I don’t know about all of you, but Covid was ROUGH in the Cereal household. I was on a train on my way to Canada when I found out that the university I work for was going to shut down and move to entirely remote work. I got on the next train home and started frantically preparing my faculty members on how to quickly modify their classes. The next two weeks were a complete blur, and when I started to come out of that, I had to scramble to get them desks and iPads and all the supplies they would need to be successful at remote school. I also had to run around and find everything I would need to be able to successfully work from home. Pretty much all of March was intensely serious and scattered.
By mid-April we had hit a bit of a stride. The kids’ schools were doing the absolute best they could and my faculty was kicking butt teaching remotely. I was exhausted nearly all the time, but I didn’t really realize how much it was affecting me.
When the kids’ schools let out for summer in June, everything got worse. The kids had zero respect for my need for quiet during work, and mid way through June, I started my PhD program. I was also asked by my dean to take on additional work for another department. I accepted, knowing that it would be essential for my career trajectory. My days were spent on zoom meetings, and juggling two kids who were bored and tired of being cooped up at home. In July, I started feeling super tired all the time, which I attributed to Covid and school and work and everything.
September rolled around and the kids’ school announced that the year would start virtually. I was prepared for a year of at home school, and I came up with a solid schedule that while the kids were in virtual class, I was in my meetings and making sure that work was handled. I was basically trying to fit an entire day of work into a four hour block. I would often get back onto my computer in the evenings to try to do as much more work as I could. And then Oregon exploded with intense and widespread fires. For an entire 10 day period, the air quality was so bad that we couldn’t leave the house. The sky was blood red and there was ash all over everything. It was scary and incredibly depressing.