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Dean’s Log, Stardate 3/19/2020


I’m blogging regularly these days now that we are all #WorkingFromHome, or #WFH. When I first posted I was working at the dining room table. Since then there have been some family discussions and some moving of furniture. I’ve acquired a makeshift desk in our back room. Check out the photo below. I was heartened to see that even our Prime Minister is making do in a home office, even though his is nicer than mine.

I’ve been working at home now since Monday and the first full day was Tuesday. Today is Day 4 of what looks like it will be a long stretch of social distancing.

What are my days at home like? I’m part of a COVID-19 Academic Planning Group for the university. We teleconference for an hour or so usually at the start of the day. Sometimes there’s also a teleconference of deans after. I meet with the Dean’s office staff and those team meetings have moved to WebEx too. There are also WebEx meetings with the Dean’s Council which is some of the Dean’s office staff and the Chairs and Directors of the Departments and Schools that make up the College.

All of my meetings with individuals have turned into phone calls. I was paranoid the other day about getting a sore throat but then I realized it was because I’d been talking on the phone all day.

Now we’re at all home the volume of email has increased an incredible amount. So after all the talking there’s also a lot of emailing.

My favourite meeting so far was the Dean’s Office Coffee Hour, organized by Sandra Sabatini, our Research and Communications Manager. When I first saw the WebEx invite appear in my calendar, I sighed. Another meeting! I wanted some tea and a break. But then I looked at the subject line and smiled. I got tea and cookies. Cheddar got to meet some other dogs, also working at home.

The Dean’s Office staff are a great team and they’ve been pulling together some resources for students, faculty, and their families all together at home.

Embodying social distancing?
Look after your heart and mind (and body!) by getting creative!

Introducing the College of Arts activity list for joy in a time of social distancing. 

We are posting links that allow you to enjoy/do/share art without leaving your home. Be sure to keep checking back as this is a growing list! Happy art-ing!”

The webpage is here.

I’m also trying to get a little bit of my own research and writing done. All of my conferences have been cancelled or postponed so I don’t have talks to finish. Instead, I’m working on some of the talks I gave last year to turn them into articles or books chapters. When I’m writing it’s not because I think I need to be productive in that way. I’m a full professor and a dean. I’m writing because it makes me feel better. It’s a thing I can do. I’m writing for mental health and emotional well being.

I am also walking Cheddar lots and doing yoga at home.

What are you doing for mental health and emotional well being in this time of social distancing?

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