August 11, 2021

From Gerald R. Lucas

Solid First Day covid-19: day 517 | US: GA | info | act

Being back in the classroom is stressful, but it seemed to go fine today. Neither of my two classes is crowded, and all the students pretty much socially distanced. Several weren’t wearing masks, but I strongly encouraged them to do so. I think most will. I also had a student email this afternoon that a family member had tested positive for COVID, so this student may be out for a while. Autumn became nervous immediately, but this lunacy is our current reality. I’m struggling to adopt and maintain a sanguine approach to all of this.

The 1101 class was upbeat and enthusiastic about the semester ahead. I asked them all to sign up for LitWiki, so we can start with that next week. So far, one student has, and the system is working well. I still wish the ConfirmAccount extension was working, but I don’t mind making accounts by hand.

The 2111 class was a bit more reserved, but we ended the class with a discussion of what we all enjoy reading. I asked each student, and I was pleased that many of them actually do read. This was a good ice-breaker, so this class might end up being a good one. I have a couple very enthusiastic students sitting near the front. That’s always good.

Both of my online courses are full at 30 students each. This is too many, but what can I do but do my best with it. That said, I discovered that Norton not only has instructor supplements for the textbook, but also ready-made components for D2L (they have the same for Moodle, which makes me want to try it again . . . must . . . resist . . .), like quizzes, tests, and videos, and introduction overviews. This is great!—it will save me a huge amount of time in finishing up this course. One of the consequences of having too many students is that course innovation is hampered, but these ready-made resources are a huge help, especially since I’ve never taught this course before. This even makes me want to upgrade my 2111 class. Maybe by 2025...