I missed properly commemorating the seven year anniversary of the blog by like four minutes.

Taking today off

Would it be unreasonable to go to bed before 6 PM?

Hmm let’s see

Feeling kind of bullet-pointy today, so let’s do a bits and bobs post rather than trying to construct some sort of coherent narrative:

  • After discovering at least one other teacher was doing this, I’ve decided to just go ahead and record my e-learning lessons for the rest of the year and get them all posted as fast as possible. I’m already done with the rest of this week and so I only have three more to do; they’ll probably all be finished tomorrow.
  • In theory, the kids are done on May 20, although they have until the 27th to turn in their work, and the district appears to think that we’re going to be doing trainings until school would have actually ended in June, but they haven’t actually given us any details on how that would work. I’m sure I’ll be super psyched about it once I know.
  • If you live in South Bend, you should have requested your primary ballot by now, dammit. I’d appreciate it if you’d vote yes on the referendum questions that are on the ballot so that my job can afford to keep paying me and we can invest in roofs and drinkable water and such in our buildings.
  • The usual gang of dipshits has discovered our dastardly plan to raise tax money and then spend it in such a way that it has a chance to benefit brown children, so naturally there’s a Vote No movement. I’ve only actually seen two signs about town but every time I do I have to forcibly restrain the urge to either steal the sign or drive up into people’s lawns to destroy them.
  • It is possible that the whole home-isolation thing is affecting my generally genial and go-along-to-get-along personality, I’m not sure.
  • I think Mike Pence probably has tested positive for coronavirus, because there was an announcement today that they were isolating him from that other person. I do not think that there is a single chance in hell that the White House would tell the truth about either of them being infected. Hell, I’d trust North Korean media about Kim Jong Un before I’d trust this White House to tell me the truth, and that’s kind of scary.
  • I am Back on My Shit in a number of ways recently, and in my idle moments today have been researching larger monitors for my computer (utterly unnecessary, as my iMac is already the largest possible size and I sit no more than two feet away from it, plus I already have a secondary monitor) as well as bikes for fat guys (they exist, and as far as I can tell America’s fat men have already bought them all, because none are in stock anywhere) and green screens for my office, which will become much less necessary tomorrow, when I’m done recording e-learning lessons for at least the next few months.
  • I have not been on a bike in over 30 years, as I basically learned how to ride one because my brother wanted to learn and then never did it again. If it is possible to forget how to ride a bike, I have done so. This is an exceptionally poor idea, especially given how much any bike robust enough to support my fat ass would cost.
  • I am wearing shorts. It’s not warm outside or anything like that, but it’s fucking mid-May and I’m wearing shorts because fuck you, mid-May.
  • We just ordered a new refrigerator for our garage, because I need a place to store my many beverages that will keep them cold. I do not actually drink alcohol, so yes, I’m actually envisioning an entire refrigerator filled with Pepsi, tea, Mountain Dew, and Gatorade.
  • Additional Back-On-My-Shittery: I’m back on oh man I really want to do a podcast I should buy a bunch of equipment for podcasting pay no attention to the fact that I still don’t have the vaguest idea what my podcast would be about I just wanna buy shit.
  • That said, my Blue Yeti desk microphone has finally earned back the money I spent on it over the last couple of months, as it really does sound a lot better in my videos than the internal mic on my computer. It’s also not entirely impossible that I’ll let myself invest in a better webcam than the one that’s built in, but I shouldn’t.
  • Lurking in the back of my head is the certainty that we will absolutely be needing to teach from home again this fall. That will probably be what ends up getting me to pull the trigger on the greenscreen, at least.
  • I also spent a few minutes yesterday looking into an online Ed.D, which … nah.
  • I’m listening to Post Malone right now, and this track he does with Ozzy Osbourne is amazing.
  • 3:42 PM, Tuesday May 12: 1,358,901 confirmed cases and 81,650 American deaths.

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.

I’m making dinner tonight…

Jambalaya time!

…and beyond that, I’ve got nothing.

I was gonna say “Enjoy your Friday,” but it’s apparently Thursday for some reason? So, uh, enjoy your Thursday. Or, hell, enjoy Friday too; no skin off my back.

3:35 PM, Thursday April 23: 856,209 and 47,272. I expect we’ll be over 900K and 50K by the end of the week.