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The blog shifts emphasis

I rather like that clipart I found: a telescope at one end and a fountain pen at the other. It seems to take in what we're about here.

Most of the earlier material was about long-term preparation for the Fall semester, things like getting your computer ready and such. (If you're new to the blog, go to the upper right of your screen and click the three lines thing (☰). Then click the "Labels" item to get a collection of how-to items.

The computer material is behind us now. I put it at the beginning because organizing all that stuff might be time-consuming, and it will give you something to do which feels like you are a student.

Because of the Covid-19 problems, the University is still working out the details of our coming semester. It's not as easy as you might think. Any change they make (for example, how often we have face-to-face class meetings) has implications for school accreditation, finances, and a host of other areas. We have been promised a full discussion by June 15, but I will not be too surprised if the announcement(s) come later.

Beginning in August, this blog will cover items such as textbooks and how to actually take our class. (Hint: I strongly suspect we will not simply show up in a classroom three times a week.)

Some personal advice

Recently I saw a meme in which Doc Brown (from "Back to the Future") is sitting in the time machine DeLorean, and he says to Marty, "Whatever you do, don't set it for 2020!" I understand the feeling. Pandemic, unemployment, protests—it's all feeling pretty heavy. Reading the newspaper in the morning is not a happy way to start the day.

If you're feeling sad, depressed, lonely, and just want to put your head under the covers, you're not alone. Many of us feel the same way.

Here are some ideas that seem to help me get through these times:
  • A basic realism is necessary. I'm still wearing my face mask, staying away from groups, refusing to shake hands or hug if I meet people, and generally observing the health precautions. That's all necessary. No, the virus hasn't gone away. We're just distracted by other things at the moment.
  • Now that the weather is better, I try to get out of the house every day. For me the plan is bicycling. (Ideal, because getting closer than six feet means a collision anyhow. Even in normal times, bicyclists practiced "social distancing.")
  • I avoid toxic Facebook and YouTube items. If I start to feel them dragging me down, I simply close the program.
  • A daily routine really helps. If the time is 8 PM, then it's time to open a book and read for a while.
  • Speaking of reading, good escape literature is a big help too. For me, it's murder mysteries. I'm working my way through a series by Dorothy Sayers, the Lord Peter Wimsey books (set primarily in England in the 1920s).
We've got about six weeks of summer now. I'll become more chatty and informal, and the blog will continue. Perhaps it will even become more interesting.


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