Ragey Tuesday

(Is it Tuesday? Sure. Let’s go with that.)

My day started with my wife abruptly waking me up to come help her because she’d fallen in the driveway while getting in her car to go to work and broken her foot (which, okay, I’d way rather be the one who was woken up than the one with the broken foot, but still) and it has not improved really at all since then. I’m having one of those days where it seems unreasonable to conclude anything other than that Americans are the stupidest people on Earth, and as my job is literally to educate Americans I find myself taking it personally.

She’s more or less fine, by the way. 5th metatarsal; she’s in a boot and has an appointment with a sports medicine specialist tomorrow to see if there’s anything else they need to do for it.

I only have nine days of online “instruction” left, and as of today I have given up assigning anything other than the very simplest of review work to them. I don’t know who to blame for the fact that they seem entirely unable to absorb new knowledge provided remotely via the videos I’m recording in my office for them, and it’s entirely possible that the answer is they aren’t trying and my videos suck, but one way or another out of 165 students I have like six who appear to be genuinely trying to learn.(*) I’m on office hours right now while I’m typing this; I’ve been doing two hours of office hours a day for several weeks now and the total number of students who have come in to ask me questions about the assignments (as opposed to the ones who come in just to say hi) so far sits at zero.

One little bit of irony: you may recall me talking about my student who is a selective mute; she is probably in the top three kids I currently have in terms of the frequency of her emails. Some of my very best kids have dropped off the map entirely; I’m at the point where 25% of my students attempting an assignment (meaning they do it at all, regardless of the grade; 1/4 of those will generally be Fs) is a victory.

This isn’t working, and I have no idea what the hell to do about it, and I’m completely terrified about what this fall is going to look like, because if the morons have their way (or if the projections the CDC released yesterday are even close to accurate) we aren’t coming back in the fall either. Free advice for college students: take next year off, or if you’re a graduating senior, don’t go yet. My 8th graders don’t have that option, but you do. Next year will not be better. Don’t go into debt for it.

(For the record, and obviously I’m not a doctor but I’m more of an expert on this than anyone the person in the White House is paying attention to: I don’t buy that it’s going to be THAT bad; 200,000 cases a day is fucking apocalyptic, and despite my ranting above from what I’ve been seeing most Americans are still being at least somewhat sensible about this nonsense. I think those projections were probably released so that if the actual number is anything less than that, they can take credit for it.)


And today’s disaster numbers are, as of 3:19 PM on Tuesday, March 5: 1,193,027 confirmed infections and 70,110 Americans dead.

(*) As of 4 PM, which is the point where my “work day” ends, a whopping 30 students have completed today’s (insanely easy) assignment, which is approximately 18% of my kids. That’s a new low.

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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.