Mar 20

Spri — nope, not yet

We’re just a week or so away from the visual clues being unavoidable. And then it’ll quickly turn to all-green, all-the-time, which takes a few days to get used to. And then, when you think back on it, you can spend a few days marveling at how you get used to it so quickly.

But first, this little budding stage of things:

These photos were all taken on our Monday evening walk, which was beautiful and delightful in most every way. Today was not picturesque. It was cold and gray and damp and that’s not frustrating at all. The clouds move so slowly. I looked at them during this evening’s slogging run of just under four miles with no inspiration, no legs or anything resembling pace, and I was again mystified how there were no clouds, but but the always terribly exciting white gray. You can’t see any of the defining characteristics that allow you to distinguish one large collection of very tiny droplets of water or ice crystals from the next. It all just … is.

I’m ready for spring.

It’s been a very mild winter.

This tree is ready, too. And that bloom isn’t the only thing around here excited for something to happen, and waiting for it to do so:

I got photobombed.

It was pretty much the highlight of the walk, which was already a fine part of a nice day.

I’m just showing off the non-macro lens on my phone, now.

On these nice walks, I should take my real camera. As I was taking that photograph, on my phone, this skein of Canada geese flew over.

They’re heading west, in the direction of several nameless ponds. They should go back north. But I guess they know something I do not.

Mar 20

There’s a moral in here for all of us

A good thing to do after a few days of working in the home office is to go outside and see some things. It was the sort of weather the universe should provide to you from time to time. And when I say “from time to time” I mean “all the time.”

So that’s where I am, in the acceptance phase of the last month of winter. Sure, sure, spring starts later this week, but it won’t be observed here, in a consistent way at least, until next month. But today, today the sun put on a peak-of-youth sort of performance. An I know not, yet, what I can really do presentation, really. It only hit the 50s, but after damp, or cold, or lots of days of both, and far too many days without seeing the miracle of fusion in the sky first hand, it was perfect.

I didn’t stop to smell the flowers. I should have. But that, I thought, like this joke, would have been a little too on-the-nose. I did take a photo:

I was wearing jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt and a fleece; The Yankee had a sleeved shirt and a vest. Before we’d circled back around we’d dropped the fleece and the vest. It was almost as it should feel. For February. So I got it in mid-March. I’m relieved to receive it.

There are all of the not-so-subtle signs of spring emerging:

Two or three more weeks, we’ll have Spring, The Inevitable. Spring really can be nice here. Just because this winter has been as mild as a thing that is mild beyond real description won’t make it any less picturesque.

Stop and smell the flowers. And stop making the bad joke. Instead, do the things you’d otherwise regret for their omission. That’s an enduring lesson life is going to teach me one way or another. I hope it takes, soon. Just like the grace and patience mantra.

Mar 20

So, late this afternoon, news happened

Sometime late this afternoon the email came down from the university president that in-person classes would be canceled after next week’s spring break. Instruction will be online for at least two weeks, and the campus would be closed for all but essential functions.

And that’s how the planning, and a series of meetings, began. Meantime, my news friends reworked their entire show in about 90 minutes, which is a fair approximation of the real world. I couldn’t be more proud of how they handled it.

Here’s how it all worked. Charlee had the lead story and a package about coronavirus anyway, one that she was producing before the big change. Then she ran into the IU spokesman and stood him up for a few questions. She brought in the video. She told us where the good quote was and sat down to rewrite her work while another producer took the footage and found the quote. Meanwhile, still others were reworking the script and the tease and plotting out how all of the other little things would have to change when you rewrite your entire show at almost the last minute. I couldn’t be more proud of how they handled it.

I know I wrote that twice, but I meant it.

So … we’ll work on campus this week. The students will start drifting away for their regular spring break plans or whatever their new plans will be. And then we’ll all work from home for a while. But I’m sure we’re do several more series of meetings and emails and phone calls detailing out how all that will go.

There’s no handbook for this. There’s no previous example to fall back on. No specific contingency plan. We’ll all have to work through it with grace and patience. That’s what I started telling students today. That and how the news people could and should keep telling stories in the weeks ahead – a lot of social media interaction. I hope that they do. It’s the story of their times, and they ought to tell it to their audience.

Mar 20

Some quick videos

Tonight’s news, because I really don’t understand where the day went:

The students shot another show this evening, and it’ll be out tomorrow. It was one of the many things that went by in a blur for me today.

The award-winning morning show returned last week. I neglected to mention it here, and shame on me:

That’s a new intro, by the way. That show always has a fun opening, really, but how can you not like a horns ensemble for a morning show?

They produced another episode yesterday:

It’s so nice when programs begin to see that momentum growing. Suddenly, they can take on any project.

Me? I’m going to take on the infinity effect.

Feb 20

Some videos for you

News! News! It was a night for the news! Campus news, anyway. It was a television night, as Tuesdays are all fall and winter terms. (It doesn’t seem right to call this a spring term, since we’re going to have snow tomorrow. But, by that metric a substantial portion of the fall term would also be a winter term.)

Oh good, he’s talking about the weather. Again.

Yes, it is a light day, and that is what I am allowed to complain about in late February, the weather. Plus, in four or five more weeks I won’t have that.

We all agree, that can’t happen soon enough around here.

You’ve no idea, gentle reader.

Anyway, to the studio! (Because the other seven-plus hours of my day were in a featureless office!)

They brought in a campus improv group for their second show. That episode should be out tomorrow. But here’s the gist of it. The woman in white left the room and the performers solicited a person, place and activity from the crew. When she came back in, the other member of the troupe had to guess all of that. She was a therapist, you see, and all of Sarah’s inner-characters were trying to give her clues. It was amusing.

Also, the studio audio will be better than my phone’s microphone from 12 feet away. That’s because they were wearing microphones.

Also, this is interesting: