Mar 20

How are you settling in?

Everyone is getting a little more adjusted to their current realities. More people are staying indoors and at home, such as they can. And there are adjustments we’re all learning to make. It’s interesting to see and hear about. In between the many work emails and such.

Not everyone can, of course. Some people’s work requires them to be physically present. And some people just don’t get it. (But they’re liable to, if they keep that up, and they’re going to give it to others.)

And, it turns out, we don’t have the power of bulletproof young people we thought we did, either. Yes, Young People Are Falling Seriously Ill From Covid-19:

New evidence from Europe and the U.S. suggests that younger adults aren’t as impervious to the novel coronavirus that’s circulating worldwide as originally thought.

Despite initial data from China that showed elderly people and those with other health conditions were most vulnerable, young people — from twenty-somethings to those in their early forties — are falling seriously ill. Many require intensive care, according to reports from Italy and France. The risk is particularly dire for those with ailments that haven’t yet been diagnosed.

I wonder when the stigmatization of the people living their social lives really begins. You’ll have to somehow distinguish between the folks going to work to pay their bills or venturing out to take care of the vital necessities of life. But places that haven’t shut down their venues, or had their events shut down for them by executive power, the people there are going to get judged, I’m sure.

Even our cats get it; stay home.

We had to open a box late last evening and boxes, as cat owners know, may as well be C.S. Lewis’ wardrobe. So I thought I would turn it upside down. Defeat the cat! He can’t get in. No, he couldn’t. He got on. So, I thought, maybe I’ll just make you a little cat house.

He liked it immediately.

Because they don’t have enough things to climb on or in around here.

I shared that picture with a fellow cat owner, and she sent me this video and urged me to build …

I will not. Because I have another idea.

On the dual subject of pets and finding things to break up your days just now …

Don’t watch that one while walking up steps, that’s what I learned.

This one is quite interesting, for different reasons:

These sound interesting to me.

Experiments: Now is a great time to learn science by doing science. In this series, we take kids through real scientific research projects, showing them how to apply the scientific method to develop their own experiments. Check out the full collection of experiments — and give one a try!

Explainers: We have explainers on many topics, from how to read brain activity to the greenhouse effect. Each is designed to take a deeper dive into the concepts that underlie science news and research.

Technically Fiction: These stories look into the science behind fiction, from Harry Potter to bigfoot to what it would take to make an elephant fly. These can be a great place to start if your child doesn’t think they like science.

I started a musical conversation this evening. Some of the good ones that came through …

And this is aimed at marketers, but we’re all doing a bit of that these days, if you think about it. So think about it.

Be mindful. That’s terrific outreach advice. Grace and patience, friends. Grace and patience.

Mar 20

Tonight’s shoot

I worked from home today, which we’ll all be saying a lot in the weeks to come. I did go in this evening for a television taping. The sports crew was up tonight. They wandered in, wondering if this was the end of their year on campus. Our last in-person classes are tomorrow, and then there’s spring break and at least a few weeks of virtual classrooms.

Students are being encouraged to return home. We’re now well into the plans of how we work with 46,000 students on this campus, the 100,000-plus at all of the statewide IU institutions and the countless projects that go on at each and every one of them. Unprecedented is a word you’ll hear a lot. We’re making this work as we go, or some variation, is a theme everyone will hear a lot.

Grace and patience is something I imagine I’ll be saying a lot.

Sports kept it simple tonight. This was a sink in moment for a lot of us.

Michael Tilka, a senior, and IUSTV’s sports director for 2019-2020 signed off. It is surprisingly typical that he was talking about everyone else. That’s what he’s done throughout. He was, this semester, the longest-serving member at IUSTV. I hope that wasn’t the final sign off of his four-year run at IUSTV, where he’s won awards and helped others win awards. I hope it wasn’t the last time, because I would miss his demeanor and what he’s still capable of doing here.

What he saw his freshman year and what he’s leaving his senior year are remarkably different things. He, and the sports directors that came just before him, righted the ship. They developed the right kind of culture in the sports department. It is one of those things I’m always telling the student leaders will come up in a job interview. One of those questions that will give them an advantage, if they distill these experiences into an anecdote.

I sat in a post-production meeting with all the younger sports students tonight. I wanted to thank and congratulate them, as I so often want to do. They each went around the room and shared their favorite moment of the year — and I hope this is not the end of their year together, but it has that feeling. Some of the stories I knew. Some I heard for the first time. All of the memories got laughed at. They had a great time with it. Real bonding is taking place there. Michael, I think, realizes it’s a lasting culture he’s helped establish. Along the way, most importantly, he’s found his own mature voice.

I’m glad they didn’t ask me to take part in that favorite moment exercise. It’s hard to explain my favorite moment of a year when my favorite moment, each year, is always the same. It is gratifying to see the progress the students make, collectively and individually. Sometimes it is downright tangible.

I am proud of my friend Michael Tilka. I hope this wasn’t his last time on air at IUSTV, but if we don’t get these last few weeks back for him, and all of our other seniors, I am excited to see him go out into the world and continue his success.


Mar 20

They’re talking bass-kit-ball

It was another night for television. Television has been written, television was produced and the audience shall have television. They’re going to enjoy it, too, if they like sports.

And they always ask the question: when is it too early to start talking about the basketball tournament? The answer it is never too early. Especially since everything will be different after next week, and we’ll have to figure it all out again.

There should be a consequence, a good-natured one mind you, for bad prognostication. It isn’t a tar-and-feather circumstance, of course, but maybe it’s a wear-a-feathery-mascot-and-hold-a-sign situation. A you have to do the next TV stunt sort of resolution. Something we can all laugh at, like predictions.

Which, hey, that’s just good practice, I guess. Plus, someone is going to get to say they were right about one of these predictions. That’s what’s fun about playing Nostradamus. If time proves you right you can have the crew roll that prediction as a replay: I was brilliant! See! If your predictions don’t work out, you just gloss over the whole notion of it ever happening.

Some things from Twitter:

I thought about that for a while. That might not have been what she wanted to happen, but it’s my mother so of course she knew it would happen. In a way, then, that was exactly what she wanted to happen. In which case, happy to help!

This gives me an idea:

How much could a full-ceilinged aquarium weigh, anyway? Surely the house’s structural supports could manage that sort of challenge.

It’s not like jellyfish weigh much, after all.

Feb 20

Moving camera shots are good shots

Look at that whip around coverage. All the places that Hoosier fans need to see, the sports guys took them there. This is fine coverage.

And check out 25 minutes of conversation about collegiate tennis, information you didn’t know you needed it, until it was given to you.

Mostly, I like the jib work. Big fan.

Feb 20

We don’t focus on the flaws in the plan

So, again, the nice thing about extending your weekend thoughts is that if you devote Monday and Tuesday to looking back and enjoying the things you might have had the opportunity to do over last weekend, you avoid the front part of the present week. And since you’re going to look forward, anyway, on Thursday and Friday to whatever you have planned in the upcoming weekend, you really only have to be confronted by the work week on Wednesday.

There are flaws in that plan. Not paying attention to detail isn’t something that can safely be done in every workplace. Mentally checking out isn’t something that every profession will allow. But if you have the opportunity — perhaps during a lull or your regular lunch break, while waiting on hold or staring at that screen willing an email reply that you know isn’t coming in a timely fashion or during a meeting where someone else clearly hasn’t done their homework — it could be worth considering. You’re already subscribing to the philosophy of Dean, Reno and Frenette, anyway.

So onto to Thursday, which is basically the prelude to the weekend, right?

Sports shows in the studio this evening. And aside from being able to pronounce sophisticated words like “Mobile” things went well:

They talked sports on the sports talk show, as well. Novel concept, I hear you say. We’re innovators around here. Tonight’s topic was baseball:

And before I realized it, they’d wrapped their two shows, returned everything in the studio to their home positions, shut down the lights and had gone on to their post-production meetings, editing, homework, parties or wherever else they may go.

I returned to my office to stare at the screen waiting for email replies. Dreaming of the weekend already.