COVID diaries: Day 15

Week three of self-quarantine. The Governor just issued a shelter-in-place order, so I think we’re going to have to restrict our kids from playing with their friends now. It’s going to be tough for them, (and me), but if we haven’t been exposed to the virus already then I’d like to keep it that way. It’s hard to tell; everyone in the house has been sick of some kind or another for over the past month. Most of us have had a cough for several days; I think it may be pollen allergies since everything has been covered with a blanket of thick yellow pollen for the past week.

The oldest one spent much of this morning doing piano lessons while her sister did Khans Academy Kids. I let them watch a couple of Disney shows between “school” work and play. I took the little one for a bike ride while her sister did her Zoom conference with the class. She’ll have another one this evening, and is too read Harry Potter for the class. They’re outside playing right now, it’s seventy degrees and sunny outside right now.

None of the cilantro or tomato seeds we planted last week have sprouted. I’m beginning to think my seeds are bunk. We may have to start again using the old damp towel in a plastic bag method. We’ll give it another day or two first. I have a couple of garlic cloves that have sprouted shoots that I want to stick out in a small planter. I’m not sure if it’ll make more cloves, but the red onion I put out months ago has gotten bigger and has some large green scallions growing out of it that I need to use.

My wife is still trying to secure telework capabilities from her work, but hopefully we’ll be able to finish completing those requirements tonight. Their forcing her to submit all her applications as one PDF, but don’t have the programs on the work computers to be able to compile them into one document. Just when you think Kafka was being melodramatic.

As far as school goes, I just turned in the midterm that I’ve been working on, and will be turning my attention to our group Django project next. Our professor seems to have checked out completely, besides the test, there’s been no communication from him for over a week. I know he was ready to retire but this may have been the straw that broke the camels back. I’m sure he’s considering retiring if on-premise classes don’t resume in the fall. I’m pretty sure they won’t for him — he’s too high risk.

And let me just rant for a moment about the idiocy of using Blackboard for computer science courses. It’s asinine. The BB text editor used for submission is one of the worst things I have ever been forced to use. Markdown makes much more sense. Pasting preformatted code in the BBE is useless, the HTML code that it generates is enough to give any web designer a heart attack. Even the LaTex support makes no sense. It doesn’t actually work for math or formulas wrapped in dollar signs, you have to do everything, including sub and superscripting, via a toolbar. It’s extremely inane.

That said, I’m loving Overleaf, the online LaTex editor. It’s a very good compiler, and I’ve been having a lot of success with it over the past few weeks. I wish that their Git implementation worked anonymously for use with Gitlab pipelines, but that’s my only gripe with them for the most part. It looks like they’ve open sourced their implementation, so I’m going to see if I can get the university to allow me to set one up for use with my individual project. I’d like to see some sort of system that allows LaTex within a GitLab repo, so that students can fork assignment repos and submit their code as pull requests for grading through some sort of pipeline testing.

Not much else to say right now. It’s late in the afternoon, and I’ve got to launch the website for the local party and send out a MailChimp blast. Once that’s out I’ll start working on dinner and recharging for another hour or two on school work tonight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *