I completed my first week of Rona College. We are not allowed to require masks, just recommend them, but the overall mask rate in my classes is around 80%. I make sure to wear mine to set an example. But we are already hearing about cases among our students, which brings me to my next topic. I am scheduled for surgery on Sept. 14th. They called me on Friday, Sept. 3rd, and confirmed the operation and went over the pre-op instructions with me. I must get a COVID test on Sept. 13, the day before surgery. My fear is that I was either exposed last week or will be this week, thus testing positive on the 13th, whether symptomatic or not, and then having to delay the surgery again. I should’ve had it originally in May of 2020, yet here we are. Given how campuses are basically COVID factories right now, it’s just a matter of time before we all get it anyway.
I will say this though, it feels good to be back. It is funny how quickly I resumed the daily rhythm of teaching in person, office hours, and meetings after spending 18 months at home. Being back in front of the classroom feels good too. I was worried that I had forgotten how to do it and that I’d be like the Old Lady Rose character on Titanic walking in like, “It’s been 84 years,” but it all came back to me. When I’m there doing my job, the thought of risk never enters my mind. It is when I make my hour long drive home that I wonder if that will end up being the day I got exposed. Truthfully, I worry more for our students, some of whom live at home with vulnerable family members, then I do about myself. I came to terms with my own mortality years ago.
It is a similar mindset to what I had during my career in the fire department. Sure, it is a dangerous job, but if you dwell on the dangers, you can’t do the job. So, you take what precautions you can and put the rest out of your mind and go to work. There’s one big difference though. I took an oath for one job, and it is not the one I have now.
This will be the last Sunday without the NFL, which is nice. We are doing a family/friends fantasy football league this year (in addition to the baseball one that we have done for several years). Draft Day was yesterday. Patrick Mahomes is my wife’s favorite player, her being a Chiefs fan and all, but I had the number one pick in the Draft. I took him and have been yelled at ever since. High school and college football have started too. High school football is a very big deal down here in Texas, as I’m sure you’ve heard.
Right now, I’m working on a submission package for a writing competition; the winner to receive a five-book contract to write a series. It frustrates me to no end that despite spending 18 months at home, I got nothing of any value accomplished. I could have written my third novel during this time, but I didn’t. Though Molly’s Song came out in July, I have no idea when my next one will be out because I haven’t written it yet. Since I work best the busier I am, I’m hoping that being back to work in person might actually make me more productive. We’ll see.
Until next time, friends, take care of yourselves. And each other. L.H.