I’m taking a page from Pietro Franceschini who started a visual diary of his Italian COVID-19 shutdown and starting my own teaching online diary. This is day one of making the impossible happen. A studio and a seminar, 9 + 1 and 10 + 2 people respectively that were reliant on my physical presence to make creative production and critical thinking happen, will now do so at a distance and through the interface of glowing screens.
I refuse to post or even “like” a funny drawing that’s been going around social media about what teaching online in 2020 is like. The drawing starts out as a well penciled drawing of a horse, but ends as an anemic stick figure, predicting that first online planning and then online teaching will progress badly. We are not getting the horse, that’s for sure, but with some luck we might get a clunky but fully fledged hybrid, a horse-monkey, say, that is nevertheless instructive and worthy.
Like other faculty I’m spending my spring break re-configuring my courses so that they work online. What this looked like since this became a possibility last Thursday is messaging, emailing, and calling the various people involved, as well as three last in-person meetings with other faculty. I have 5 more class meetings in my seminar and 10 more in my studio, both amazing groups of students, and my goal now is to make it so that they still feel like classes and not individual projects getting finished.
I also took a lot of photos of my waffle.