Yesterday, I spent the morning getting training on CampusVue, my school's system that maintains student records, and probably other data too. We set up a weekly report on at-risk students, and as I learned how to edit, I set the reporting date to end in 2019.
I said, "I wonder where we'll all be in 2019."
I ended my work day by observing new faculty and remembering that I once knew so much more, as one class learned about atoms and the ways they connect, both violently (snatching electrons away) and less violently, in a more congenial joining.
In the middle of the night, I dreamed that I was at a computer, but it was an old-fashioned mainframe, like the kind in Hidden Figures. I woke up thinking about a computer deep underground, in a room with lead-lined walls, continuing to spit out student-at-risk reports, long after the nuclear conflagration. My spouse came to bed, and I told him about my vision. I asked if a computer could keep working, even after a nuclear blast. We talked about the electromagnetic pulse--would lead-lined walls protect the computer? We said that we thought that it would.
I thought about it as a poem. This morning, I decided to write the poem, even if the physics might be wrong.
I haven't written a poem since Jan. 9--clearly, I am not meeting my goal of writing one poem a week (I just typed day--hmm--). But the year is young.
I'm pleased with what I wrote, a vision of programming our computers to track our steps and the attendance of students, when perhaps we should have been looking for despots on the horizon. I love the existential loneliness of that lone computer, deep underground, reading reports that no one will ever read. I love the fact that I project existential loneliness onto a computer.
Let me be similarly inspired today!