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My precious, teacherly Spring Break is drawing to a close, but unlike past years, it doesn’t have quite the same sensation as usual—that distinct combination of excitement that summer is near, and the dread that the school calendar is open sailing, like a dinghy adrift in the middle of the Pacific. There’s no land in sight for weeks, your sails are tattered, the crew is on the verge of mutiny, but you all know that you’ll reach Cathay soon enough.
Instead, it’s just going to be a resumption of distance learning. The mutinous crew members are divided up into their own separate lifeboats, waiting for my captainly orders to arrive in a digital floating bottle every morning. Meanwhile, I’m still back on Fiji, drinking pineapple juice and avoiding getting eaten by the natives.
One quality of the digital age—and especially The Age of The Virus—is that work life bleeds inexorably into non-work life. I resented this feature of our connected age when I was putting on hour-long historical stand-up routines for disinterested sophomores for six hours a day—one can never truly escape work now. Now, it’s just a part of our lives, like cybernetic implants in Neuromancer.