What is normal

For months, I thought that when my son was vaccinated, things would feel more normal. The same week, stories of omicron were showing up. It feels like normal has shifted again.

Learning to live with the unknown is becoming normal but it is really hard. My son has nightmares. He’s had them for over a year. I shouldn’t be surprised. I had nightmares at his age, and I wasn’t living in a pandemic. But, it means that for the last 18 months or so, I sleep in 4 hour chunks. I was never a good copy editor, but I am terrible now. I miss details easily, and even big things. I use every AI tool I can find when I am editing to help highlight things that need focus.

I wonder if we’ll ever place an order for lab again without having a two month wait (and that is when things don’t simply say backordered without a date.)

I see so many of my students in lab and in class struggling. They are brilliant but there are all sorts of new challenges for so many of them.

Somehow, though, in spite of all of this, in spite of being worried, tired, and, at times, sick, everyone is moving forward and finding a way. Graduation has always felt like Christmas, but this year, it feels more like Christmas than ever before. To complete a degree, especially a PhD in a pandemic, is absolutely phenomenal.

I don’t know what the future will bring, but I am beyond grateful for the students. They are incredible.


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