I spent this past Tuesday home with a sick kid. He spent most of his day laying on the couch watching episodes of the classic Doctor Who series. I spent most of my day except for a mid morning one hour meeting enjoying my outside office, also known as the back deck. I love the opportunity to work outside when the weather is nice and we are lucky enough to have a great back deck where we can work when the weather is as nice as it has been these past few days.
I try to have my back to the sliding glass windows so that I focus out rather than in, and Tuesday was no exception. Part of my teaching online Tuesday task was to systematically go through each of my classes, look at each of my students, and see what if anything they needed from me and then take care of their needs. My list of student needs did spill over into Wednesday but overall it was a productive day filled with multiple pots of green tea, lunch done on the grill, sunshine, and birdsong.
Now I didn’t ignore my son in the other room, I make sure that I take breaks between tasks so that I don’t end up with back problems from sitting too long. Sometimes I just stand and stretch for a second or two but this day I walked into the living room, commented on whichever Doctor Who episode he was watching at the time, and checked on his status and what if anything he needed.
I have several favorite working places that change with the seasons, for this season working on the back deck and enjoying my outside office while simultaneously being able to care for a sick child certainly does make teaching online one of the best career moves I ever made.
And as for my mid morning meeting when I wasn’t working in the outside office, well that was done the same place I try to have all of my meetings, because we are on video I attend those meetings from my home office, that way my background doesn’t look any different then anyone chiming in from their offices on campus and I don’t have to feel guilty about being able to work in such a fantastic and varied set of places.
I like the idea of the “boring office” for video based meetings even when I’m in areas that I should brag about since in the end I don’t want to waste time talking about where I am so that I can get back to work and enjoy where I am that much sooner.