This week, the governor stated that face-to-face school would not resume this year. Which is something. It is hard to know what that means. Like, that we’re expecting for it to get worse? Or that even as bad as it is, it doesn’t matter because so many people have been laid off of work that we are now in the place to be hyper safe, because its not like jobs are on the line. Or is the stay at home order being kept in place through mid June? Another two months? At one point, it seems like that is going to happen, because you can’t send people back to work whose children are home, right? I just don’t know it all means.
I am pretty nervous for my work situation. June 30 is the end of our fiscal year. But I think the expectation is that there is a lot that is going to change. My institution said back in the winter there likely wouldn’t be merit raises and we don’t generally do cost of living raises. My boss is having conversations with administation, but the very fact that they are talking about us being okay for through the end of THIS fiscal year makes me nervous.
Our unit has managed to survive budget cuts and restructuring for the last seven years. I think it would be a miracle for the center to survive in tact through what is about to happen. I don’t know what it would look like, but there are units that have been wholesale eliminated from the university. I am trying not to think about this too much, because there isn’t a lot that I can do at this point. But it is in the back of my mind.
The good news is that Dave recently changed jobs and is in a good position for at least a year. So, if anything happened to my job, we could probably get through it. I mean, we are, for the first time in a while, not relying wholly on my income. So, if I did get sacked, I might be able to take a visiting professor or fulltime contingent faculty position somewhere. Which is bonkers to think about, and defintely not ideal in any way.
But, it is a little disheartening, because were were starting to get serious about buying a house this year. I think that the conventional wisdom says that a recession is a good time to buy a house. Although, I have also read stuff that says, dips in housing prices aren’t likely going to happen in Chicago. Largely, because there is a huge proportion of “desirable” real estate that will remain in demand (read: real estate on the north side). I mean, a person could buy very nice houses in the city, but they are in neighborhoods where there are a lot of problems.
The other really good news is that with the end of the school year, my current responsibillities for Nico’s school’s parent group are mostly over, regardless of anything else. Even if we’re not able to move back to North Park and he stays at his school, I’m trying to step down from being president and move more into grant writing. It seems as if our school has a real need for continued funding for computer labs and chromebook carts, etc. I think if there was person on our board who was able to take on a lot of that, then what would help alleviate some of the fund raising activities the board has to do. And I am interested in learning more about these activities. And it better suits my availability. Like, I am not the person who should be running day to day stuff, I never had the temperment or the time for it.
We’re falling into a rhythm with the homeschooling. It hasn’t been bad… its just that the days are long. I am routinely finding myself working from 9am to 11pm… with intermittent breaks… 45 minutes to help with some math. 10 minutes 5-6 times a day, to redirect Nico to school work or check in to see what else he needs to do. We’re taking a couple hours for dinner and usually to watch something. But, then I often check back into my email or finish tasks up for the day. But, my physical activity is way down. I’ve been rowing for 30-60 minutes most days per week, but I am not playing soccer, not lifting weights, not walking all over Lincoln Park during the work day. Not coaching soccer or doing judo. I am trying to take it easy and give myself a break. Even if it means keeping my desk drawer full of candy and sugar. But nothing about any of this is normal.