March 13 Day 5: Upside Down and Inside Out

Reflection after one week: At 7:36:02 AM PST on March 6, 2020 President Ana Mari Cauce started the roller coaster on which I ride. Her message cancelled face-to-face instruction and finals for the end of winter quarter. Within 48 hours many institutions of higher learning in the Puget Sound region followed suit, including my husband Mark’s. When I started writing a post to the MAA Community on Monday morning the number of institutions going to remote instruction was 28. By the time I finished the message Monday night it was approximately 120. Now exactly a week later, over 500 institutions of higher learning have done the same (http://bit.ly/covid19schools).

In my immediate family everyone has been impacted.  Today my high school junior will attend his last class for 6 weeks. Each new announcement starts another ripple of panic.  I still haven’t bought toilet paper! Another professional conference cancelled! Plane tickets to change! The repeating stress is exhausting; The information sharing, overwhelming.  The academic world has turned upside down and inside out.

And yet, outside seems so normal. Birds are singing. Rain is falling. Buses trundle by. My loved ones and I are healthy. We are resilient and can make this work. I just keep telling myself “Don’t panic. You don’t have to be an expert. Just use what you know and adapt. Ask for help. Offer help. Breathe.”

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President-Elect of the Mathematical Association of America.

3 thoughts on “March 13 Day 5: Upside Down and Inside Out

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