Remote Start

Submitted by Tony I Garcia on

By Katherine McDermott

On this, the last afternoon before we return to campus (!), I find myself reflecting on the past 18 months. I started with AMATH as Department Administrator about three days before the UW (and the rest of the world) closed down. Before coming to AMATH, I worked as an administrator in two other departments on campus. As a result, I’ve gotten to know many of my AMATH colleagues over Zoom—or not at all. Even as I look forward to meeting most of my colleagues and the students for the first time in person, I find it amazing to realize that a whole year and a half of our lives have gone by. I’ve met, hired, and said goodbye to people I’ve never even seen—but for a brief glimpse on Zoom. That, indeed, is strange. I have this fantasy that one day I’ll meet someone at a coffee shop and it will turn out to be one of these AMATH employees that I never met…

Like folks around the world, I’ve worked from dining room table, from my bedroom, from the kitchen counter, from my mother’s summer house—and even from in front of my (closed due to the pandemic) public library when my internet went down. It’s been at times frustrating, boring, and crazy, but it’s also liberating to have had such a different work experience.

I’ve figured out that I can get by with less office gear, no office, and the uncertainty of not having met most of my colleagues. But as we get ready to go back, I am starting to remember all the things I have missed: being on campus in the fall, talking to students, having coffee at the HUB, wandering around campus with fellow staff members. In general, that is, I feel like I am ready to re-join in a more physical way a sense of shared purpose.

Campus, here we come—with fingers crossed that we get to stay!

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