Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Big Quiet

Today I drove across Tallahassee, over crunchy bits of leftover trees and branches, across the patches of town where the traffic lights didn't work, past dark silent restaurants, most notably past Chilis (also dark) which had a note taped to the door -- I didn't pull over to read it but I know it said "Dear Melissa, we are sorry but this is real. See you when things get back to normal."

I drove past FSU down Tennessee to TCC and to my office. My office keys are at home, and the building is locked but I **have** to know if that wonky window in my office somehow swung open during the storm and drenched my yoga frogs and let my friendship plant fly out the window like Dorothy flew to Oz. I need to know this more than anything, so I'm here.

A quick glance at the second floor tells me my windows stayed latched. Hooray.

Still, even from the parking lot it is clear that the building is not quite right -- the emergency lights are on and fire alarm lights are flashing in the classrooms.  I think to tell campus police but then I'm sure they know, so I stay in my car and drive home to try to find some sort of min-vacation and peace in this strange big post- hurricane quiet.

Our College has now announced it will remain closed through Tuesday, hoping to open Wednesday.

I have students asking if we will REALLY have a big Quiz on Wednesday that was supposed to be last Friday and my answer is just this -- I don't know.

 I don't know if the campus and our classroom will be ready, and I don't know if I can honestly expect my students who have lived through days of hardship to actually study their history notes and complete online quizzes.   I don't know what I'll do exactly to help the students who have no access to internet or computers and can't finish their work.

I haven't decided my next step and I don't need to yet because  I don't know what comes next, I only know that we are all in this together.

Meanwhile, for those of you sweating it, I will push back the online due dates, don't worry. Twenty years of teaching college history and dealing with things like this has such has taught me that there will be time to figure all this out.