Monday, August 24, 2020

Dear Students and Colleagues,

 As you have doubtless heard by now, public schools have just- six days before school was to start!- decided to go all-online for nine weeks.  Yes, they have freaked out today about a cumulative regional caseload that looks like this, distributed across a population of almost 300,000:

Lest you think, but the college students! all of ours were tested on return and almost nobody was positive. If this seems misguided to you, wait until you hear the best part: the superintendent, who is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, is convinced things will be better in 9 weeks. In October. You know what's just getting going in mid-October?

You will note, students and colleagues, that it is, literally, illegal to leave a five year old home alone. Our childcare now consists of two mornings a week of the 16 year old neighbor, a college student one afternoon a week, and my 68 year old mother.  I will be available approximately 30 hours a week to do all the work for my full-time job. This is because the country, state, and university are united in responding to this set of impossible conflicts with a firm and caring  "Dear Parents, Fuck You Very Much." In return, I'm proud to respond to their support in this trying time by offering the bare minimum of effort that will still get me paid!

In summary, if you need something, email me. 

Yours in complete fury,

Jenny F. Scientist


  1. Ugh. I feel your pain. Our schools, with about double the percentages but a nicely flattening curve until yesterday when the college students started returning, decided to be online until January "so that parents could plan." Our university is offering daycare for a max of 3 hours/day/child. I have not quite told my chair that they apparently think we can do our jobs in 15 hours a week and I will do my best to honor that plan.

    1. Mercifully the chair rn is the guy with young grandchildren, not the childless night owl. He's basically said, do whatever you need to. But this is all ridiculous.

  2. The parenting/working situation is something I have no words for. But yes, all of this.
    Yours in commiseration,

    1. I just... what are we supposed to DO?

  3. Socal dendrite6:01 PM

    Our school district (in southern California) is fully online until at least mid October but almost certainly until at least January. But at least it was decided some time ago rather than 6 days before the start of term. I am still cross about the whole situation though.

    I'm from the UK originally so have been paying a lot of attention to what's going on over there. The UK is very much taking the approach that opening schools is critically important, with the Prime Minister saying schools should be the last thing to close and the first to reopen. Some schools reopened for a few weeks at the end of last term (July) and all are opening for the new term at the start of September. Of course, the UK is in a better position re COVID levels than here (and maybe it'll all go pear-shaped in a month or two), but I wish the government here was approaching schooling with the same mindset, rather than just leaving us all hanging out to dry.

    We have few resources to draw on (no grandparents or other relatives near by) so guess who is spending 4+ hours every morning with the kindergartener (and 2nd grader, but he is more self-sufficient, THANK GOD)? Yep, the (female) person with the part-time, flexible job.


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