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Jenny Baker
/ Categories: TIP, 2021, 583

Editor’s Column: This Is Actually Kind of Nice

./Steven Toaddy

So you’re telling me that I don’t have to commute to work, I can transition from running a meeting to walking the dog in seconds flat (or can just combine the two), I can wear comfortable clothing all day every day, and that not only will the infrastructure for doing these things that I’d have preferred to have done in the first place be supported but that these practices themselves will be normalized, encouraged, appreciated? Sign me up! I was already signed up? Cool! I can’t go back to the workplace even if I want to? Oh. Cool!

It’s from a position of great privilege that I get to write these words, of course, and I’m confident that your mileage varies regarding the above even if you have managed to remain steadily employed and healthy, and, in general, impacted by the whole event only by an uptick in hand washing and a great deal of worry. Even I missed not being able to see people at Annual. My wanderlust is not sated. The magnitude of human suffering and death that has led to this event and that continues to, if I may say it, plague the species is beyond my ability to comprehend. I’m embarrassed at the degree to which my country has reacted to this crisis.

But! My work has been transformed, and I kind of like it. According to one of the pieces in this issue (and find an audio recording of the same here), so do some other folks. Maybe we can keep some of this up after the crisis. Maybe we can rethink this whole adult-life thing. Many of you have been for ages, but maybe the whole of human civilization can now.

Of course, perhaps this arrangement is unsustainable; perhaps we don’t function well this way. I salute those who are doing the research to start to determine that. On the TIP and the SIOP front, it seems that folks are pluggin’ away. I encourage you to take a look at or a listen to our president’s piece; it was helpful to think more broadly about what SIOP did, does, and will continue to do. I think that you’ll be inspired by reactions to the pandemic from, for example, Blacks in I/O (see some description of those reactions here ). The Foundation piece (listen here) is, hmm, full of pathos and is provocative, and I appreciate it.

I am impressed at the number of submissions that I received from the disrupted membership of SIOP; there is, yet again, a great deal of thought-provoking and inspiring work in the pages of TIP this issue, I think. I encourage you to use it to keep yourself invested in and involved with SIOP, to maintain that professional identity even when we aren’t shaking hands with or perhaps even interacting with our colleagues. We’ll need your work when we come out of this, and we need your work now—but perhaps you’ll be able to do it from your couch in those old, comfy slippers.

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