- Author: Wendy Powers
How is everyone doing? Cabin fever is likely getting to many of us, even the introverts. I am fortunate to be able to get outside into a 5-acre yard and walk the 2-mile, roundtrip, stretch of road without any risk of passing another person. For those in apartments or condos, maintaining physical distancing while getting outside is far more challenging. On the upside, those in apartments or condos don't have landscape maintenance. Surprisingly, even to me, I welcomed a chance to pull a few weeds this weekend! Like many across California, we are getting our garden site ready. While I usually recommend against, this year is not typical, so I am supporting the idea of a modest-sized garden. Garden size is key to the level of support I offer for this activity.
Last week, I was unsuccessful in keeping with my ‘2 per day' plan for reviewing academic advancement packages. With the help of the weekend, I was close, a mere one of the ten planned reviews. I still need to complete two reviews today. I now have 29 cases reviewed, of 64, in addition to completing reviews for my annual reviews as the first-level reviewer. My staff reviews remain to be completed, pending successful resolution of technical challenges with the new People Soft program.
I could have accomplished more work over the weekend, but as some of you know, my current office, while the rest of the family is home, is in my garage space that doubles as a sewing/crafting room. Despite spending the week there on Zoom calls, I found myself back there during periods of rain. I joined the Million Mask Challenge and found a place in LA to donate the 29 completed products. I would not survive a job where I was paid by the piece. Furthermore, following instructions has always been a challenge, assuming I even read them. I maintain, however, that product quality was not compromised, and I was better able to use up what I had on hand and avoid going out for supplies. That's my argument anyway.
Lynn Wunderlich is trying something new this year. Because of the stay at home order, she needed to change her plans for the 2020 Foothill Grape Day. Rather than hold a full day meeting, Lynn and her team of speakers are offering a series of Zoom sessions throughout the week. The scientist in Lynn calls this an experiment and will assess, post event, how this approach worked for both the speakers and the participants. I am eager to hear what she learns!
No doubt, most, if not all, of us are juggling unexpected changes to plans and schedules due to COVID-19 with the already full calendars of planned work. At times, it seems the adjustments needed as a result of COVID-19 are all-consuming, making it difficult to get anything done, much less what had been long planned. Many universities are discussing the impact of the situation on academic advancement schedules and considering blanket extensions to the advancement 'clock.' That's not to say that candidates don't need to meet the same criteria; instead, they have more time to do so. Extending the clock makes sense when you consider that the expectations won't change; what changes is the ability to accomplish goals during this unusual time. The same discussions have taken place in various meetings I attend within UC. If I were to guess, I would expect that any announcement would follow the current review cycle and reflect what we know at that time. I think it is safe to say that everyone recognizes the challenge of managing the disruption. After all, we are all in this together.