Category Archives: Work

Reading

While I have paperwork and some webinars, I’m trying to do a lot of reading and research, mostly on cultural preservation in times of war. I will be teaching a class on the subject next spring, and I am also preparing some other types of trainings on the subject. I’m just trying my best to keep busy while working from home.
A letter went out from our university president yesterday stating that our jobs will be secure through May 1st, but after that they will re-evaluate the economics of the university and May be reassessing our positions. I’m hoping my boss, who’s not a very strong leader, has it in him to fight to keep us on if cuts are made. We have an endowment that I hope can be used to save us, if it comes down to money. It really sucks that the president is considering this because his last day is May 31st. If he does a massive layoff, which he hinted at, it will leave the new president with a big mess on his hands. 
I pray that we can keep on keeping on. How do you justify your job when you’re the museum educator and none of the professors are using you in the new online format? I also handle all the public programming, but if people can’t gather in one place, my job becomes moot. I’m worried the university will see me as nonessential. Therefore I have to find some projects to keep me busy while I’m at home during this time of crisis.

At Home: Day 3

Contrary to the pictures I have posted, I actually do get up, shower, and get dressed each day before going and sitting in front of my computer to do work. The governor of Vermont is enacting a stay at home order today at 5 pm which will last at least three weeks. We are only supposed to leave home for essentials. While some of my coworkers have to go into the museum for essential functions, I can do everything from home. I was originally scheduled to work in the museum today, but my boss decided I should continue to work from home. 
As cases grow in Vermont and neighboring New York, I have gone out and done some shopping, at least what I was able to buy. There is no toilet paper, thankfully I have some already, and the grocery stores are almost completely out of pasta and frozen dinners. 
All my medical appointments have been postponed. My physical therapy on my shoulder I injured (I have a torn labrum) won’t begin again until it is safe again to go out and return to normal. At least I have my exercises to build up the muscles around the labrum to help it heal. My six month dental cleaning has also been cancelled. They haven’t rescheduled my doctors’ appointments set for the coming weeks, but I think it’s just a matter of time.
Currently, I have enough food and supplies to last a little while, so I’m good for now. I’ll continue to work from home. God only knows what all I’ll be working on, but I’ll figure out something. How is everyone else doing during this COVID-19 outbreak? I’d love to hear from y’all.

Working from Home

This week, we will be working from home. Only one of us will be at the museum each day. My day will be Wednesday. We have to document hourly what we are doing. That’s a little annoying, but understandable. I will actually have to get up and get dressed though because we will be in touch through texts and video conferencing. I will actually be doing work though. I have research to do and classes to create. I also have a few articles to write. I should be able to get work done though with minimal interruptions. Isabella will probably interrupt me more than the people I work with. Some of my coworkers are complaining about going stir crazy; however, I am looking forward to working at home.
Also, I hope everyone will wish my friend and regular blog reader Susan a very happy birthday.

Finally! A Decision

After a week of indecision, the university finally granted us the ability to telecommute. It will begin Monday and will last at least a week, maybe longer. They are giving us today and tomorrow to prepare for working from home. I hate to break it to them, but I’ve been preparing since last week. Now that I have my new MacBook at work that I can take home, there’s nothing keeping me from working at home except an official okay, which was granted today. I do have to go in to the museum for a full day on Wednesdays to check things out and make sure all is safe. However, I’ll be the only one there and should have no contact with anyone: I dread having to document what I do every hour of the workday at home, but it can be done easy enough.


Telecommuting

While more and more people begin telecommuting and limiting their face-to-face interactions, my university can’t figure out what to do with the staff. Faculty and students are working from home and doing everything online, but universities across the nation are putting their staff at risk requiring them to continue to work. I understand that some staff members are essential to the continued operation of the university, but let’s face it those who can work from home, should be working from home. Furthermore, the museum is closed to the public. There is nothing that we can’t do from home at this point. We are not essential during this crisis, yet we are still being made to go I to work. I hope the administration finds their senses soon.


University Health

The university where I work has extended spring break until March 22. We are expected to resume regular classes on March 23. While we are writing contingency plans for a move to online classes, we won’t know what will happen until after an administration meeting today. If the virus spreads further in Vermont (we currently only have two confirmed cases so far), they may have faculty and staff work from hone. Colleges and universities all around us are either cancelling the semester or going fully online until further notice.


Work

Work is a bit slow going right now. I only know of three people other than staff who actually came into the museum yesterday. When students aren’t around, it’s always like this. Today, we will have meetings all afternoon. We have to come up with our 2021 strategic plan. There are few things more boring than these meetings. This one has the potential to be slightly interesting because we will also discuss our pandemic action plan. We basically have to decide how we will continue to work if they close campus. Middlebury College which is south of us will start their spring break a week early starting on Friday and then go to online classes until a reassessment can be made in mid-April. It is not yet known what, if anything, we will do. If we do close campus, we can certainly continue operations virtually until we can return. Since Middlebury is closest in size to us, we will probably look to them for guidance as our schools often consult each other over issues.


Spring Break

This week is spring break for my university. As staff, we only receive today off, so I plan to take advantage of it. I’m going to try to sleep in. We’ll see how that works out. Since I’ve begun using my CPAP, I sleep so much better at night and wake up ready for my day in the morning. While this is a very good thing, sometimes I just wish I could sleep in.


Opening

Tonight is the opening reception for our new exhibit about swords and guns. We have everything from pre-Islamic Arabian swords to a Star Trek Bat’leth (You know me, the Trekkie, it’s actually a replica of the Klingon Sword of Kahless). We even have a sword made by Tiffany’s. In the gun department, we have a Chinese a wall gun which is over six feet long, and took two men, one in front and one at the trigger, to hold and fire it. We also have Persian rifles, a gun owned by Abraham Lincoln, and dozens of pistols. We have a massive arsenal in our gallery right now. The cadets will love this exhibit. Some of these weapons are really beautiful pieces of art.


Busy Week

There is so much to do this week. The opening of our new exhibit is Thursday, so we will be working extra hard to get everything in its place. I also have to finally finish getting everything out of my old apartment. The end of the week will culminate with Winter Is a Drag Ball Saturday night. If all gets done by Sunday, I can actually have a day of rest. I will need it. I am feeling more than overwhelmed.


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