I hope you are staying safe and well. Things continue to be crazy, don’t they? How is lockdown going for you? Got any crazy stories?
In my case, we’re now at the end of a very strange semester. Like most institutions of higher ed in the US, my university switched over to all-remote instruction in March, and we’ve been doing that ever since.
A lot of people are very unhappy about it, although many understand the necessity. For me, it wasn’t that bad, although it was a fair amount of extra work. It seems like the pandemic has split professions into two groups: those that have a lot less work, and those that have a lot more work. Teaching mainly seems to have fallen into the latter camp. Fortunately for those of us in higher ed, we have the best of both worlds: we continue to be employed, but can work from the safety from our own homes. Sadly, many others are not so lucky.
What will happen to higher ed going forward, however, is anyone’s guess. Long-running systemic problems such as declining enrollment, rising debt, and increasing stratification between senior administration and junior flunkies are coming to an acute head because of the pandemic, and there’s a good chance that a lot of institutions won’t survive the next few years. And, pessimistically, I am guessing that a lot of Less Commonly Taught Language programs won’t survive, even if their parent institutions do. Trivial, trifling programs such as Russian are often first on the chopping block when budget cuts get pushed through.
So you know what that means! More fodder for my stories! Since I’m a few years behind current events in my story timeline, I don’t know yet when/if I’ll be able to fit in the pandemic, but I’m sincerely hoping I manage it. The Meet/Zoom/WebEx/FaceTime meetings alone are priceless. And if I don’t squeeze in a few scenes in which senior faculty try and fail to do basic arithmetic, I shall be very sad. (News flash: 18 divided by 6 is 3. Funny how often the times table turns up in real life).
I’ve been pretty busy with the end of this crazy semester, but I have managed to put my books up on other retail sites as part of my strategy of “going wide” and distributing on all platforms–including libraries!
I’m still waiting for the books to show up in Overdrive and Bibliotheca (the library systems), but in the meantime I *am* trying to get reviews up on other platforms. So if you’ve read Campus Confidential in the past and feel moved to leave a review, it would be most appreciated! Reviews left anywhere are very welcome, but I’m particularly looking to get them on non-Amazon sites like Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.
And if you haven’t read Campus Confidential yet but you’d like to, just reply to this post or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll send you a free review copy!
Well, that’s about it for this week. Stay safe, everyone, and happy reading.