Just over two weeks ago, President Kathleen Murray announced to students, staff, and faculty that “the fall 2020 semester will primarily be via remote learning.”
I spent the rest of that Friday processing the news and finishing other work already in progress. On Saturday, I woke up to an email message and a Slack post from a student proposing a discussion of the news that same day. As department chair, I scrambled to formulate a response. Fortunately, I’d already thought a fair bit already about this possibility. Below, find my email to all CS students that Saturday morning, and the results of a Q&A session during our regularly scheduled Tuesday evening CS Tea. Continue reading
Warning: This post is much longer than usual. It’s the synthesis of current events and some things I’ve been working on internally for years.
Since my early days at Grinnell College, Sam Rebelsky has addressed me as “beloved colleague.” No, strike that: at first he called me “beloved junior colleague.” It was only after earning tenure that I became just “beloved colleague.” Continue reading
I belong to a group of faculty and staff who’ve historically met over lunch to discuss teaching and technology. Last week, after three months of meeting on Zoom, we decided to meet in person in a classroom on campus to see what it’s like. Continue reading
In the spirit of technological exchange as we liberal arts faculty learn to teach online, I’m writing to share and reflect on a presentation I prepared using the PowerPoint slide narration feature. I then exported the slides and recording as an MP4 to upload to YouTube.
Today I ventured onto campus to accomplish three errands: to mail pins and certificates to our eight new graduates who participated in the Pledge of the Computing Professional; to pick up my own mail; and to check the height adjustments on my standing desk before I buy one to use at home. Here’s a quick sketch of my visit. Continue reading
What a wild ride this spring has been! As of 9 am this morning, for my colleagues who had grades to submit, the spring semester is finally officially over. We had a lovely Commencement, plus an end-of-year department social and a departmental Commencement reception for students and their families – all online, of course. Congratulations to the class of 2020!
Although it’s been a few weeks since pre-registration for fall, this is the first chance I’ve had to blog about it. Walla Walla was just approved for Phase 2 reopening, our new babysitter started today, and my summer research students will start on Monday.
This spring’s pre-registration was unusually unsettling. While we didn’t change our offerings or course descriptions in response to fall contingencies, course staffing has been an ever-shifting landscape. Our search for a visiting professor was cancelled, along with several other open searches across the College, just as we were about to start our screening interviews. Weeks later, with a strong local candidate, we negotiated to have the search reinstated.
I’m pleased to announce that Cary Gray will be joining us for the 2020-21 academic year after a long career at Wheaton College. (Incidentally, I read his Ph.D. work in my graduate class on Distributed Systems.) With Cary, new tenure-track colleague William Bares, and longtime colleague John Stratton, we will be able to offer a full slate of classes. However, some changes are still forthcoming; enrolled students will be the first to hear. Continue reading
Yesterday was a good day. The weather was perfect: not too warm, cool, cloudy, or windy. My daughter and I took a walk in the park and splashed in our backyard pool (5’5″, inflatable). We talked with her babysitter on Google Meet. I spent a couple of hours clearing my email inbox and taking care of some paperwork, while my daughter played by herself in the morning and watched extra episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood in the afternoon. I sat on the back patio during a long conversation with my closest colleague, and I took a walk during a shorter call with my longtime peer mentor. I wore a new pair of sandals, ordered online from the manufacturer at 50% off after a large retail order was cancelled. My Apple Watch says I got a full hour of exercise (though it also says I climbed 44 flights of stairs, which I know is not true). My husband picked up lunch from a taco truck and cooked Ottolenghi’s shakshuka for our dinner outside by the creek with a bottle of wine. My daughter’s bedtime was easy, and I had a little time to relax before bed.
This morning I woke early, took a shower, and started writing this before I heard the calls of “Mommy!” I’m about to publish as lunchtime approaches. Continue reading
Articles published by the Harvard Business Review, Psychology Today, and NPR point out we are all grieving over the changes that social distancing brings to our lives. This morning my colleague Amy Csizmar Dalal’s blog post about recognizing her grief made me reflect on how I am grieving as well. Continue reading
This post is about how I am trying to reduce my time on Facebook while still keeping the app installed on my iPhone. First a little backstory, then what I did.