These Trying Times

I’ve lost count of how many days we have been on the lockdown. It has been way too long. Fortunately, I am even busier with work from home. After we launched a page to let faculty and staff leave messages for the Law School graduates, I am working on the online program for graduation. Under a normal circumstance, the program booklet for graduation is about 40 pages. We’re trimming it down and put it on our site this year. I am also designing an animated banner on our homepage. The banner will scroll through all the names of the graduates on graduation day. We wanted to make something extraordinary for the class of 2020.

Since the university is part Virginia, it is affected by the hiring freeze of state employees. Even part-time employees must be resubmitted for approval to continue to work. I had to provide a statement to justify my developer’s position. It was not difficult for me to write because his role is critical to the daily operations of the law school. As classes moved online and administrative offices transitioned to remote operations, he has worked closely with me to support the law school including admissions, career services, centers, communications, and library to provide technical solutions, online training, and website updates. I hope they will extend his position.

In the past few days, my heart ached when I read letters from my son’s daycare educators. They have been furloughed this month. One of the educators had taught Đạo, Đán, and (most recently) Xuân. The other one had been hired not so long ago, but she made a good impression on the kids. At the beginning of the school year, Xuân’s class had a tough time with the constant turnovers. Xuân used to cry at drop-off. He didn’t want to go to daycare. Then he got better when the two educators came on board. He liked coming to school and participating in class activities. As they were about to settle in, the pandemic hit. Now that I am working from home and trying to take care of the kids, I have a much deeper appreciation for what they do at the daycare everyday. I wrote back to each of them to thank them for what they have done for our kids and I hope that they will return once we’re back to normal.