Spring is Sprung

It was August 1988. Princess Beatrice–she of the recent controversial wedding dress fame–had been born on 8/8/88, and my friend had been beside herself wanting to be the one to write that date on the class board. Chalkboard, you young folk.

Who wore it better?

Late August/September was Work Experience season for Year 10. I had a week’s work experience at The Lithgow Mercury. One of the staff writers, Jeff, turned to me cheerfully one morning and said, “Come on; it’s time to go do the ‘Spring is Sprung, the grass is ‘riz’ story.” And then I was propped up against some cherry blossoms in a park on the highway, and this image was plastered across the front page.

Slow news week, clearly.

So as I sit here looking at the buds on our deciduous trees outside, reminders that it is now officially Spring here in Australia are kind of what stops everything feeling a bit … Groundhog Day.

Don’t drive angry.

I am still painting. I’m in Robert’s room now. It’s a bugger of a job, because the room is small and has some extra angles and with the bed in the middle, I can’t quite get to every wall in the way I would like. It took darn near two hours to get one coat on last night, and in the harsh light of day, I’m thinking it’s going to need three. Plus I need to come up with a plan to reach the bit I was unable to reach. And I need to do it soon, because both kids are coming home this weekend, so he can’t bunk down in his sister’s room the way he has for the last two weekends.

The ScoMo Jigsaw Puzzle continues at an incredibly slow pace, but the puzzle preserver I ordered in March is now in the post, so I guess I’d better pick up the pace. After painting, of course.

The never-ending videoconferenced meetings continue, but each day seems to bring new surprises in the higher education sector. The reforms package is headed to the Senate; locally, we have (as of an hour ago) a decision on who will be our new Vice Chancellor. This week, I was asked to give input into key enrollment metrics. At the moment, it feels like a game of academic pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. There are potential changes in students’ enrollment patterns because of bushfires, COVID, floods, unemployment, a recession (to be officially announced later this week), and the reforms before the parliament. It’s an extraordinarily difficult environment in which to try to make predictions.

One bright spot on the horizon: I’m heading up to the Southern Highlands campus for a visit on Friday. It will be my first in-person visit to any of the other regional campuses since February. One of our staff is taking an extended leave of absence and Moss Vale is close enough to not require an overnight stay, so it’s not so much “travel” as “working on campus … just at a different campus.” I’ll pack masks in case there are other tutors in the office, but in all likelihood I’ll be every bit as socially distanced as I am here at my dining room table most of the day.

No cats to sit on the laptop up there, though.

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