Tuesday, March 31, 2020

NYC day 12-13

I taught Decline and Fall chapters 15 and 16 yesterday (Gibbon's devastating and possibly ill-placed attack on miracles!) and the chunk of Clarissa that includes the mad papers today. Both classes went well, I think (really it is for students to say, not me!). I am very lucky to be teaching small humanities seminars this semester rather than the big introduction to the major lecture I did in the fall - I mean, I'd still basically be, like, "Everybody passes!," but the logistics of trying to look out for students and keep them engaged would have been far more overwhelming.

Monday morning is my Policy and Planning Committee meeting, we were already in a budget crisis before coronavirus and now things are looking grim indeed. Two hours of that and then two hours of teaching in the afternoon left me so tired yesterday evening that I went to bed around 8:30, slept maybe 9-3, then woke wide awake and took advantage of feeling adequately rested to respond to some student emails that I've for some reason been having a very hard time getting to. Did get a couple hours more sleep maybe 5-8, then a mad scramble in the am to get my materials ready for class. I had hoped it would be easy to set up with iPad and laptop as dual monitors, it was not self-evident to the help desk guy either (but they are outsourcing now). Have ordered a monitor that is supposed to arrive Saturday - I can work with what I've got, but if I'm using screen share in a big way it would be helpful to have all the students' faces in gallery view on a separate screen. Toggling today was less clumsy than yesterday but still felt somewhat hapless!

Comfort reading recs #6 and 7: two series that concern the Church of England! The first of course is Trollope's Chronicles of Barsetshire (a must-read for academics in particular, since it seems that the 19th-century cathedral is basically the twin of the 21st-century university - even the character types are the same....). Second, Susan Howatch's Starbridge series and the spinoff St. Benet's books. These are books I can reread over and over....

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