Like so many people around the country, we are “self-isolating,” as they call it. Or as introverts like to say, “everyday life.” Our trip to Legoland for spring break has been cancelled, school is now online, and the CDC is advising “social distancing.” I figured this would be the perfect time to dust off the old blog.
Out of sheer coincidence, I picked up Isaac Newton by James Gleick at the library last week, because I love biographies. Turns out Newton left Cambridge University during the Great Plague of London and took shelter in his childhood home in the countryside. Gleick writes,
The plague year was his transfiguration. Solitary and almost incommunicado, he became the world’s paramount mathematician.
It was during this time that Newton made his famous observations of the apple tree, which lead to new theories of gravity.
Although I don’t think anyone will accomplish anything so grand this time around (after all, we still have the endless distraction of the internet), I do think this period will raise some interesting questions about things we take for granted, like the value of traditional face-to-face teaching and meetings (I hope stupid meetings go away forever, ha ha).
I will be spending the next week rethinking my teaching and how to best serve my students online, while also trying to make the best of being stuck at home with two small children who are disappointed that they don’t get to go to Legoland. Like all small children, they are surprisingly resilient and are enjoying lots of time spend playing video games and board games, and the temporary relaxing of my usual junk food rules.
I’ll use this blog to update you on what we’re doing to pass the time. Meanwhile, I hope you all stay safe and well and sane.