I hope you continue to do OK during these strange times. I am healthy and content, though I am struggling with the passage of time. On the one hand, I can’t believe that just over 4 months ago I was doing X or believing in Y completely different from today – it feels like many years, ago. On the other hand, I can’t believe that Spring is gone and that it is summer, already – the days all look the same from inside this flat. I am really glad that I keep a journal – it helps me note the passage of time, and keep tabs on my progress on key measures.
Lockdown eased this month, in the UK. It didn’t change my daily routine, because the kiddo is still being home schooled, and I am still not allowed to go to the office. The shops opened, but I haven’t had any reason to go shopping (other than my usual grocery shopping). The main differences are that we could visit houses and, all going well, we will be moving at the end of July (please keep your fingers crossed for me – I really need things to not go pear shaped, this time); and that there is a lot more traffic on the roads, and a lot more people on pavements. There have been no peaks in infection numbers in the UK (apart from the one in Leicester). Though, worryingly, there has been a surge in numbers in Portugal, including where my in-laws live, and where my parents live.
This month, for me, was marked by teaching an MBA module. I had done 2 webinars (this one, and this one), and hosted a few online meetings. However, this was my first proper teaching, online. It was tiring and I was a bit anxious for 3 weeks. But I think that it went well. It actually had some advantages. For instance, I could see everyone’s names (rather than having to memorise them); the breaks didn’t drag, so we could resume classes promptly, afterwards; and I was much more comfortable. Now, comes the marking.
Still on the teaching front, I continued to have meetings with my dissertation students; and my PhD students. I also examined a PhD. I moderated a colleague’s module. And I had two very long Panel of Examiners.
Writing wise, this was a productive month: Two papers submitted, one abstract submitted, one proposal for a special issue submitted, and one paper accepted (more on this, soon). I also attended a Paper Development Workshop at the end of the month – it continues into the beginning of July, and I am getting lots of good ideas about how to rescue a paper that I have been working on for a while. My journal reminded me that I also reviewed a paper, which I had completely forgotten about.
I met with a friend, for a socially distanced walk in the park. That was nice. I seriously annoyed another friend when I called him out for an ‘all lives matter’ post on Facebook. That was sad. The teen and the kiddo had exams, at home. That was weird. I am doing lots of training (mostly, online teaching pedagogy and technology). That… is just life, nowadays.
I leave you with a video. Students, staff and alumni of the music department at Brunel University London created and performed this musical adaptation of the poem “People need People”, which was authored by poet Benjamin Zephaniah (a Creative Writing Professor at Brunel). It is a beautiful rendition, and perfect for these times of social isolation:
Keep your fingers crossed for my house move, please.