We have our hindsight problem, and come to think about it, it isn’t 20/20 but suffers from serious tunnel vision when you only see what worked or that which failed catastrophically.
Looking ahead feels like staring into the darkness at the end of Santa Monica Pier. Or possibly being in the darkness of a cave. I think it is important then to have a record as things happen, because memory will not serve us that well.
And, now in hindsight – to get it out of the way – the Corona virus has been a worry, but my main worry is always whether my kids are at risk. Seems like they would probably feel bad for a bit and then recover, so that is a relief.
My daughter has a trip planned for Korea in late June. By June I think we have more clarity in how to behave with that one, and June is still a bit away.
Still, she is the one that has been the most impacted so far. They were planning on a trip to Montpellier right about now or next week. This is a school they have had exchanges with for years. We have had two students staying with us. My daughter has been visiting on her own last summer. During this trip there would also have been students from all over the world. She said she had looked forward to this since the first year in high-school. Now this is all canceled, and she is a bit disappointed. She loves traveling.
Last Monday, on the 9th, I was in a meeting with the other directors of studies of doctoral programmes in Sweden. Up in Stockholm. My main concern then was actually my old mother who is now in a dementia home after dad died. She is well taken care of, but doesn’t feel well, and takes to calling my sister over and over again. This is still a concern (but she is staying there, no moving old people in the times of corona virus).
On the 10th I introduced my students to the second section, and mentioned that I would keep them updated on corona issues, as a bit of an aside, but for now it was business as usual
Graduate school – which is actually the name of a collection of masters programs within social sciences – had been a bit more proactive and promised support for those that wanted to move their courses on-line. This includes my experimental methods course. I decided to move it to zoom. After I got home from Stockholm? It is already becoming a blur. With only 9 students spread over 3 campuses, all at the doctoral level, I thought this would work, and I started working on putting together more material that could be more easily be used long distance.
That Thursday we were supposed to be in a risk calculation meeting. But when we got there, things had already heated up more, so we started discussing what we needed to do in case of a potential shut down.
We have professional programs – educating clinical psychologists and psychotherapists, and their education is filled with hands-on crucial training, sometimes involving clients, and thus involving secrecy, and going on-line is just not an option both for quality and timing. For other undergrad progams, our international masters and the doctoral students, things may not be so dependent on face to face meetings. I inventoried the doctoral students. For some of them there will be problems with data-collection as they are working with schools, businesses and clients. For others, there is just business as usual.
We really are going through a transient at the moment. Day to day there are wildly fluctuating ideas, and no clear direction/decision for long term is in place. This, in itself, is stressful. Should I plan to move online, or should I plan to keep the classes. Do I have to plan for both? Can I really cope with that? What about all the other things I need to do that is also part of my job? How do we communicate with everyone?