One of the most common changes that this time of quarantine-at-home-except-for-essentials has brought is that of working remotely from home. For those of us who do that all the time (like me), what makes it so different now (aside from the awfulness of the world situation, of course) is that now my college-professor husband is doing it as well. In the same home. At the same time. For the indefinite future.
In short, the playing field has changed.
[Before I go on, I need to say that, given what others are going through and doing, these are not complaints. Merely humorous observations about my current situation. To the medical professionals who literally put their lives out there everyday; the first responders who do not wait even a second to rush through that proverbial front door; the delivery people and store personnel who keep us stocked with what we need — we owe you all the gratitude in the world. And then some.]
Class has been in session in our home for the past three weeks. Four days a week, anywhere from three to six hours a day. And since two of those days have three-hour classes in the evening, you could say that I can be caught lurking at any time.
Sneaking from my bedroom office into the kitchen to score a snack (then running back to the bedroom to unwrap it — too much noise otherwise in the dining-room area, which is B.’s office). Popping up in the background of his computer screen to flit in and turn up the thermostat when it’s too chilly. Creeping in through the front door with my groceries as quickly and quietly as I can so that Zoom doesn’t zoom in on my antics.
And antics they are. Because our fridge is on the fritz, we’re talking mostly pantry items, particularly cans of soup. Cans that roll out of bags and onto the floor if you’re not careful. Cans that stack up nicely on pantry shelves unless you misjudge.
Then Newton’s laws take over. The law of gravity, of course. And the law that talks about how an object in motion stays in motion. Until you manage to trap said object under the legs of a kitchen chair and crawl around after it, all the while attempting to maintain some semblance of quiet. And some sense of balance. Or not. And trying not to curse when you prove Newton right. (Gives new meaning to the idea of calling an audible.)
To his credit, B. doesn’t miss a beat. The lecture continues, the answers to the students’ questions go on uninterrupted, and I am learning quite a lot. (This week, specifically, about torts in one course and personal property in the other). Of course, being the student I am, I find myself wanting to shout out the answers. I did that once — then sprinted away in my bunny slippers before anyone figured out it was me.
But the biggest learning curve came on day one when I decided I wanted to sit in on the class (out of Zoom’s way, of course). So there I was, curled up on the living room love seat, playing Candy Crush on my tablet while I listened to B. teach. All was going well — for both of us — until his video went out. Uh-oh. Because — who knew? — our internet speed is too slow to support two devices fighting for that much WiFi at the same time.
Oops. Looks like my candy crushed the connection.
© 2020 Claudia Grossman