(from 30 July 2020)

Dear Everyone:

This JustOneThing is a collection of small suggestions that I’ve gathered over the past months – from some of you, from social media sources, from students, etc.  I’ve found them helpful and think/hope you might, too.

In no particular order:

20-20-20.  Many of you will already know this formula recommended by eye doctors to reduce eye strain from screen use.  For every 20-minutes of screentime, look away at an object about 20 feet away for 20 seconds.  The 20-minute segment might be usefully integrated into seminar planning time, and/but also is just something good to put into practice, I think. 

And/but also, a 30 minute rule!  For middle-aged people at least, getting up and moving at least every 30 minutes strongly correlates with better health

I realize breaking up seminars into 20 minute chunks for eye strain and 30 minute segments to move is a math that doesn’t necessarily work for us.  These notes are simply reminders that we (students/faculty/whatever age) have/are bodies.  The two hour seminar translated to on-line – those who taught and took classes in spring know this experientially of course – needs especial attention to embodied being, I think.

Relatedly, hide yourself from yourself on zoom.  This might be possible to do on other platforms, too – I don’t have familiarity with others, I’m afraid. It can be super distracting to stare at yourself/have to be super conscious about yourself *all the time* because you’re on screen in a zoom session.  If you right-click your video, you should be able to “hide yourself.”  I don’t know what it says about my psyche (and am not asking for input on that, lol!), but I find it so much less stressful to be hidden from myself…read into that what you will!

Text availability note: h/t Eric Dean Wilson, fyi!: The NYPL has extended the service of its MaRLI program, so that anyone who has a MaRLI card can receive books by mail!  More info here: https://www.nypl.org/node/573728 [nypl.org]

Open-ended doc.  This, as I recall, was a suggestion Amy Wan made in the spring – namely, to create an open-ended document for your class to use to chat asynchronously.  Google docs can make that work; I use this method also to connect/be connected with advisees, in part to redirect correspondence from email/inbox, and also so that we can mutually refer to earlier notes.  Super low key, relatively low tech.

Okay, that’s it for now – I’ve been in front of the screen for more than 30 minutes, so, time to move! 

All well wishes,


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