June 16 Day 100: Brief Return to Campus

This morning I took the COVID-19 training, attested to my current health, and let the appropriate people know when and where I intended to be on campus. It was a beautiful sunny day. I saw campus safety officers from a distance, two other faculty members, and one member of the custodial staff. That was it.

I was sure that my plants would be dried and brown—it has been nearly 3 months since I have tended to them. To my surprise, four of the five were still green and the Phalaenopsis that was budding as we shut down, had three beautiful (albeit limp) mothlike blossoms. So I must thank whomever has been watering them in my absence.

I returned textbooks and course notes to my office for safe storage. I grabbed printed copies of Living Proof: Stories of Resilience Along The Mathematical Journey that I purchased as recognition gifts for Math Award winners back in January. And then I walked along Pacific Avenue, the retail facing side of the University, taking in the boarded windows and lack of people.

Flowers seem to be a recurring theme as part of the #HopeGrowHere movement. I joke that flowers are important because today is Bloomsday—but that really refers to Leopald Bloom in James Joyce’s Ulysses. Nonetheless, it is a special day because it is my husband’s birthday. It was a subdued celebration (not one of those perfect squares that I believe deserve special attention.)

We laughed. We ate. We shared. There is no one else I would rather be quarantined with.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

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