I grew up in a faith tradition that—with the exception of major holidays like Christmas and Easter—didn’t follow the Christian liturgical calendar. So, shortly after I began attending Community of Christ regularly (and, given the circumstances, virtually) in 2020, I decided I was going to learn more all of the seasons and holidays that I wasn’t familiar with. A few months earlier, I’d heard an interview with the Swiss abbot Urban Federer on the Babel podcast by Radio Télévision Suisse.
Since the beginning of COVID-19, I’ve been dismantling a lot of my productivity and organization systems, trying to put less pressure on myself to get things done and be more mindful in how I spend my time. Several months ago—I cannot remember exactly when—this culminated in taking email off my phone and pivoting away from the excellent Things 3 task management app to a more paper notebook-driven approach to keeping track of what I need to get done.
There was a brief period of publisher generosity early in COVID times where I snagged so many PDFs of books my uni library usually doesn’t have access to. Still making my way through them.
A week ago today, my MacBook Pro suddenly stopped being able to communicate with its SSD. I’m not entirely sure what happened, but I spent most of my Tuesday afternoon wiping everything from the drive and reinstalling macOS so that I could get back to work. While I haven’t kept a physical backup for a couple of years (I accidentally fried mine when moving back into my campus office in Fall 2020), I have all of my most important documents scattered between three cloud services, so this wasn’t too painful of a process.
I’ve been getting “Welcome to Canvas during this difficult time, here’s some documentation” pop-ups for nearly 2.5 years now. Only way to dismiss it is to accept a cookie, and I use relatively locked-down Firefox, so I may just see it for eternity at this point.
It’s helpful to hear that the university is theoretically willing to bring back a mask mandate… but I don’t know that I see it happening.
link to ‘University of Kentucky COVID guidelines for fall 2022 semester | Lexington Herald Leader’
I’ve been blogging about ClassDojo enough over the past few weeks that I think it’s time for a quick recap before sharing some of the latest developments. I heard about ClassDojo being used schoolwide back in late July and started wondering what approach I should take as both a student’s parent and an edtech researcher. On Monday of this week, I talked to kiddo’s teacher about it and wrote up some thoughts the next day about teachers’ diminished agency in the realm of edtech.
When I was growing up, our family had a three-VHS set of the original Wallace and Gromit shorts, and while “Wallace and Gromit fan” was never at the forefront of my identity, I have always loved The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave. Naturally, things that I loved as a kid are near the top of my list of things to introduce to kiddo. I showed them to her a couple of years ago—probably near the beginning of the pandemic—but she had no memory of them, so this weekend, I had the pleasure of reintroducing her to the series.
Over the past several weeks, I’ve been putting a lot of work into adjusting my online presence, a project that I expect to last through most of the summer. In dividing my website into distinct subareas and pivoting from a single Twitter account to a number of Mastodon accounts, I’m trying to do something about the context collapse that’s been keeping me from sharing some of the big things going on in my life lately.
Kid’s elementary school principal claims COVID is over, but pretty clear that’s not the case. Glad we can get her boosted now.
link to ‘Kids 5 to 11 get FDA OK for COVID-19 booster doses | Ars Technica’
We do not value child care—including unpaid child care—in this country. It is shameful, especially considering how many of us proclaim to value children.
link to ‘Parents and child care providers of unvaccinate kids say they’ve hit rock bottom : NPR’
Glad local reporters are looking into this; when the measures were announced, I was wondering what responses would be.
link to ‘24 UK employees placed on leave for breaking COVID policy | Lexington Herald Leader’
I agree that it’s difficult to define misinformation in cases like this, but “cleaning house before inviting company” is absolutely a problem if the mess is what we’re coming to evaluate. Even a fact-based article can be used to misinformative ends, and it’s important that we know things like that are happening.
link to ‘Facebook’s Most Viewed Article In Early 2021 Raised Doubt About COVID Vaccine : NPR’
Looking forward to the “speed limits are government overreach, we need to rely on drivers’ personal responsibility” phase of the culture wars.
Got on a bike today for the first time in months. COVID has shown the flipside of tying my exercise so closely to my commute.
TIL that Star Trek’s “warp speed” is translated as the vastly inferior “distortion” in French and that at least one French news outlet has therefore adopted the translation “Operation Lightning Speed” for the U.S. vaccine effort.
I recently ordered a book directly from a French publisher, and thanks to COVID, watching the FedEx tracking updates is the closest thing I’ve had (or will have) to vacation travel for a long time.
Weird Thanksgiving. 1st since 2008 w/o family (b/c COVID) and 1st since 2013 w/o a morning run (b/c return of chronic back issues). Still so much to be grateful for—but also conscious this year how much “being thankful” isn’t quite enough. It helps me better appreciate what I have but doesn’t change what others lack. I could stand to do better with the former, but I have much more work to do for the latter.
Lunchtime conversation: “Daddy, how long have we lived in this house?” “Well, we moved in right before the sickness, so over six months now.” “No, Daddy, it’s been nine billion months. I’m right.” “… Yeah, you are.”
Sick family member, so I moved my blended class to 100% asynchronous online this week. Almost definitely not COVID, but it’s a slower week in class, and this seems like the kind of semester to be overly cautious.
Bike commuting today for the first time in 5 months, Also, commuting today for the first time in 5 months.
The apparent significance of particular numbers is largely a factor of culture and our choice of number system—that is, more arbitrary than actually significant. That said, this is still a bummer of a summer for a tenth wedding anniversary.
Rewriting a syllabus + recurrence of a particular, ongoing personal anxiety + general pandemic stuff = some high levels of pre-semester stress today.
Pandemic parenting is full of frustrating moments—but also gems like this morning’s inventing games using the pieces to Ticket to Ride while listening to Indochine.
Lots of talk right now about students dissatisfied with online teaching. While those voices shouldn’t be ignored, I’ve also already had three students (of thirty) in my fall hybrid class specifically ask to take it fully online.
Hearing a lot of things today that are reminding me why I find utilitarianism totally unsatisfying as a moral philosophy.
Listening to public Swiss radio (as I do) and got chills when I heard a new, prerecorded gov’t COVID-19 safety message played before the hourly news update. Felt like I was in disaster fiction.
Perk of having ed tech degree/experience in the era of COVID-19: I’m currently walking my mom through Zoom to allow for possibility of her offering distance piano lessons.