Back to College? Not Yet

I posted this on Twitter a little while ago (with, of course, Athena’s consent):

This comported with Athena’s thinking on the matter, as it happens. But I am rather famous in this family for stressing the importance of getting a college education, so it was important for me to say I was all right with an additional pause. Athena took off last semester as well (she’d made that decision before Covid became a thing), so her gap semester is now a full-blown gap year.

Which, again, I’m fine with. Last semester I joked that she saved us a lot of money on a dorm room she would have been sent home from anyway; and while I don’t mind not paying full freight for an online education this next semester, I feel less jokey about it now. I don’t think it’s a very good idea for colleges and universities to bring back students, not when we’re currently at new highs for infection rates, and when basically every attempt to put people into large groups ends up with scads of newly infected.

I’ve told Athena that it took me four years after my high school graduation to get my bachelor’s and seventeen years for Krissy to get hers, so if she ends up getting hers somewhere in between those markers, she’ll be fine. The simple fact of the matter is this pandemic is tearing up schedules all over the place. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’d like my kid to have her degree. I’d like her to be alive and with lungs that don’t crinkle when she breathes even more. We’re fortunate to be able to cover this time off for her. We’re going to cover it.

52 Comments on “Back to College? Not Yet”

  1. Since I know someone will ask, Krissy did not attend college for seventeen years. She worked and took occasional clases for several years and then when she got her current job, her employer paid for her to get her degree, which she was then motivated to get. She got her BA in business at 35. I was (and am) super proud of her.

  2. I told my son (who is unlikely to find work at present but is at high risk and should not attend classes in person) that I would cover student loans if they go into repayment. He may go for an online option; I just want to support him making a safe choice.

  3. “basically every attempt to put people into large groups ends up with scads of newly infected.”

    True dat. When will people stop thinking it’s doable? When an entire sports league comes down with it, I guess.
    I work at a college and I am lucky enough to be permitted to not have to physically come back, but what with the international student thing and all, they will be open and we’re all gonna get it.

  4. My mom had 5 children, then learned to drive, then went to college. It took her 7 years. It took me 8 years and I didn’t have any of her “extras”.

  5. My spouse and I work in higher ed and, especially in light of the Miller timed ICE announcement, I applaud your decision. I am lucky that I can do my work from home and will likely be home through the end of the year. My spouse will be on and off campus during the same time period. Both of our universities will absolutely be hot spots for infection. All we can do is mask up, wash up, and cross our fingers. Thank you for making the right call.

  6. I think we should give all students at all levels the semester off. Unfortunately I expect to be teaching in some kind of modified in person format at my community college this fall.

  7. No judgement on go or no-go to college, of course. But I do want to say there are a ton of educators doing their best (some of them who aren’t getting paid over the summer) to make sure that college still means something useful/important, remote or not. Ideal? No. But doing our best for our students who decide to continue, remotely or not. [And I can’t even imagine what K-12 educators are dealing with]

  8. Both my brother and brother-in-law were 29 when they each graduated college, and have both done great in their lives and careers over the decades. It’s not a race.

  9. I would advise anyone who would normally be entering uni for the first time to just defer and take a gap year. For those that have already begun, it is a more difficult decision, as the clock is ticking on those loans and they’ve already formed friend groups.

  10. As an alumna of that Catholic school to the west & north of you in Indiana whose president felt he needed to defend the decision to have fall term on campus & starting in early August in the New York Times, I’m in total agreement with you & not with my alma mater (which was still trying to convince me in June that the football lottery & season was still going to happen & which also seemed to assume that I would want the stupid football season to happen during a pandemic). I mean seriously not only is Covid crisis real, but those lovely older residences & halls with their lack of air conditioning & poor ventilation in general are going to be an absolute sweltering mess in an Indiana August. And for some strange reason I value human lives (whether student, faculty, staff, or townspeople) over missing one year of singing the fight song & sitting in class. A gap year is not the end of the world, especially in a country whose federal government still refuses to face reality.

    My field is medieval studies and I used to teach the history of Western Europe; trying to explain Western Europe’s reaction to the Plague and other diseases was difficult as students felt super superior to those “mid-evil” people who of course backwards, ignorant, and superstitious unlike us modern folks. That part of the curriculum has sadly I think become a whole lot easier for a new generation of students to grasp.

  11. Wise decision on Athena’s part; good support on yours. I work at a small liberal arts college that is probably going to be able to partially open classes in the fall, with a mixture of online and in-class instruction, smaller class caps, and minimal dorm residence. We can do this fairly safely because we do have the facilities and we have a dedicated and reasonably responsible faculty and staff which is already making plans–and because about half of our student body commutes; we are still going to have problems hiring the extra teachers we will need to decrease class size (not to mention finding the physical classrooms for any in-person instruction at safe social distances). Note: the problems hiring extra teachers isn’t just in terms of funding; it’s literally in terms of where are these people going to come from? It hasn’t been easy to cover the freshman required courses even at previous class caps; though we are assuming that our incoming class will be smaller than usual (and already worrying about the corresponding problems that that will cause, both short and long term), we are looking at a severe absence of teachers here.

    How the big universities will even begin to cope, I have no idea, especially those with mostly in-residence student bodies. And any state that wants public el-hi schools to open at all next September had better plan on massively supplementing school budgets for the upcoming year, just as a starting move.

  12. Professor here. This is exactly what I would do if I were still an undergrad in the U.S.: wait a bit for it to blow over. This is, where possible, going to be the safer option for health (and, I imagine, for consistency of teaching quality and/or access to supplementary resources). I know not everyone can do this – just as well, since if so I might be unemployed for a bit – but I fully support any student who sits it out.

  13. It is completely insane to “open as normal” and *stay open* in the fall no matter what happens, and it is evil of ICE to try to use international students to force colleges to do so.

    So, yes! This is really a very good time for a gap year! At many universities there are also some good online course options if she wants to earn credits (my husband will be teaching one of them!), but obviously one can learn things in a non-university-supervised way towards “tangible” skills [photography! writing! drywall repair!], certifications, or just making some classes much easier in the future while at home (physics; chemistry; math), if mental loads permit. (But pandemic stress does not make learning easy, to be honest? So it is maybe okay if expectations are not ultra high for now.)

  14. Good decision. I worry about what happens when we run into flu season with this virus. I fear it is not going to be pretty.

  15. Very glad to hear that a set of smart decisions are being made right there. My nephew (one of my many) is due to start college this fall at a Local Major University and I have not let figured out whether I am excited or dreading the prospect. I love the kid and can’t wait for him to live a lot closer . . . but maybe not now?

  16. We are in the opposite situation, for a number of reasons. Son #1 is at USNA and because he’s military, the decision was made for us; he’s already back at school but under quarantine. They are strictly quarantining the incoming students with the hopes of keeping everyone locked down on campus during the school year – no idea if this will work. On the plus side, he is not on a boat or a sub, so that reduces transmission risks. Son #2 is going back in early August. He has two years left, and has a scholarship as well as an apartment currently standing empty, so he wanted to return. He can easily take classes and do his job from his place; but his school and work really require access to the labs which we can not provide here ($$$ technical equipment). He has made good choices about quarantining and wearing masks while home, and we don’t think we can keep him any safer here so back he goes. Son #3 is still in high school, and frankly I am not sure what type of experience he will have vis-a-vis finishing school and/or going to college. We have a year before he has to apply, and I’m dreading thinking about it.

    As for me? I’m a substitute teacher, both short and long term, for deaf students in middle and high school. I taught as a long term sub during the spring shutdown, and I can tell you that online and video learning is not workable for the majority of our students. However, many of our kids have multiple medical conditions and our school serves 30 different districts, so the risks in reopening are much higher for us. I’m hoping we don’t open in August, at the same time I’m acknowledging this will put many of our students (who are already well behind grade level) even further behind.

    It’s a mess, and I’m so angry we’ve been put in this position.

  17. Good decision.

    One thing made clear by this epidemic is that college is a for-profit system. Thus their desire is to get money coming in as soon as possible, even if there is a personal risk involved for the students and teachers. Herd immunity may not work with this virus, too soon to consider it.

  18. I’m right there with you. I have a child in high school, and have received email concerning how CA schools intend to reopen. The email changes as more information comes out, but still. I know that at the beginning of every school year, the kids bring home all the bugs that other students have been exposed to. Every year, we’ve gone through the same thing: K gets sick, then husband and I get it. I don’t want them out there mingling, even spaced apart, and then inevitably bringing everything back home.. My kid did well with online schooling, and even said that while the online classes were weird with everyone figuring out Zoom and all the other applications the teachers were using, they had a lot less anxiety over getting the homework done. I understand that some students do not have easy access to computers, but we’ll be hitting up my Onc doc for a note saying I need her to school online until there is an effective vaccine.

  19. I thoroughly agree with you. My youngest graduated this spring and has her degree now. She’s facing trying to work out next steps in the middle of a pandemic. Fortunately, we can cover her time at home. Her goal has been something like autopsy technician. We’re encouraging her to get her resume together and start testing the waters, but yeah I definitely want her healthy too. My other kids are all out in the thick of it, including my eldest, an ICU nurse in San Diego County.

    And yeah, even in “normal” times, timing varies. I have Krissy beat on the length of time. I spent 30 years taking classes on and off before completing my degree in 2015. And I started taking classes when I was 20. The remnants of the GI bill in the 80s helped pay for some of them. Work paid for a number of the comp sci core ones at one point. Others I’ve managed as I could scrounge both financing and time. I was always taking classes while working full time and supporting my family.

    I have no doubt it will work out fine for Athena.

  20. That’s some smart decision-making on the part of various members of the Scalzi family. Not surprising, of course.

    My younger sib is a chemistry professor at a state university that is desperate to reopen to get the revenue stream started back up, and she is having the devil’s own time trying to figure out how the hell to teach organic chemistry via Zoom, which is the only way she feels safe teaching. To compound matters, her elder kid just graduated high school and plans to attend in-person college this fall. She is somewhat stressed. And water is a little wet.

    Oh, and on the question of elapsed time from HS graduation to college graduation – nobody gets to say what is “right” except the person involved. My spouse took four years from graduating high school to earning his Bachelor’s degree. Our elder kid took a five-year break after high school, then suddenly announced she was going to enroll in a local university, where she graduated in four years. Our younger one took eight years to earn his Bachelor’s degree. And I win the family prize for taking the longest – thirty years from graduating high school to graduating from college. We each got to the destination in our own way and on our own timeline, as I think everyone should be able to do.

    Stay healthy, please, and better yet, stay home.

  21. I took five years to get through college, but I got through high school in three, so I figured it balanced out.

  22. That’s what I would do. (But then again we’ve taken advantage of what I believe to be a temporary lull in Covid 19 in my region to stock up the house in expectation of the first wave returning and a second wave tsunami this winter. The modest stay-at-home, coupled with some minor supply chain disruptions, gave us an idea of what to expect and how to prep.) I’ve likened paying full freight tuition for on-line classes to paying hundreds of dollars for front row seats to a Beyonce/Springsteen/Stones/Pick Your Band concert, and then being given a Zoom link.

    My DIL is a manager in the IT department of a state university. She’s been told to work from home until the end of the year when they’ll re-evaluate.

    I’m sure you’ll ensure your daughter uses the time productively, even if it’s only to take classes through The Great Courses.

  23. My division chair and I have a running joke that the course schedule, particularly math, is never settled until the end of the first week of classes. It looks like we will have to move the teaching assignments around at least twice in August as the onsite classes are mostly empty and the online classes are mostly full.

    Higher education won’t be the same after this, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. My community college embraced online education before I arrived there in 2007. A majority, or close to a majority, of faculty teach some online classes and some have their entire load online. So, I was surprised to learn that online education still has a stigma attached to it. Frankly, in 2020 it should have none. After all, if we hicks in Kentucky can figure it out, then elite institutions employing hundreds of Ph.D.’s shouldn’t have any problem making it work.

  24. The California State University system decided in May to be primarily online/remote for Fall. As an alumna and an employee, I am grateful that they decided early and are holding to it.

  25. As someone with two music degrees (attained 9 and 20 years after graduating high school, respectively), I lament the situation faced by both students and teachers in the creative and performing arts. Some kinds of learning and teaching cannot satisfactorily happen online (nor in a classroom with adequate interpersonal distancing and/or masks), and ensemble playing, choral singing, theater of all kinds, are over for now.

  26. Given that my side hustle of individual tutoring already won me one unpleasant spin on the Covid wheel this year before it all went virtual, wild horses could not drag me into an in-person classroom now. That said, after almost four straight months of online teaching, I am rapidly burning out. I have no idea how anything goes forward this school year. None.

  27. Trump and DesVos are beating the ‘reopen schools now!’ drum without giving a detailed plan for doing so safely. They are actually threatening fiscal punishment to schools that do not open. And people *still* insist that these two care about the children.

    Where in hell does this bullshit still play well?

  28. I did the ten year plan, with a stint in the Army (and then drug and alcohol rehab) mixed in, myself. Worked out well.

  29. I would love to hear from Athena on how she feels about this as well as about the whole pandemic. I appreciated her perspective when she blogged in the past.

    I’m so sorry for everyone that’s in this position. I can’t imagine how heartbroken I’d be if my college experience had been interrupted like this.

  30. Sensible choice, John and Athena.

    I was…older when I earned my degrees. to echo another poster, it’s not a race.

    I’ve also had the privilege of presenting a course of study and can attest to the fact that student designated sections of classrooms are a contagions playground.

    This never changed, not in the years I taught at that university.

    This insistence on sacrificing lives to the gods and goddesses of financial solvency and social normality is ignorant and evil.

    We’re in uncertain times and could have worse problems than college to tangle with in the Fall.

    Bottom line, I’m glad to hear that Athena is taking the steps necessary to keep herself and others safe.

  31. It took me 16 years after high school to get my BA. Truly there is plenty of time.

  32. Cases in our town have been spiking, many of them from “young people in group gatherings” according to the last press conference … I shudder to think of what will happen when the main term students get back. Enrollment is UP, not down, probably because we’re getting people slumming it at a flagship uni because it’s a fifth of the price of the private school they’re not willing to pay for if courses are all online.

    I’ve been informed I will be teaching in person. I wonder if I should keep our teenager home from high school, but then figure zie will be getting it from me anyway.

  33. The thought of sending students back into classrooms, thereby exposing the students and the teachers to a disease which can result in brain damage in a not-insignificant number of cases . . . yes, we know the current administration and the supporting party are deeply set against the inconvenient results of having educated voters with the ability to make informed choices, but seriously — they’re ok with teachers and kids ending up with brain damage?!?!?!?!?

  34. I’m also a fan of formal education, having earned my PhD at 66 a few years ago. However, most of what I know has been self-taught, even when it involved classes. There’s the teaching side, which I’m trying to learn now, having done a couple of classes for Oasis, a retired-people’s network, and then there’s the learning side. It’s up to me what I learn, after all. I chose fairly wisely to get a science degree for my BS, since as commented above, chemistry is one of those things you can’t really do remotely and I couldn’t have figured out on my own. I am also interested to know Athena’s plans, since there really is no end in sight for this thing until several waves have gone across the country, and we have acquired herd immunity or a vaccine.
    As it is, my online experience of teaching was pushing me back firmly into lecture format, which I was trying so hard not to do. I was counting on class participation to make sure everyone was following the material. It’s incredibly hard to get to know people and get group interaction going on zoom. The Great Courses are pretty good.
    For self education, I’ve found the best thing is to pick anything that interests you, and start investigating. I started with different pillar styles in ancient architecture. I always read the footnotes (sometimes more interesting than the main text) and often find useful next books and articles in the bibliography. If you’re stuck trying to get materials online, try going into a university library system as a guest. They usually have clearance for quite a bit. As an alumnus for my doctorate, I qualify for library privileges ongoingly, which is great. The university where i got my bachelor’s has little for alums.

  35. @ bubba0077 – One problem with recommending that students take a gap year is that in the unlikely event everyone actually did it, next year there would be double the number of people starting their university and college careers (or double the amount of competition for places). Here in the UK some institutions at least have actively recommended people don’t take a gap year, for instance Oxford as reported here in The Times (behind a £paywall but you get enough of a paragraph to get the gist).

    Oxford sound down on the idea of gap years in principle. Personally I think a gap year is a good idea anyway – I sort of took two myself – though apparently some potential employers think spending it going on a long stretch of international travel (aka “extended holiday”) is not that useful compared with, say, getting a job, volunteering in a charitable capacity, interning and so on. Travel anywhere will be very tricky this coming year, of course, but I think even a long period of travel is a good use of time if you can do it. Best not to loaf with your feet up all year though. Not that I have skin in the current game (no kids).

    I had a mix in my gap year/s. A bit of loafing the first summer, grape-picking in France, a long period working in an office for an electronics company building data recorders for the EMI Scanner, filling in forms for computerising their parts list (this was in 1975-76), and the second summer I spent working at a US summer camp in North Carolina with the Camp America programme, followed by some travel by Trailways bus.

    The second “gap year” started a couple of days after the first – I got back from the US on a Saturday in September after three months away and on Monday I started a one-year foundation course in art and design. (I call it a gap year as I then did an unconnected degree in politics, history and philosophy.) In the Covid Time I and five other people from that one-year course 44 years ago meet up every Sunday on a Zoom pub-like session, so it had a lasting social effect! And one of them, briefly my girlfriend in the late-70s, has become, after 35+ years off, my partner again (at a bit of geographic distance).

  36. I have the fortunate situation of working at home, but I’m the only one taking care of two kids. If they could take the year off, I would be happy; remote learning was a disaster for my older and not good for the younger, and I couldn’t work at home and supervise school. It seems unlikely that it will be anything like safe for kids to go to school. I would not like older one to miss the last year of 6th grade at our school (it’s moving to middle school next year), but it’s not going to be a good year anyway.

    It worries me how weak our institutions have been under the hectoring of the Toddler-in-Chief.CDC is caving/has caved both on school reopening and on the rules for church gatherings, and likely getting people killed as a result. I assume that if Trump and his enablers can be removed, the institutions could be fixed, but it’s hard when a significant number of people are committed to making those institutions not work. I don’t see the Dems putting back the cloture rules to 60 votes again, for example, and I don’t know how to convince people that the institutions are important to maintain even if they disagree on what they should do.

    Beth: Brain damage would be great for them – more supporters at the polls (kidding – not kidding).

  37. It took me 20 years to start university, because I wasn’t ready, and then I was allowed to take a special “high school make up” algebra theory class during my first year… But in the meantime I arranged my life so I could still put my feet on campus and get to know people there.

    While youth is wasted on the young, and while many students would confine their school spirit to Friday cramming into the bar like “sardinus idiotus,” other students would, as the alumni advise, “get involved,” and have their “meaning of life” conversations all week long. I don’t think they would have got the same abstract knowledge from an “on-line” school.

    For example, as some of us walked in file from the bar, one warm evening, I over heard one student tell another, “Sean said…” What I had “said” was on a previous night while walking an anxious student around and around. I surely wouldn’t have “said” anything similar on-line.

  38. Meanwhile on the WaPO page – “10:15 a.m. DeVos says funds cut from schools that don’t open could allow students to choose to go elsewhere”

    Good grief, lady. We all know you’re an anti-public-education, private school ‘choice’ fanatic, but damn. Nothing like using a global pandemic to make political/philosophical hay.

    Save this one a meat hook next to Trump’s.

  39. @Beth:

    “they’re ok with teachers and kids ending up with brain damage?!?!?!?”

    The short answer is an unequivocal yes.

    An overwhelming preponderance of evidence suggests that their end goal is to eliminate large swaths of the population, in particular the elderly, the poor, and the brown skinned.

    They’re also interested in neutralizing those they can’t easily control, mainly the young people who refuse to stand for the status quo.

    Deaths of unintended targets are just collateral damage. ☹

    You’ll also note that Trump’s threat to withdraw federal funds if schools don’t open doesn’t apply to private ones.

    If that isn’t a focused attack, I don’t know what is.

  40. My son finished his Sophomore year via distance learning but hated it, and it affected his formerly strong grades. He especially hated doing lab classes via distance learning (Bio-Med Engineering major). He’s applied for a deferral of his scholarship because his college is in AZ and we don’t want him exposed. In addition, he does not want a repeat experience of last semester’s distance learning. As long as he gets his deferral (and we expect that he will) then he’ll be taking his gap year and will be back in August of 2021 for his Junior year. As part of that deferral we’ll need to break his off-campus apartment lease, which is not going to do the local economy much good.

    I was reluctant to support a decision to take a year off, because I know the value of momentum in education–especially when one aspires/aspired to a 5-year Masters. However, I now fully support his decision. As Scalzi said, better a delayed degree than crinkly lungs.

  41. And she can explore EdX’s catalog and take a thing or two to perhaps refine what she’s interested in studying when/if uni’s reopen.

  42. I can’t see any way of making in-person courses as safe as I’d like–safe enough for a 75-year-old teacher (as my wife will be this fall) at the front of the room or the 18-20-year-olds in the seats. As it is, she gets some kind of Kampus Krud twice a year from her students (once for each term), and last year it turned into pneumonia.

    She has been working flat-out since mid-March on adapting her face-to-face courses to on-line. She’s been doing “distance learning” for years, usually over the summer and for courses that can work well in that mode. (Writing adapts fairly easily.) But classes that depend on real-time interaction and improvisation are less satisfactory–Zoom mode just ain’t the same as being there in good old primate-style eyeball-to-eyeball mode.

    My immediate reaction to the possibility of any in-person class (which is a component of our university’s current “hybrid” plan) was to urge my wife to not do anything in-person. In fact, if it were me and push came to shove, I’d tell admin to shove it and retire, and that’s what I think my wife should do. But it probably won’t come to that (being a union school helps). I hope. (The fecklessness of some administrators is mind-boggling.)

  43. We’d consider a gap year – it’s our son’s choice, in the end – but would be much more in favour if it were clear what that year would be filled with. Would very much welcome smart ideas from people on this. Travel is out; there are no jobs we’d want him to take in preference to college; so…?

    I’ll be back in the classroom anyway, although my ‘classroom’ will either be outside or virtual, I expect; glad to have the flexibility to determine that.

  44. I know my “Higher Ed” experience is far from the norm and everyone’s experience is unique. Some fields require networking and the school choice is important. For the rest of us, since it was in my resume, no one ever asked or appeared to care where I went to school, or what my GPA was. It only mattered that I had shown I could do the work and hopefully think. I was 32 when I earned my distance learning BS, 48 when I earned my MA. Assuming you have broadband, check out Thomas Edison State College. Been doing distance learning since the 70’s, accepted CLEP, i.e. study and knock out the stuff you already understand, have their own test out tests, and accept credit from any accredited school. If you had the credits, you could transfer them all there from 3 schools and graduate. So that also means if school “B” has a class you really want to take, TE will accept the credits. To have “Embry Little” on my paper would have cost me 2 semesters retaking classes. And no one ever cared. TE isn’t the only school like this, explore options. I see no different in sitting in a class of 100 students, or as was my experience, having a teacher who fully expected to work with the students one on one. I found Black Board where a teacher could demand more than a head nod a lot more beneficial than sitting in class listening to stream of conscious dialogs.

  45. In response to someone up thread who’s counting on herd immunity or a vaccine, it’s looking more and more like a vaccine will be the only option. Herd immunity only really works for those diseases like mumps or measles that you can get only once. Suffering through a coronuvirus does not appear to confer long-term immunity. See https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/herd-immunity-and-coronavirus/art-20486808 for more info.

    And for Ewan, who’s looking for ideas for his son’s gap year: is there anything your son can do to help others through this crisis? Volunteering to help others makes me feel less helpless about what’s happening all around us. What skills or talents can he share with others, virtually if need be? Are there elderly neighbours or relatives he could help with shopping? If they don’t have a computer or internet, he could place online orders on their behalf and do pickup and delivery.

  46. Hi! The school I teach at sent everybody home too early. Or that’s what the parents & students told us in the moment. Only it turns out it was just in time, because later that day the NBA shut down. And NYC burned alive. What? No, no discount.

    Did people say thank you, retroactively? No, they didn’t. They wanted a discount. Which the school gave, on housing. On teaching, the school I teach at’s faculty fried itself (24/7) getting things going online as quickly as possible, while sitting at home with their own children, and trying very hard not to get the coronavirus. Was it perfect? No, of course, not. But we kept your child’s education going while the house was on fire. What? No, no discount.

    The school I teach at burned a $200 million hole in their budget to do it. They could have kept things going live through April or May — hello, Liberty University — but they didn’t. If they’d been aiming for profit, that seems an odd response. If they were aiming to save your child’s life, not so much. You’re welcome.

    What? No, no discount.

  47. Taking unnecessary pressure off, and employing a sane and practical approach to education under difficult circumstances. I hope my parenting chops are as sharp when my kid gets to Athena’s stage of life.

  48. @David: I work at a university branch campus library, and until this week, we’ve been “working” from home. Not much to do: some processes I run from home, weekly meetings, planning, etc. Our enrollment is about -40% from this time a year ago, so it looks pretty bleak. The cost of living adjustments (it is to laugh) were axed by the legislative special session, and we’re probably going to lose the empty position that we have plus our periodicals (magazines for those not in the trade).

    Interesting times. But thus far, the uni has managed to keep everyone employed and off the state unemployment budget.