Thursday, September 3, 2020

Back to school blues...

 So I worked like crazy leading up to vacation, had a week off that was pretty OK, and now am working like crazy making up for it. So yay?

Also school started yesterday (virtually) and its already not going well. How do you make a kid pay attention and stay engaged? We caught B reading a book during synchronous learning time several times already (1.5 days in). How do you keep on top of SEVERAL different times were kids have to log off, do their own work/have lunch/etc.. and then log back on (for two separate kids, so a million different times?) And do your own work during all that?

I had most of yesterday free to help, but today I had to go in early (to give a lecture) and G was alone for the kids' morning (I'm back home now). He had stayed up way too late working and was tired and irritable and apparently there was yelling/crying at breakfast sigh.

Also, my "admin" time for my new role is almost 100% eaten up by clinical responsibilities lately. My mentor told me I need to take time to think "big picture" and work on x/y/z projects and I'm like, WHEN. I already work most weekends, trying to update talks/papers for promotion, reviewing papers, working on research projects with fellows, etc... 

Oh, and I'm trying to lose some of the weight I've gained and I'm back to IF (the only thing that ever worked for me and I was able to sustain long term), but also lower carbs, and working out every AM (running 3-4 miles OR 21D fix extreme) and I'm FUCKING HUNGRY.  Yesterday the kids insisted on nachos for dinner and I could NOT resist, plus I had tequila, so my carbs were insane so I'm trying to hold off today...

OK rant over...lets see how "big picture planning" goes whilst hangry. Item 1 "burn it all down" 


  1. Remote learning for young kids is awful. I have no advice, only empathy.

  2. If you figure it out, let me know. For us, it seems like we've both moved to waking up at 5am to get some uninterrupted work time then (and then I conk out at 9pm!)

  3. I put LG in charge of dinner last night and they made nachos. LOL.

    For Tiny Boy, fidgets+ sensory gadgets help enormously. Also, a privacy shield (aka a BOX) For timers, his teacher has told them to be independent with getting back to class; he uses siri to set a timer/alarm on the iPad.

  4. Just a thought... is it such a terrible terrible thing if your kids read instead of listening during class? I used to sneak books all the time :) whenever I was bored in class, I would (quietly) read. Not so much during highschool, but definitely during elementary/middle school. Teachers ignored it.

    I am also trying to work out schooling... we got 1, 5, and 6th grades. I have no idea how much they will be able to learn in virtual settings. I am also really concerned about overwhelming amt of screen time and zoom meetings. We are trying to work out which hills we want to die on (forcing 1-st grader to do her writing assignment? force kids to go outside during lunch break?). Also, I am trying to communicate to kids that I am completely OK if they decide to ditch their electives (virtual gym? virtual art?) without making it sound like I am disrespectful of those areas.

  5. @Natasha....yeah, that's it exactly. I don't care at all if my high schooler is reading The Great Gatsby during math virtual algebra. I do care if my third grader is chasing the cat with a laser during "class." I'm not worried so much about screens so long as there is physical activity. Winter will be brutal.

  6. @Natasha -- I agree... but I will say that some teachers get VERY bent out of shape about it. Less likely if they can't see the kid because of zoom. I suggest letting it go. Encourage him to run around during breaks or SOMETHING to get the energy out. Maybe having him do this at home rather in the classroom is a mixed blessing in a way. I may be totally full of shit though. ;-) It's hard. Hire someone to help? We could not do virtual learning with one very very easy compliant 3rd grader without help. Is this a possibility for you?

    Right there with you on the too-much-to-do front. It's stressful, but they've kept you, so you must be doing well. No employer in academic medicine is EVER going to tell you that you are doing enough (even if you have all of the R01s), so you have to learn to be content with your productivity on your own. I bet you're getting more done than you think, it just doesn't feel that way sometimes.

    1. Also, now you made me want nachos. Thanks a lot!

    2. You should see the 'expectations' for KINDERGARTENERS that we have, which includes behaviour I'd be delighted to see from my 11 year old.