LFH: Day 8

by Sunita

I finally set up my home office yesterday. I’d been dragging my heels, I think because if I didn’t do it I could more easily pretend (at least sometimes) that things hadn’t changed. I was still perching at my workspace to do things rather than fully committing to the face that I can’t go to my office anymore. It’s certainly not that I can’t work from home, I’ve done it my whole life and I live with a restricted workspace all summer. Anyway, I hauled everything out of the bags they’d been in and set up the monitor, dock, and work laptop on my desk. It all fit better than I expected.

The chair I use is not ideal, or rather it is not ideal given the height of the desk and the depth of the drawer space, but I put a pillow at the back and that gets me higher relative to the keyboard (I have a mechanical keyboard which is much more comfortable to type on than any of my laptop or portable keyboards). And I cleaned off the bed next to the desk and added yet another pillow so I can read or work on a lapdesk there when I’m tired of sitting at the desk.

It will be fine. Fine.

Workspace settled, I dealt with email and small work chores and then went for a walk in the afternoon. I went to the park, which was probably a mistake. I really wanted to get out and walk for a while, and it was a cold but (finally) sunny day. I knew I was risking more people going out in mid-afternoon on a Saturday, but I went anyway. It was fine for a while but there were quite a few people out walking and jogging (hardly any bicyclists, unlike last time), and by the time I was on the part of the circuit that took me toward home, there were enough people that maintaining social distance was hard. I managed it most of the time, but groups of three and four people taking up the whole sidewalk did not help. I was glad to get out of the park and back onto the street to my neighborhood. I’m not sure I’ll be doing that again. We have a treadmill and a rower in the basement, and if I want fresh air I can walk around the streets of my neighborhood.

The STL City Mayor and the STL County Executive both announced stay-at-home orders starting Monday, so that might have led people to go out more, but it was also a nice weekend day. There are still clearly a lot of people who don’t think the numbers are going to skyrocket. The STL area has quite a few hospitals, including two large teaching hospitals, so we are better positioned than a lot of localities, but if we don’t flatten the curve we’ll be in trouble.

Today is all about getting the syllabi finalized and Canvas set up. A doddle. 😉 I also have to come up with a policy, or at least a set of recommendations, for department faculty who are allowing students to join their classes at this point. It’s mostly study abroad students, and probably not that many, but we still need to think about whether they will have to make up work, whether they can get graded credit, etc. etc.

Yesterday we ate from our leftover and pantry stash for both lunch and dinner. I added a bunch of movies to our Hoopla Favorites list and we watched Ball of Fire with Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a fun diversion. Stanwyck and Cooper are wonderful and so are the seven old men (it’s a riff on Snow White but with Stanwyck as a gangster’s moll and Cooper as an unworldly professor).

I also managed to finish a book yesterday! I enjoyed the first Ruth Galloway book quite a bit, and the author’s note confirmed for me the places that were real v. made up. I guessed some of the villains but not all, and I liked her character and the detective’s quite a bit. I like how Griffiths wrote their relationship and I hope it stays that way.

Having been granted our day of sunshine, we’re back to cold and rainy for today. The trees are budding, though, and the daffodils are out. So there’s that.