Just a stray thought

I still don’t know what my district’s plan for this fall is. Supposedly there’s going to be some sort of announcement on Wednesday, and as of right now the start of school is still six weeks or so away. This is what Indiana’s current numbers look like:

…so it looks like we might be starting to trend upward again, but we just hit the typical weekend drop, and today will be on the lower side too. We’ll see how this week looks.

At any rate, that stray thought: school discipline is going to have to be a lot stricter in a lot of ways this year than what we are used to. Specifically, in terms of removing kids from the building, assuming we’re physically back at all. Because while I am willing to return to the building (at least in principle; we’ll see how the details go) in order to teach math, I’ll be damned if I’m going to risk my health and my family’s health to babysit some dipshit who is only in my classroom because his momma doesn’t want him around and he wants to clown with his friends.

Anyone who is not there to learn this year needs to get sent the hell home and needs to stay the hell home. Those kids can fail on their couches instead of failing in my classroom. I’m not dealing with anybody this year who is just in my room to act like a disease vector. Forget it.

Like I said, stray thought. More later, possibly.

In which nobody is kidding and this shit is real

There needs to be a word— there probably is one, in German at least, but I don’t know it– for simultaneously 1) recognizing how incredibly lucky you are compared to a whole lot of other people, and 2) feeling like you are completely unable to manage your own life. Because … holy shit, y’all. And also a word for I am complaining about this, but I am also not complaining about this because the thing I am complaining about is the right thing to do. That needs to be a word too. I assume y’all understand me.

(Cue absolutely everyone nodding.)

The governor closed down all schools in Indiana until May 1. May fucking 1st. And the mayor– the new one, not the dude who ran for president– put us under a travel advisory today. It’s an advisory only, mind you, meaning that there’s no real teeth to it, but it’s a sign that more may be coming. I am not going back to work for six weeks. And I have to figure out how to educate the proportion of my students who can be counted on to make themselves available for said education for those six weeks, and figure out what to do with the (probably over half) group of them who are not going to do anything at all during that time.

Now, this feels overwhelming, but balance the fact that I’m going to get paid to work from home for the next six weeks against that, and that my wife also has a job where she can relatively easily transition into working from home during that time if necessary, and that unlike a whole lot of people my job is not suddenly going to actually go away, and I really should be outside dancing in the streets at how lucky I am. Because my immediate family, at least, is (within the world of those of us who are not so rich that we don’t have to worry about it at all) basically as set up to weather this storm as we could possibly be.

In the meantime, though, and with that said, I’m trying to figure out how the hell any of this works on the ground, especially since the governor just de facto cancelled state testing, which is kinda legally mandated and has a whole lot of money attached to it, to say nothing of the fact that it’s supposed to be a factor in all of our performance reviews at the end of the year. And, like, school letter grades, which were already a massive mess. The entire window for testing was in April, y’all. That’s done now, and I don’t think anyone thinks we’re gonna bring these kids back on May 1

(we are not going to bring them back on May 1)

and immediately throw state testing at them. It’s just not going to happen. Also, like, every IEP in existence is getting violated right now, because as far as I know none of them are written in a way that acknowledges the possibility of six or seven weeks of e-learning. Those also are all legal documents that we can be sued for not following correctly.

It is, in short, one more huge mess in the thick of all the other huge messes that are taking place right now. The unprecedentedly, ridiculously huge pile of huge messes.

… and meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in the US just crossed 10,000, mostly on the strength of New York State starting to take testing seriously and somehow getting a ton of kits from somewhere. Expect that to increase by a staggering amount over the next few days.

I’d say “take a deep breath,” but doing that might trigger another coughing fit, so I’m not gonna. Still sick, and still not with the ‘Rona, if anyone’s wondering.

Stay safe, y’all.

And we’re off!

School will be open on Monday, as apparently they’ve decided to break from past practice and send computers home with the 3rd-5th graders, requiring a whole lot of people to spend time disassembling computer carts today. Starting Tuesday, we are closed for “at least” two weeks, and seeing as after the third week we have Spring Break anyway I suspect we will not be returning for it. So there’s a very good chance that I’m about to be off work for a solid month, expected only to produce e-learning assignments and lectures for students who will not do the assignments and not view the lectures. I’m considering making one of them a profanity-laced tirade just to see if anyone notices. Since my kids don’t need to come to school to pick up Chromebooks, and since no one with any sense is going to send their kids to school under these circumstances (one single day followed by two weeks off, in the middle of a pandemic?) I expect to have less than 25% of my students in the building and I have no plans to actually provide any instruction. Pretty sure it’s going to be completely pointless to even try. I’ll spend Tuesday at home recording lectures and putting together simple assignments, and that’ll be that until April.

I guess it works out for me that Nioh 2 came out today, then.

The original game ate my goddamn life when it came out. Ate my goddamn life. I think I’ve got … 200 hours in it right now? More? I’m scared to look, but it was the only thing my PS4 was for for months after it came out. I put about three or four hours into it today (note that today was the last day of the 3rd quarter and a teacher record day, so the kids weren’t at school and I ducked out early once I finished everything I had to do) and I see no reason to believe that it’ll be of any lesser quality.

Oh, right, and I’ll have the boy with me the whole time too, because he’s also off until April. I have to feed them every day, right? That’s how that works, with kids?

In which we’re all gonna die

537194_522538491102596_1957075624_nStorm’s coming; not sure if you’ve heard about it or not.  In my neck of the woods they’re predicting somewhere between six and twelve inches of snow tonight through to tomorrow morning, depending on where you look, and temperatures– not wind chills– around ten to fifteen degrees below zero for Monday.  Along with 20-30 mile an hour winds, which will probably mean wind chills around forty to fifty degrees below zero.

The governor of Minnesota has apparently cancelled school in the entire state on Monday.  He did this yesterday.  My local school corporation/state government isn’t quite as on the ball but I figure there is exactly zero chance that there’s going to be school on Monday (and if there is, I’m betting we’ll have around 30% of our students) and a pretty damn good chance that there won’t be school on Tuesday either.  There’s always a delicate balancing act in situations like this; on the one hand, fucking cold; on the other hand, many of our kids are flat-out going to be safer and, more importantly, better fed at school than they will be at home.  I know for damn sure some of my students get their only hot meals of the day at school.  Then again, a lot of those kids who aren’t getting fed properly at home don’t have coats, either.

Now, in this specific case, it’s pretty clear-cut– if there are really ambient temperatures of fifty below zero outside, the buses aren’t even going to start– but if you’ve ever wondered why the big districts don’t close at the same rates that smaller/more rural ones do, that’s probably a big part of it; student safety cuts both ways.  Either way, I don’t really mind; I’ve had enough of being off of work and am looking forward to getting back– which will probably last through all of an hour or so of actual school.

The wife made a trip to the grocery this morning, returning with piles and piles of food; the two of us sat down and put together three or four days of meals and went out and got everything we needed.  I’mma eat real good for the next few dinners, y’all:

As usual, recipes are heavy on Thug Kitchen and Albert Burneko, and both of these sumbitches need to give me a cookbook I can buy now.

Also?  My wife bought me a mortar and pestle.  Which means I can grind up those dried ghost chilies I bought a while ago and make death chili.  Which I won’t even be able to eat, and neither will anyone else, but omg excited.  I need to find some uses for it other than grinding up those peppers, I think, but surely there’s something out there.

Wait!  I have one:  I can also commit felonious assault, because holy shit is this thing bigger than I thought it was going to be:

1511328_10152077570593926_11820727_nStay warm the next couple days, y’all.