On yard signs, again

I should probably feel at least kind of guilty about how I’ve handled my day so far. Under the current hybrid model my district has adopted while we pretend that our numbers in the state and the county aren’t skyrocketing, Wednesdays are days where all of the kids are home and the buildings are “deep cleaned.” We were instructed last week to keep these days asynchronous– in other words, there is to be no live instruction on Wednesdays, and thus I’m freed from having to spend my entire day in front of a computer screen. Furthermore, because of the aforementioned need for deep cleaning, even the staff that have been reporting to work are home today. I’d have been home anyway, mind you, but I’m super at home today.

Why is everything asynchronous on Wednesdays? Because they want to use those days for training. Which is why I was a bit surprised to learn that today’s training was a single hour in length and was not required to be viewed live. So rather than make sure to log in precisely at 10:00 to watch it as it unfolded, I went out and ran some errands, leaving the house for the first time in eight days. I voted, managing to hit the County/City building at a slow moment and getting in and out in 32 minutes, which didn’t seem too bad. Since I was downtown, I went to the Griffon and bought some dice, then hit the comic shop, got a flu shot, grabbed lunch from a drive-thru and came home. Now, of course, I’m blogging, and I guess when I’m done with this I’ll do the training module and get my lesson for tomorrow recorded. But so far it’s 1:41 on what is technically not a day off and I haven’t done a single thing for work. I kind of feel like I should feel bad about that. Then again, I wasn’t the one who told me to not meet with students today because of trainings and then only scheduled an hour of training.

(stares off into space for eighteen full minutes)

Anyway, I was going to talk about road signs. I was mostly along the same route I was last time I did this, so I can report a handful of changes:

  • There is now a single (1) Holcomb for Governor and a single (1) Myers for Governor sign, although obviously not in the same yard. Notably, Indiana has a Libertarian running this year who is expected to capture a nontrivial percentage of the vote because of Republicans who are disappointed that Holcomb’s actually attempting to take the virus seriously– enough so that it’s less unimaginable that the Democrat might win than it might be otherwise, given how utterly shit his campaign has been. I’ve seen no signs for that guy anywhere, though.
  • Overall the volume of signs has not changed notably, and continues to be primarily for state and local races.
  • Interestingly, and somewhat depressingly, I’ve noted a trend in yards that have signs for the presidential race in their yard, and it doesn’t appear to be a partisan trend: the lawn signs for President are usually placed much closer to the actual house than any others. I would guess that people are either actually stealing and/or destroying them or people are assuming that they will if they put their sign within reach of the street.

I voted pretty much in accordance with my earlier endorsements, although I’m a bit more irritated with the School Board today than I was when I wrote that post two weeks ago and I very nearly did not vote for John Anella. Rudy Monterrosa continues to have earned my vote. I also decided to vote for the Democrat in the county coroner race despite the Republican candidate having formerly been my doctor. Upon thinking about it a bit more, despite my history of not voting for this office and my strong contention that it has no reason to be 1) elected or 2) partisan in the first place, I feel like any doctor who has been alive to witness the science-denying, mask-refusing death cult the GOP has turned into in the last four years and remains a part of the party can no longer be trusted. Sorry, Dr. Jordan. I liked you when you were my doctor but this isn’t okay.

Blog post blog post blog post

I spent the entire day with my face buried in iMovie, putting together the 8th grade recognition video for my kids, since we can’t have an actual ceremony. It’s up to half an hour and I still have people who owe me bits of it. My eyes are bleeding, and I’m taking the rest of the night off.

That said, it’s a damn shame I can’t share this thing with y’all, because I think I’m pretty proud of it.

Meanwhile, this song will be running through my head until I die, and if you didn’t want people using your video for graduation celebrations you shouldn’t have called it “Graduation,” lady.


6:44 PM, Thursday May 28: 1,719,855 confirmed cases and — sigh — 101,562 Americans dead.

In which I stay in my square

Be it known that I managed to accomplish nearly all of the tasks on my list yesterday– and the one that I didn’t get to, the beta read, is being worked on right now. Amazingly, this means that I not only posted to Patreon for the first time in a while but that I wrote fiction. I actually have some decent ideas rattling around right now, and I just need the wherewithal to actually get them set to screen.

I made it official today that I plan on returning to my current job and my current building next year, meaning that for the first time in a while I will hold the same teaching position for two years in succession. For most of the year I was planning on taking at least some time to look around for a new job this summer in a sort of relaxed, no-big-deal, no-panic sort of way, but at this point everything else in the world is so screwed up that I’m going to be happy to have something secure and not fuck around with it. It’s always possible that something is going to magically drop into my lap, but that’s going to be what it takes for me to not be back teaching 8th grade math again next year.

Speaking of teaching, I’m experimenting with office hours again, where I basically post a link to a Meet video chat on my Google Classroom and then sit in front of the computer for an hour to see if anyone comes to talk to me. So far in about three hours of sessions I’ve had one kid that popped in for maybe two minutes and two kids who were in the room just long enough for me to get the notification and then bailed. So … fuck it, I’m trying, right? We’ll see if today’s afternoon session goes any better; if nothing else, it’s forcing me to be in front of the computer, which means that I’m mostly listening to music, reading comic books, and getting work done. There are worse ways to spend my afternoons.

Is it a bad idea to admit that the election results in Wisconsin yesterday give me a little bit of hope for this fall? It’s a bad idea, isn’t it? I won’t say it.


2:11 PM, Tuesday April 14th: 584,073 confirmed cases and 24,485 Americans dead.

Things what I should be doing

Various “work” tasks I could and/or should be doing right now, in no particular order:

  • Finish a second beta reread of a friend’s novella
  • Provide commentary for same
  • Get something on Patreon, since I forgot to cancel them last month and they sent me money
  • Get tomorrow’s lesson planning done (critical)
  • Get this week’s lesson planning done (would be good)
  • Get the next eleven days of lesson planning done, taking me through to the end of April (best choice)
  • Maybe some grading (not really necessary, but would be nice)
  • Write some fiction, since I actually have some ideas bubbling around right now
  • Play Nioh 2 (not a joke; the boy has been begging me to play all day because he likes to watch. I will actually disappoint my son if I don’t play any video games today.)

What I have done so far today, at 4:13 PM, in this order:

  • Twitter
  • Attended a Google Meet session with the rest of the math team
  • Twitter
  • Eaten lunch
  • Twitter
  • Showered
  • Got dressed
  • Put on socks
  • Twitter
  • Blogged

I am nothing if not a winner, y’all.


4:16 PM, Monday April 13th: 572,169 total confirmed cases, 23,070 American deaths.

In which there is an unexpected development

I have recently come across an Employment Opportunity that is worth thinking about and investigating. Don’t get too excited; I haven’t even decided to apply, much less done so and been called for an interview or anything like that. Nor do I know how much it would pay. But for now, just trust me that it’s an Employment Opportunity and leave it at that.

At any rate, I’m bringing it up because my first thought upon discovering of its existence was I’m not sure I want to leave teaching right now. And, more broadly, I’m not certain I want to leave teaching again.

Which is … not the direction I thought my life was heading a few months ago. One of the numerous problems with being a teacher, of course, is the limited window one has to find a new job if one wishes to 1) stop teaching without 2) abandoning one’s current students. And I am finding that I am far enough into the year and I like my kids enough (most of ’em, at least) that the notion of ending the school year early even for a much more lucrative job gives me quite a bit of pause. The most amazing thing is that I’m not currently planning on a mad scramble for a new job this summer. For the first time in forever I feel like if I ended up in the same job next year that I have this year I’d be okay with that. And that surprises the hell out of me, especially since I mostly teach 8th graders who are all going to be gone next year anyway whether I like it or not. One way or another I’m highly unlikely to be in these kids’ lives for more than about seven more months; is it really that big of a deal if I were to leave in, say, January rather than June?

Apparently it is.

I’m going to look into this job anyway, because there’s no harm in looking into it; it’s not like I’m committing to anything by putting in an application, and they may not be interested in me or it may turn out that the job doesn’t pay enough or really any number of things. But it’s odd to realize that I’m back in the position where “Yes, please, now, please” wouldn’t be my immediate reaction to escaping the classroom again, especially since ending up where I have was at least a bit of a last resort anyway.

God help me, I may actually be enjoying my job again. Weird, innit?