Had one of those dreams again tonight

I've had them a couple of times before. I was just minding my own business in some seemingly non-covid-infested dreamworld. Suddenly I realized that I didn't have a mask and started desperately looking for something to cover my face with. An instinct, even in a dream. It's not the first time the awful reality has found its way into my dreams. I wonder how long I'm gonna keep having those moments even in the waking world, once this is all over. Beacuse it's been going on for too long and now it's a matter of "how long", not "if".

technical difficulties...

Aaand my work email is acting up again. I'm supposed to be sending my students their tests right now. It just logged me out in the middle of sending one and it took me a few minutes to get back in. This is the single worst moment for this crap in months.

EDIT: And then I spent three hours looking for a missing bracket in a Latex file. I need to step away from the computer. This is not a good day for me to be using one.

But I work online now and there is nothing I can do about it.

They'll probably cheat anyway, so...?

Since I can't watch my students write their test, you'd think I could just email them the questions and go back to sleep. Nope. I need to be on standby in case there's a problem. I'd kinda hoped to get around that by telling them that if I accidentally make a problem impossible to solve, they get 100% for explaining why it's impossible (and then I was so tempted to do this on purpose...).  But there are still questions, because of course there's always something.

Oh well. I'll sleep later.

The little "joys" ot teaching... online

I'm kinda getting used to teaching online now. It's not that bad. Weird sometimes, but not bad, for the most part. Except there's a problem with the university website right now. And it's the worst possible time for that!

So it's time for a test and we have to do it online, somehow. I've come up with a system where I email each student a different set of questions. It worked well enough last semester. But I need the whole group's email adresses (only a few of them have given me theirs so far and the test is on Monday) and, even more importantly, my work email. I tried to log in a bunch of times last night. It's not working. Today I can't even get into the login page. What the hell am I gonna do if it doesn't start working by Monday morning?!

I couldn't upload materials for my other group last night either. Their class is on Wednesday and I usually like to give them a few days to prepare.

And now the entire website is down! No email, no uploading files, no anything.

This is the problem with teaching online. When you're all in a room together, you can always improvise (and I, at least, usually end up doing so in some way). But you all have to improvise together, and you can't do that when you have no way of communication.

On top of that, I'm trying to apply for work abroad again. One place asks for an English translation of my diploma, and they want it by tomorrow. I've already paid for a professional translation. And it's probably in my email somewhere, but I can't get it until the university website starts working again. Damn, that would be such a stupid reason to miss an opportunity like that!
hem hem


Me at 3 p.m.: Okay, if I want to upload these materials tomorrow, I should start preparing them today...
Me at 5 p.m.: But I don't wanna prepare for class right now!
Me at 11 p.m.: Okay, I guess I'll just plan this today...
Me at 2 a.m.: *has done like 80% of the work* But I'm not done yet! *falls asleep*

Online classes are not so bad... BUT

I'm supposed to send in regular reports, now that I'm teaching online. Fair enough, right? The University needs to know I'm doing my job. Ooookay. The reports have to be in a specific form. Fine. That makes it easier. So I filled in my report for this month and was just about to send it. I'd already got a couple of emails reminding me how urgent it is. Really, it would have been better if I'd sent it a few days ago. So I logged into my work email, to find a message, with a new template attatched, telling me that it's super important that all reports must use this template now. So I guess I have to do it all over again.
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... or is it?

Okay, so now it turns out all my classes are actually gonna be online, starting next week. Well, the good news is  at least I can sleep nearly an hour longer on those two days when my classes are way too early in the morning. But why did I have to learn this from my students? Shouldn't someone email me about it before the classes started or something?

It's not over yet, but it's... over?

Over the last six months or so time and to some degree even space has become pretty much meaningless. Everything that happened happened online, somewhere that wasn't even a real place. Getting up at six a.m. was not a thing. The world seemed a little bit unreal. A place that isn't here. A time that isn't today. The idea of 'all this' ending some day. It all seemed like an abstract concept.

But here we are. Another semester is about to begin and it's going to be a weird one.

The pandemic is far from over. Hell, the situation is worse than it was when everything started shutting down, especially it this area. But you can't put life on hold forever, or so they say. Schools have been reopened and are more or less back to normal. Sure, officially there are some new rules, but you know how kids are (So, of course, a couple of schools had to be shut down again due to new outbreaks). At universities nobody's sure what to do. But some classes are hard to teach online. And it has been decided that this includes all classes for first year students. And all my classes in this semester are for first year students. Which means I'll be teaching normal classes now, at least until someone decides that I shouldn't, which could happen at literally any moment.

The good news is that I'm only teaching two subjects this semester, one of which I've taught before and the other is pretty easy. Finally I might  have the time and energy to do some science. At least assuming that thinking about how this might not be a good idea doesn't consume all my time and energy.


Some people: Masks are useless!
The exact same people: *spend actual money on this bullshit*

I used to think this was a joke, but I've actually seen a guy wear something like this. Under his nose.

some observations

For the last three days I've been using the public transport regularly. The situation with the virus is improving, but it's still a good idea to wear a mask while you're on the tram or train. And people do, for the most part, but they're finding so many creative ways to do it wrong. Some ridiculous things I've seen:

- A woman attatches a mask to her face so loosely that it flaps around in the wind. "I know it's important to wear a mask," she tells her friend, in the tone of someone who has just come up with a very clever lifehack, "but it's easier to breathe this way."

- A young man with no mask on sits down next to a middle aged woman, who tells him to put on a mask or move away from her "Of course," he says and puts a mask around his neck.

- A family comes in. The kids' faces are properly covered with little bandanas. The parents are wearing masks, which they adjust repeatedly, to make sure they cover as much of their chins as possible without touching their mouths.

- Okay, this one was at a shop, not on a tram, but I just have to mention it. A woman starts to cough at the grocery store. She reacts to this by taking her mask off and leaning over a nearby pile of vegetables, nearly burrying her face in it. I don't think I've ever seen anyone miss the point quite that badly.

- Way too many people looking something like this

Seriously, people, you're doing it wrong.

And the signs actually say "cover your nose and mouth" not "wear a mask". I guess some people don't know what a nose is?