In the day room

More days than not this summer, I sat down in the morning resolved to try and do some computer work. Teaching through the 2020-21 year had been grueling, isolating, and alienating, and by spring I was dissipated and spent. I had gotten better at teaching online, keeping contact with at least some students, trying my best to connect—me to them, and they to each other—despite never meeting a single one in person. All of this had been meant to be temporary—an emergency fix, a stopgap. But the field dressing we placed in March 2020 never really got replaced, and by more than a year later, my teaching felt rickety, and I was wheezing and limping into the end of the semester. Some of this resembles the normal academic rhythm, and I always need part of summer to recuperate and restore my enthusiasm for the work. This year, I waited for its return through May, June, and July, and was able to muster only a few hours a week of energy and effort. Most days, I sat at my computer in the morning, concluded I simply Could Not, and went off to do the things I

Read →