A Hard Week for the Household

Hey, folks. I just wanted to note that this is a hard week for our household in various ways, the most immediate being the ongoing strike at UIC — we’re hoping it’ll be resolved soon, but it’s tough on both Kevin and me; we want to be in the classroom.

It’s very stressful, revising the syllabus over and over, trying to figure out how to give our students the best once we return. A smart professor will always build a little flex into their syllabi to account for illness, etc., but the longer this strike goes on, the more that gets eaten up.

I have some extra flex at the start of this semester because I’m only teaching creative writing this semester (not lit.), so I was able to tell my students to just go off and work on their stories and try to read a lot, so they shouldn’t fall behind too much.

And I pointed them to the SLF’s charted deep dives, if they wanted to listen to interviews with writers and do writing exercises on their own, and the Saturday co-writing sessions, in case they wanted to write in company, and also the podcast, if they’d like to listen to me and Benjamin talking about writing and editing. So they have resources for independent study, if they want to take advantage of them.

But we’re supposed to start critiquing in a week, so I’d really like to be back at work by then. Fingers crossed.

I may post more about the strike later this weekend, if I have the energy — the administration has actually been infuriating me, their public communications have been horribly slanted to the point of actual lies, and thinking about it probably raises my blood pressure more than is good for me, so I may choose to just cook and garden and craft instead.


There have also been various personal / friend crises happening at the same time, which I either can’t get into, or am thoroughly tired of discussing, but those are emotionally exhausting too.

And to cap it all, Jed was unexpectedly laid off from Google (along with around 12,000 other Googlers) yesterday.

He’s doing okay — more details in his post below, but the short version is that he gets a year of paid severance, and is, I believe, eminently re-hireable, so he’s not too worried about future employment; he has time to figure it out. But it is definitely a shock, and there’s going to be an adjustment period. We’re glad that Jed happens to be visiting us now; I see comforting board games in our immediate future this weekend.

(Jed also has a follow-up post with more thoughts here: https://www.facebook.com/jed.hartman/posts/pfbid07svUt5A7r5KXTbCBdSzR6mCNzEditBvWZqnHPn1ide79y3gZNrDRGyFAX1YhjWczl)

(For those curious, while Jed has been my sweetie for 25+ years, Kev and I haven’t merged finances with him, so this isn’t likely to materially affect my household finances.)


How about nothing bad happens for the next month? That would be appreciated, so we have some time to equilibrate again.

Local friends, I unexpectedly have some free time for lunches, cups of tea, etc. We’ll still be on strike Monday and I’m mostly off Tuesday as well; send me a PM if you want to hang (and listen to me vent my stress).

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