I can’t wait for colleagues to come back to work in person. It’s hard to be Chair when everybody is far away. I want to be able to come by a person’s office and ask a question, make a suggestion, say something, etc. Right now, I have to set up a Zoom meeting for every little question that arises. Of course, people get nervous when I ask to schedule a meeting, then they spend the first 10 minutes feeling defensive while I’m explaining that they aren’t in trouble, it’s all good, I just want some advice on the T-shirt design.
Yes, I could do email but everybody is exhausted by email. I want to be able to knock on a friend’s door and say, “hey, do you want to hear something ridiculous?” And then we laugh together and gossip for a while and feel energized for the rest of the day. I miss speaking Spanish, I miss hearing foreign languages around me. And I’m really, really, really tired of screenshots. I want to come across a great quote and go stick the page under somebody’s nose, saying, “read this! Cool, huh?”
We have several new and very troubling initiatives from the administration that I want to discuss with colleagues. I just want to have a normal, unmediated, sincere conversation with somebody. I want to feel human again. I want somebody to be there to notice my new outfit or my new hair color. I want to bitch and laugh and make salty jokes. I want to go for coffee with somebody. I’m planning a completely new course on computer-assisted translation and I’ve started to give long monologues about it to myself because my thinking patterns are very dialogical. I need to address my ideas to somebody and hear feedback.
I even miss the boring department meetings because there would always be something funny to observe and then talk about. Talk! I want to talk! To people! Full-bodied people, not screen heads.
This sucks, people. This really sucks.