Next semester I return to the classroom from what was supposed to be just some time for child-rearing. There is a daycare center on campus, but what my SO and I have opted for is a combination of on and off days on campus, setting up a nice play and sleep area in my office, and my faculty mentor graciously agreeing to babysit if I have the little one and need to teach or have a meeting.
I’ve very nervous about returning to campus. The lab has been fully active, but we’re implementing split shifts for the students including weekends so animal and cell experiments can continue without any deaths occurring. Everyone that has computational work or is writing stays home all the time. Any students that aren’t comfortable coming in, I’ve switched to projects they can do from home at the expense of a slight delay to their graduations. I don’t have any in-person meetings, including with my students, and with Teams this has all been not so bad. For teaching though my school has opted for a hybrid classroom for classes that have a lab portion. Two students (of the typical four-person groups) come in and run the experiment with the other students on Teams. They work together on post-processing. Then the other two come in and the first two stay home. I’m here the whole time. Classroom instruction, at least for now, is 100% online. I don’t mind it so much, though it is a little distracting.
This year I was going to take a break from grant applications because of the little one and post-tenure I want to delve into some higher risk ideas. So the lack of students in the lab isn’t really hurting me so much. And the paranoia about getting sick is kind of in the back of my mind anyway so, when combined with a lack of sleep, I’m having trouble focusing on grants so this is, timing-wise, kind of working out.