December 2 Day 269: Sisyphean Task

Just two more days of class meetings and I will get that boulder up and over the hill or it will crush me under its weight once and for all. Students are feeling the same. Meant as light conversation for people arriving to class early, I asked “how is everyone doing?” A response in the chat, “I feel like this quarter has been a massive dumpster fire :),” made me recognize how hard remote learning has been during the COVID resurgence and how grateful I am that we are not meeting in person.

Students are getting sick. Their families are getting sick. When someone disengages from class, I don’t know whether it is exhaustion, illness, care-taking responsibilities, boredom, or poor choices. Intellectually, I know that my actions are not driving them away but emotionally, I worry I am failing my students. So I keep striving to do better. I keep pushing up hill.

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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