(COVID-19): Campus Health Updates
8/14/2020 - Daily COVID-19 Graduate Division Update
Dear Graduate Students and Post-Docs,
I just finished our second in our new monthly town hall series… every second Friday of the month. This one was focused on returning to campus. The questions were great, the panelists were great, and you can watch it all by clicking here. You can also watch our previous town halls here.
Some of the questions led to prompting for some more information. So, here are some links that you might find helpful:
- President Napolitano’s order regarding flu shots: https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/2020/08/2020-21-flu-vaccination-executive-order.pdf
- Housing FAQ: https://housing.uci.edu/covid19-2020-21.html
- Student Health: https://shc.uci.edu/
- California Higher Ed Opening Guidance: https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-higher-education--en.pdfhttps://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-higher-education--en.pdf
- UCI policies and procedures around cleaning, working from home, and more: https://www.ehs.uci.edu/public-health/covid-19/index.php
This has been a lot to go through. This has been the summer of making and remaking plans as we learn. I so appreciate the patience and spirit of community that we see repeatedly in our Anteaters and future Anteaters.
Upcoming Dean’s Office Hours: https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
Next week, I am going to try to take a little more time away from Zoom than usual. So, some of the office hours will be staffed by someone else from Graduate Division. Those of you who have come to my office hours before know that I am often typing messages to those staff to answer your questions during that time anyway, so you will get one level closer to the answer! If there is something you really want to talk to me about specifically though, let the staff member know, and we will see what we can do.
- Monday August 17: 11AM-11:30AM
- Tuesday August 18: 9AM-9:30AM
- Wednesday August 19: 1PM-1:30PM
- Thursday August 20: 9AM-9:30AM
- Friday August 21: 4PM-4:30PM
This has been a pretty short message this week. So short in fact, that we debated whether to send you a message at all. In the end, I settled on filling your inbox one last time this week. What I am coping with this week is the drama and pain of uncertainty. For those of you with kids, you will know the very real anxiety of school starting, and most of us have no clue what we are doing. You don’t have to have kids to feel that though. You are experiencing the uncertainty of when you can see your parents again, when you can travel to your home country again, when you can travel and where you might be welcome, how you will finish your degree, what the job market will look like when you are done, how you will complete the work you planned in a world where nothing looks like you planned, and more. Uncertainty is all around us. Unprecedented is the word of the hour, day, year. And so I did what I often do… I went looking for books, articles, and quotes that tackle uncertainty. What I found may not surprise you:
People either speak of uncertainty as a risk and challenge to deal with:
“Each time you stay present with fear and uncertainty, you’re letting go of a habitual way of finding security and comfort.” - Pema Chodron
Or they speak of uncertainty as a gift to change and move toward the future:
“When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life.” - Eckhart Tolle
I am aware today that uncertainty is most definitely both. I hope that we never return to normal. Instead, I hope for a new normal, that is filled with justice, kindness, and peace. I am not naive enough to think that such a transformation comes without pain, though. And so as always, I am grateful for the wonderful staff in Graduate Division who are there for your pain and mine. I am also grateful for all of you. We are truly in this together. The great Anteater community can stay present with our fear, get comfortable, and open infinite possibilities through which you will change the world.
Have a great weekend! And stay cool with this heat wave!
Kleist Professor of Informatics
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Dean of the Graduate Division