2020 musings

It’s been a year. Adjectives abound for this one, so I won’t even try to pick one. So many things have changed in daily life. I’ve been working from home since mid-March. I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I have reliable Internet, which makes working from home not much different from working on campus. My job and my work have been in constant demand and personally fulfilling. Zoom has become routine. And I love having all this time to myself outside of the job—which I also love.

I’ve found my inner hermit, and I like her. I guess I’m more of an introvert than I thought. I mean, I’m outgoing when I need to be and all that. Shy and quiet I’m not. Some have described me as an ambivert, and I was comfortable with that description. But, honestly, with the exception of a very few things, I don’t miss leaving my cozy spot in the woods at all. It’s really annoying to leave it even when I even have to go to a doctor appointment.

After the first week in lockdown, the feeling that overcame me was relief. Relief that I didn’t have to drive a 50 minute commute and then go out somewhere again. That I could stay home with my dogs and read, or stream movies or whatever. I read a lot of books in the first few months, in addition to all the online newsletters from The Chronicle and Inside Higher Ed. Mostly related to what I do as an instructional designer at WVU.

  • Intentional Tech by Derek Bruff
  • Thrive Online aby Shannon Riggs
  • Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone by Tobin & Behling
  • Small Teaching Online by Flower Darby and James M. Lang
  • Learner Centered Teaching by Maryellen Weimer

All these are great. And I managed a few others for pleasure, like the Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski (up to The Lady of the Lake which I’m just now starting) and Louise Penny’s latest, The Devils Are All Here. Started The Stand on Audible (a friend gifted it to me), but since I no longer have a morning and evening commute, I haven’t gotten very far into the audio book list.

After the most demanding part of work—helping non online faculty in the pivot to online—I took on an acting student and that has been a welcome move. The little theatre group I’m part of can’t really do any live work with the COVID situation, so it’s been nice having something theatre related to focus on.

Manny relaxing on one of his many piles of blankets.
Flicka looking cute.

My dogs are so spoiled having one or both of us at home all the time. Manny has become demanding when it comes to multiple walks. Flicka can’t keep up with him, but enjoys her shorter walks, too. She’s more clingy than she ever was, and she was clingy to start. (Both dogs are rescues. Manny used to race).

I kinda feel a twinge of guilt now and then having such comfortable digs in the midst of this pandemic. So many are suffering.