The question of what to do about school this year is changing from a disturbing hypothetical to an ugly reality.

My sister is a teacher. Her union is pushing for 100% remote school. Her district disagrees. I understand why, but how effective will physical class time be with the entire faculty fearing for their lives and the lives of their families? I can’t read the future, but I’m guessing the answer is “not very.”

My step son’s school district is offering both remote and in person options and letting the students choose. He emphatically wants to go with the in person option. He had a rough time with the at home school last year and he doesn’t want to risk his senior grades on doing it again. No amount of counter arguing has convinced him to change his mind. Clearly remote is the better option for everyone, but he wants to go back.

I don’t get the logic these school systems are using. There is a clear risk to the health of the students, faculty, and staff. It was enough of a risk to shut everything down back in March. Nothing has changed as far as the virus is concerned. Why then is re-opening the buildings even a consideration? My step daughter’s school is sort of a bubble, so her situation is different. She’ll be taking most of her classes remotely, but she’ll be doing it from her dorm. If they can keep the bubbles closed then they might have some luck. Of course, I don’t think the faculty or the staff are bubblin’, so maybe it will blow up in everyone’s face.

Public schools though… no bubbles there. How do we handle it? Ideally we would all go remote because that’s the smart thing to do, but since when are American’s smart? There has to be some way to lessen the chances of spreading infections from home to school and back again. Should we wear masks at home? Probably. Should school kids isolate themselves from their parents? The older the kid the more likely that works, but it seems pretty unlikely regardless of age.

We’ve been in a cosmic sized mess since March, and in a couple of weeks it’s going to get a whole lot messier. Frankly, I’m scared shitless.

How are you?

What is the Past Tense of Troubleshoot?

We’re about to have a quick little English language session. Bet you never thought you’d get something like that here, right? Ready for some knowledge? Ready to get your learn on for the day?

Here it comes.

I had an email come through my inbox this morning where the writer used the word “troubleshoot” in the past tense. They wrote something along the lines of, “we troubleshooted the issue.”

That both looked and sounded super wrong to me. Like, if the past tense of shoot is shot, then shouldn’t the past tense of a compound word ending in shoot end in shot as well? Troubleshot? That’s what I would have written, but is that correct? Off to The Google!

I searched for What is the Past Tense of Troubleshoot and it returned a bunch of hits. Most of the summaries said that both options were correct. Troubleshot is correct (thank you, I love being right), but troubleshooted is also correct (booooooo!!!).

There was one post from Quora that gave the best option. Shouldn’t the past tense of troubleshoot be…. wait for it…. Fixed?

Four for Four

Well, that’s all of us.  My step son’s school district has shut down for two weeks.  They are going to take a couple of days to try and setup some remote learning systems and start having online classes on Wednesday.

So Harry has high school classes at home, Bellana has college classes at home, Jen has work from home, and ol’ Robbie has work from home.  All for at least the next two weeks.

It’s going to be tough having all of us trying to work at the same time.  We’re going to get in each other’s way and we’re going to get on each other’s nerves, and if everything works out the way we want we will look back on this and see it as a successful waste of time.  A little sacrifice today will lead to an easier time for our health care professionals in the coming weeks.  That’s the goal at least.

We’re all in this shit show together, and we are up to the challenge.

The Telecommute Call

The telecommuting call for my company has been made.  It will be for at least two weeks and it will start Monday.  That’s actually good as there is something I need to do at my desk tomorrow.

In our house, Jen is already telecommuting.  Bellana will start remote classes on Wednesday.  I will start telecommuting on Monday.  All we have left is Harry’s high school.  What’s it gonna be, high school?  Are you going to jump on the resource management bandwagon or are you going to keep insisting you know better than all of the experts who actually study how to handle this sort of situation?  Are you going to make a small sacrifice that might make life easier on our soon-to-be-overtaxed health care industry, or are you going to keep letting large groups of people meet and contribute to the infection spike which will potentially put our soon-to-be-overtaxed health care industry into a state where there are more patients than beds and supplies?  What’s it gonna be?

Music and Irish, Separately

Today is a day with two themes.  Music and Irishness.

Music because I have band practice, and my step daughter has pit rehearsal for her school play.

Irish because my beautiful bride, Jen is making corned beef.  I predict that it’s going to need salt.  Corned beef can never, ever be salty enough.  Jen always does a great job.

On an unrelated note, Facebook got weird this morning in a sad way.  I friended a guitar player that I’m a big fan of.  Today he was tagged in a post with one of my former teachers from Northeast Broadcast School.  Gotta admit, he was not my favorite guy there.  Something about him rubbed me the wrong way.  He was nice enough, very smart, and very talented.  There was just… something.  I clicked on him to see what he’s been up to.  He’s still in the same awesome band, which is nice.  I was surprised to see him tagged in another post with another one of my teachers from NBS.  This was a guy whose class I enjoyed very much.  He was a great guy.  Unfortunately he passed away recently.  Damn.  I hadn’t thought about him in years, and now he’s gone.  Very sad.

First Day of School

Just yesterday I met my wife’s kids for the first time.  There was a six year old who had just started first grade, and a four year old pre-schooler.  Somehow, just hours later, we have two middle school kids starting eighth and sixth grade respectively.  One of them is even a teenager!

Where the hell did the time go?

Wish my wonderful, brilliant, amazing step kids a happy first day of school.  Only 179 school days left until summer vacation!

Feeling a Little Blue

I dropped off the kids at their dad’s this morning. Jen and I won’t see them again until after they start school. My step son is going to have his first day of middle school this week and I’m not going to be able to help build him up if he’s feeling nervous. I mean, the kid is as sharp as a razor, he’s going to excel in middle school. But he’s nervous the way every kid is when they move up a school. I just feel bad that I can’t be there to help him along. Next year his sister will start high school. Maybe I can come through for her then, but that doesn’t make me feel any better today. Oh well.


Its very weird today.  My wife and I are on vacation (staycation) but the kids are not.

It feels weird to be lounging around in the living room, but still needing to Marshall the troops so we can leave for school.  Its so weird.