This school year doesn’t feel like any other

The start of the school year feels simultaneously like a Luddite’s dream and nightmare. I teach in a number of places. In one, I will be teaching outdoors in a tent

We’ve already held a faculty meeting in the tent, and I realized a few things.

I prefer to sit on the ground, but I’ll need some kind of chair when the ground’s wet. 

When it rains, it’s difficult to hear anyone who’s wearing a mask. Also, it’s difficult to be heard.  

Wearing a mask all day is different from wearing a mask for 30-minute shopping trips. I’m trying different masks, and I need to be picky about them.

For another institution, I’m teaching online. That gig has already started, and I’ve already mixed up what one can do on Zoom vs Meet. (No attachments in the chat on Meet.) I’ve got to up my sharing-ahead-of-class game. 

It was great to see my students, even if I was only seeing them in the Hollywood Squares-style grid. Meeting online didn’t feel like it did in the spring. We’re experienced now. We’re used to muting ourselves. We’re used to introducing our cats and dogs. We’re all a little exhausted. We didn’t have the summers we planned or hoped for. 

But we’ve also settled in for the long haul. 

To end with a little inspiration —

Some friends have books coming out. Renée Watson revealed the cover of her new book.

Meg Kearney’s newest poetry chapbook is out. It has a lovely trailer.

And if you need a story start, here’s a picture of a bike in a crypt. Drop me a line or share the story if you actually write it.


Someday I’m sure this bike and crypt will show up in something I write, but I can’t imagine any two people will write the same story based on this.

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