The Appliance of Science

Well, today is another beautiful sunny and surprisingly warm day in Maynooth. It’s just a pity that owing to the additional measures announced yesterday people aren’t really able to get out and about to enjoy it.

I know some people are experiencing a lot of anxiety over this disruption to normal life. I have experienced severe anxiety and panic attacks in the past, but they have almost always been triggered by the presence of large crowds of people around me. There’s not much chance of that happening these days! I do wish I could sleep a bit better though. I don’t want to be dealing with insomnia again on top of everything else.

I did however have some anxiety yesterday. Rather irritatingly, the washing machine in my flat chose to conk out a few days ago. I didn’t fancy the idea of being able to do my laundry for the best part of a month so was thinking of getting a new one. I suddenly thought yesterday that the shops I might buy one might be closed so dashed around to a little store just around the corner from me. The guy in charge got a reasonably priced model for me ready last night and today came around and plumbed it in and took the old one away for recycling. Emergency over, almost before it started.

In any case it seems there in an exemption from the special measures for businesses deemed essential because they involve selling “products necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of residences and businesses”. I presume a washing machine counts under that!

Anyway, apart from that little flurry of excitement, we’ve been busily trying to conduct online teaching sessions as best we can. It has become apparent that the mathematical work we do in the Department of Theoretical Physics really requires drawing tablets and pens so we’ve had to purchase a few of those for tutors who didn’t have them already. Apart from that it seems the staff at least are adapting to the new regime, and perhaps even enjoying the novelty of all this technology. They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and maybe when (if) this is all over we’ll carry on using some of the new gadgets and software in the future.

Now that we’re rolling with the teaching, though, we have to give some thought to how we’re going to do the end-of-term examinations. I have a cunning plan..

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