Deviations will not be allowed, or the whole course train will crumple in a tremendous crash.
So: Mondays I give the lecture I prepared the day before, and get the genetics lab ready, and grade student problem sets. Tuesday, prep the lecture for Wednesday, and teach the lab. Wednesday, give the lecture, compose a new problem set, also work with my biocomm students. Thursday, second lab…also the day the university throws meetings at me. Friday, all spiders. Saturday, run through the next genetics lab, make a video summary. Sunday, write Monday’s lecture.
Can’t stop all semester long. The routine rules me now.
Except this week, I have to write the first take-home midterm, which I’ll then have to grade over the weekend. I’ll cope. Today, for instance, I got up at 4:30 and got the lecture done early, to give myself a little time to put together a first draft of the exam. The trains will run on time, or a head will roll. (I’m a fascist to myself, not to the students.)
I’m also anxious about this stupid pandemic and how it’s going to try and derail me. That’s why I’ve got all these contingency plans in my pocket. I have a timetable. Death and disease must not disrupt it.
You may ask, this is only the third week of a 15 week semester, why a midterm now? One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that if the students don’t the simple fundamentals early on, their train will crash and burn when we get to the hard stuff, so I do an early check on their comprehension.