8.00 am: I caught-up on overnight emails. Ordinarily, this would be ordinary week. But as it presently stands, I’m making plans for tutorials and classes that may not be delivered face-to-face. We await the university’s decision. Many institutions are now operating exclusively on-line. Today, I’ll be working on contributions to conferences that’ll probably be postponed. In the background, my mind was mulling-over the possibilities of alternative modes of delivery, assessments projects, and examination regimes. But work one must, across the board of activities, because these things still matter. Creative people have a responsibility to devise creative solutions.
10.30 am: I received notification that next week’s Shining Pyramid symposium has been cancelled. A wise decision. Best to err on the side of caution. On the upside, I’d managed to secure a grant to produce the Noisome Spirits CD. Thus, the project has the green light, and whatever I do now — in terms of sound composition and its interpretation — won’t be wasted. With that resolve, I returned to my paper with every intention of completing both it and the composition by the original deadline.
The university issued a directive just before lunch. We will move to on-line lecture provision exclusively by this time next week. It didn’t answer all the intractable health and ethical issues that we face as a School in the lead up to Easter, however. I’m concerned for all those students known to me who, like me, already suffer from a compromised immunity. Throughout the afternoon, I was in correspondence with some of them. As yet (mercifully), no one known to me has contracted the virus. This status will change. Once we lose that innocence, the much touted phrase ‘existential crisis’ will have profoundly darker overtones for us all.
The Spring day has been somewhat at odds with the spirit of the nation, but welcome nonetheless:
4.00 pm: The next two Applicants’ Visiting Days have been cancelled. That’s welcome news, even though it’ll cause problems for recruitment. But the greatest priority at present (by far) is the health and survival of ourselves and those with whom we come into contact. 5.00 pm: In the background. I kept abreast of the first daily Government update on the virus. A major turnaround in policy, but one that’s now more in line with the wishes of the populous.
7.30 pm: I waited for university and departmental reactions to the afternoon’s recommendations and pitched my perspective, as appropriate. In betwixt, I filled out a ‘Working from Home’ assessment form. Like most academics, I work from home often. How come only now does someone wonder whether I’m safe in that domain? ‘Of course my work-space is clean and tidy!’
One of my guitar heroes, the great John McLaughlin, gave a gift to the world:
8.45 pm: Having finished the paper, I returned to the composition for the remainder of the evening.