Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Road Trip


getting the kitchen stuff for the townhouse ready - cooking utensils, food, etc.  Yes, the stack of plastic bins is full of food and kitchen things

Class supplies and equipment - yes, everything in this photo except the loom and the spool rack is going into the back of the van

Getting ready to teach at Olds takes times and effort.  Quite a lot of effort.  

This year is especially difficult because of Covid.  So I have cut back on a bunch of things I would normally bring, and added in more equipment.  The less the students have to leave the classroom, the 'safer' it will be.  For me.  But also for them.

What isn't in the photo is the room air filter.  We are bringing our personal HEPA filter for the classroom.  I'm hoping to get a large classroom, but with a smaller class (9 as of last email from the college) I expect we will be in one of the smaller rooms.  However, the smaller rooms do have windows that can be opened so we plan on having windows open, door to hallway closed with the filter running 24/7.

In addition, there will be masks for anyone who wants one and we have accumulated some rapid tests if anyone wants to test.

Given my compromised immune system. we will eat in the van, not in a restaurant during the 11 hour drive.  If the weather is nice we can sit outside, but it looks like potential for rain.  At Olds we will not be eating in the dining hall or any of the local restaurants, so we have to make sure to bring cooking pots/pans, utensils, dishes and as much food as we can.  We have a couple of large cooler bags, and Doug will go to the grocery store for things like meat or fresh veggies.

I have my N94 mask which I will be wearing.  Given the lifting of most mitigations I may not feel safe enough to remove my mask - at all.  

Because people keep telling us that we must do our own risk assessment.  Given the close quarters with 10 other people (I have a volunteer teaching assistant), and many of them travelling long distances to get to Olds, I am leery of the students encountering covid during their journey and arriving with an unwelcome passenger.

I had hoped that by now we would be in a trough, but as of this morning the 'trough' was still too high for my comfort.

So this year at Olds is going to be extra stressful for me because I have to meet the needs of my students, but I also feel the need to keep me, AND them, safe as can be.

The good news yesterday was that my eye continues to heal, but isn't quite there yet.  It's been 5 months of aggressive treatment.  The last thing eye doc said to me was "Don't get worse!" and that she wants to see me again in 8 weeks.

However, she has cut back on my eye drops, which will make teaching a lot easier.  I can now schedule them for non-class times.  

Today Doug will finish packing up the dry goods and we will both work on our personal stuff.  He is picking up a couple of books on hold for me at the library and then I will pause the rest of my holds until we are home again.  I hope to get a lot of reading done on the trip.

Our house minder has the keys to the house and will take care of things while we are gone.  Doug has cut the lawn so it shouldn't need anything until we are back.  Our housing at Olds has been arranged and Doug has a stack of books to read, too.  Fortunately he can entertain himself because I am going to be BUSY and then too exhausted by the end of the day to do much of anything except veg.  I will bring the bin of hemming, just in case I feel able to at least do that.  

This year Olds will be bittersweet.  Sweet to teach.  Bitter at how stressed I feel given my compromised immune system and the risk of covid. 

OTOH, I have some nice things planned for the week after I get home - a friend asked if we could do a Zoom catch up (yes, please!) and a weaver has asked to talk to me about the business end of weaving (yes, of course), plus the guild is trying to get a social organized so we can discuss the future and how we can move forward with events for the members, given the continuing presence of covid.

Living with covid means protecting our vulnerable members, not tossing all mitigations to the wind and telling everyone to just 'get over it'.  

Currently reading Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby van Pelt.  This is her first published novel, the first of many, I hope.  


Jane McLellan said...

Have a good trip! I trust all your preparations and precautions will stand you in good stead.

Laura Fry said...

Thanks! Hope you have a great summer (or winter if you are down under)

Unknown said...

I'm not sure if this would be helpful, but one of my weaving friends who is also immunocompromised has added the trick of keeping a fan that is pointed at her running directly behind her so that the breeze is moving the air away from her when there are students near her. Like being perpetually up wind.

Unknown said...

Yes, we have packed a fan, as well. :)