March 6 Day 1093: Where Were You?

It was three years ago today that UW President Ana Mari Cauce sent this email: The Friday morning message called for emergency remote teaching by the very next workday. The speed of the transition was dizzying. I was on a writing retreat at Pack Forest with a handful of my Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences colleagues.Continue reading “March 6 Day 1093: Where Were You?”

January 27 Day 690: I Changed My Mind

I do want to talk about Wordle. As opposed to January 24 Day 687: We Don’t Talk About Wordle. Let me set the stage. I am trying to teach in person. In reality, I am teaching a synchronous remote course from the classroom. Only one human being joined me on campus this morning (13 othersContinue reading “January 27 Day 690: I Changed My Mind”

January 25 Day 688: In-person Attendance Woes

One week ago today: I had seven students in the classroom and eight students online. This was the first day I offered in-person classes (and third week of the quarter.) I figured it would get better. Today: I had two students in the classroom and twelve online. That’s not better. One week from today: TheContinue reading “January 25 Day 688: In-person Attendance Woes”

January 7 Day 670: Crap

I should be attending the Joint Mathematics meeting right now but that got canceled 2.5 weeks ago. I am sad that I do not get to be energized by my disciplinary colleagues or celebrate professional accomplishments and interesting ideas. This was to be the first big conference in-person since the start of the pandemic. PartContinue reading “January 7 Day 670: Crap”

December 22 Day 654: Not Again

Omicron, COVID’s pawn, stops us cold. can’t be controlled. spreads like fire. I am so tired of not knowing when it’s going to end. Boosters, masks, health forecasts, protocols try to forestall COVID’s spread. Stay home instead. Those plans you made are now delayed again, my friend. Yesterday, I learned that the University of WashingtonContinue reading “December 22 Day 654: Not Again”

March 19 Day 376: The End of Winter

I know it’s a few days until the equinox and the official start to the Spring, but I feel like tonight I am putting Winter (or at the very least winter quarter) to bed. Yesterday I administered the final oral interviews for Abstract Algebra. After struggling through teaching for three remote quarters (Spring 2020, AutumnContinue reading “March 19 Day 376: The End of Winter”

February 12 Day 341: Friday Melt

I was hoping for snow last night. Not because I was wishing for a snow day —our new found technical competence will make that unlikely unless the internet is down—but because there is something magical about a pristine sound-dulling blanket of snow. Unfortunately the flakes were small and the accumulation in Tacoma was minimal. ItContinue reading “February 12 Day 341: Friday Melt”

April 22 Day 45: Hump Day in a Big Way

It’s Wednesday the traditional hump day of the week. By the title of this post, it is also the 45th day since I started emergency remote teaching. Now June 5, the last day of instruction for the University of Washington not including final exam week, is 45 days in the future. This moment marks theContinue reading “April 22 Day 45: Hump Day in a Big Way”

April 21 Day 44: Conjectured Cause for this Pause

It’s been seven days since any post appeared in MAA’s Online Teaching and Distance Learning Forum.  I conjecture a few reasons for the decline. The urgency has abated. All the decisions that needed to be made about “how” to transition to emergency remote teaching have been made. New information only makes us doubt our choices.Continue reading “April 21 Day 44: Conjectured Cause for this Pause”