from Blue states and it’s just crazy how differently Covid is being treated by their universities.  They’re all teaching virtually except one person at Boston College who gets tested 2x/week(!) and everyone has temperature checks before they can enter a building.  People at Stanford have to go through a lengthy approval process the day before just to get into a building.  They were horrified by my experiences and shocked that it seemed like no big deal that 4/15 students in one of my classes have informed me they had Covid (the real number may be higher since they do not have to tell me why they’re attending virtually).
  • At least the weather is nice and we don’t seem to be affected by the disasters on the West coast?  (sigh)
  • There are three huge trump banners up in my neighborhood.  Biden/Harris signs have started popping up, including our own, but they are nowhere near as ostentatious.  The entrance to our HOA has an “Any Functioning Adult 2020” sign up.
  • Apparently there was also a trump car parade the other weekend.  A very very vocal minority.  Those of us in “Red” states need to not be cowed and need to make our voices heard so that people believe there’s a point to voting.  Because voter suppression is real and we need to fight it.
  • Two of the three houses diagonal from us (we’re on the corner of 3 streets) have Trump/Pence signs.  But most of our own street is Biden Harris, which is nice.  The Trump/Pence people directly across don’t take very good care of their ostentatious yard (that was so beautiful back when the non-evil people before them owned it).  That whole street has gone to crap, really.  And not because they’re poor– this is a reasonably expensive neighborhood.
Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: . 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “RBOC”

  1. Turia Says:

    I am watching the election from north of the border and am now deeply invested in Senate races with people I had never heard of a month ago. When I get stressed, I read the #turntexasblue hash tag on Twitter. If Texas could flip this cycle, I think it would be such a boost for Democrats in other ‘red’ states. So that’s my biggest wish for the results.

    I’ve also loved seeing all the young first-time voters on Twitter. My other hope is that this election will galvanize the youth vote in a way that most elections don’t and then they’ll start their voting lives with a belief that their votes do matter.

    It’s really stressful tuning in up here. I can only imagine what it’s like to be living there.

  2. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    One of my friends had their teacher call for plaster-of-paris on no notice. (She said NO WAY).

    Our uni is in between: daily symptom checking, but relatively low transmission even on campus. So far none of my students have tested positive. At least a quarter of them had it last spring anyways…

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      plaster of paris?!! What are they thinking when they assign stuff like this?

      I had a new student report testing positive today. “I came back from church and felt terrible yesterday, so I got tested today” but, you know, coughing every 3 words. (This was via electronic office hours, thankfully.)

  3. Bev Says:

    We’re in our 10th week of mostly in-person teaching and had only three confirmed cases early on, but after weeks and weeks with no new cases, we suddenly have a spike of students testing positive for Covid (12), and then all their close contacts have to quarantine just in case (close to 100), so I now have online learners in every class and one class that is about evenly split between online and face-to-face. And my own daughter tested positive and is quarantining with her husband and three small children, and I desperately want to go and help out but I can’t even go near them out of concern for my students. My students appear to be stunned and hopeless, and I can understand why. This is just insane.

  4. Alice Says:

    My kid’s daycare just sent out their third message saying “someone in your kid’s class has been in close contact with someone who tested positive.” All 3 have been within the last 1.5 months. Protocol has been that whoever has been in “close contact” is out until they have a negative test or diagnosis/treatment. So far no one actually in the class (teacher or student) has actually gotten sick… but I’m struggling hard with the situation. The school is doing the mandated minimum for protection and not even requiring masks for the older kids. Adults, yes. Kids, no.

    I don’t know how to handle this situation. I want her home, but her being home means crippling my ability to do work and possibly my career for years to come. She is too young to expect to self-entertain for hours at a stretch. I want her as safe as she can be during these times, yet her school is not doing enough.

    Which is the worse choice? Keep sending her? Keep her home and accept the career consequences?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      It’s a really hard choice to which I certainly don’t know the answer. Some of my colleagues have compromised by hiring a mother’s helper/nanny during the day, though I’m not sure that’s much better considering they may not be being careful either. (The benefit being it’s one person instead of several.)

      The uni daycare, according to my colleagues and DC2’s friends (one of DC2’s friend’s younger sister got covid back in August), has had to close off specific classes for 2 week periods at a time because a student or one of the teachers has gotten covid. We don’t even find out of someone is just *quarantined*. Only if there’s a positive diagnosis.

      On the one hand, it seems like little kids are pretty safe and aren’t doing much transmission themselves even if they get it. On the other hand, we do not at all know long-term effects. I mean, even at DC2’s elementary school we’ve only had notification of one positive case (a college kid in the after school program). The high school, otoh, is averaging about a new case a day still.

  5. SP Says:

    I have given up on instacart – it was also really terrible for me. Whole foods delivery via amazon has been really quite good, but annoyed that I’m back to supporting amazon. We also have started using Good Eggs locally, which is $$$$$.

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