Saturday, August 29, 2020

Deleting Twitter & Teaching on Zoom

I deleted Twitter. That place has become a cesspool. It got to the point where I asked myself if selling a few books was worth wading through the daily shrieking and finger-pointing on that site, and ultimately I decided I'd rather never sell a book again than see one more boycott hashtag or self-victimizing-drone who thinks their mindless bleating is original thought.


(^Also sorry that I'm not really sorry.)

Only problem is Twitter was kind of my only venue for selling books. I'm still on Facebook, but really that's for family and friends--people who already know I have a book out without being told via a post. Twitter was how I reached the outside world. Not sure how to circumvent that, but I have faith that it'll somehow work out. I'm just so relieved at this point to have the stink of Twitter out of my life, and book sales or not, I'll never stop writing.

Which, by the way, I'm now at 76% for Spring of Crows! My goal is to get to the 80% mark before we're back to work in person.

Speaking of, work is...weird. We started back to school on August 6th, but my county is on the COVID watch list, so students aren't allowed to be on campus right now. Us teachers are teaching our classes via Zoom. It sounds easier than teaching in person, but it's not. During the school day it's the same workload as regular teaching since we're doing live classes, but the behind-the-scenes planning is more intense because I have to make sure my lessons are easily understood and accessible to students working from home. Things I'd normally cover in class in five minutes can take a dozen emails back and forth. Not to mention all the technology meltdowns my district keeps experiencing. Despite all this, I'm kind of enjoying my job. It's mentally taxing trying to keep up with all the emails, engagement logs that the state is requiring, and so on, but physically I feel like I have more energy by the end of my workday. Plus my students are very sweet and very committed to coming to classes. We have a great rapport so far, even if we're all two-dimensional. It's also fun getting to meet their baby sisters and dogs, or having students respond to questions in-between bites of Top Ramen. Zoom classes expose you to layer of your students' lives that you'd never experience in a regular class setting.

That's it for now. Remind me to tell you about our weird Laughlin trip during my next post. :)

P.S. Still keeping comments off for awhile. Maybe permanently? It sucks because I do love hearing feedback on things I'm prattling on about, but at the same time I think I'd like to turn this blog back into the original 'journal' that it used to be ten years ago.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Blog Parasites

I'll do a real post soon. (Translation: anytime from tomorrow to next year). I just wanted to hop on here real quick to say I'm removing the ability to comment on my posts for a month or two. My blog has become a target for overseas spammers and bots, and I'm being bombarded through the comments. I.e. My last post is currently at 50 comments, and only four of them are from real people. It feels icky. I'm annoyed by how ridiculously impotent Blogger's spam filter is. Last week I adjusted my settings to where a Google sign-in is required, but it didn't help. Apparently spammers have Google accounts. The only thing left is to password-protect my blog (only people with the password can read it), but frankly my blog isn't juicy enough to require anything that drastic. So now I'm hoping that shutting down my comment window for a period of time will take me off the radar of all these blog parasites.