From the home office: Nick juggles work and family

This week’s staff update comes from Nick, navigating the dreaded “two-working-parents-two-young-children” matrix that has become a test of patience, creativity, and scheduling in our crisis environment:

Day 37. At least, that’s where my personal day count is (like a proper millennial, I’ve been keeping track through daily Instagram stories). The transition to working from home was a shift no one could have anticipated a year ago, though one that, luckily, Fletcher was well-positioned to make given how technically capable to work remotely we already were.

Nick's daughter at workI’ve always loved working from home, something that I’m sure dates to my time as a musician, when most days were spent at home practicing. Working from home offers more ownership over your schedule, typically reduces distractions, and, of course, has much more comfortable furniture.

That said, working from home during times of school and childcare closures has been…different. With both of my children home and young enough to need constant supervision, the work ”day” has taken on new meaning. With my partner also working, we watch the kids in shifts around each other’s meeting schedule, and spend the evenings catching up on email until midnight or so. We’ve tried to build in something of a normal routine; making sure we each have time to work out, taking time to cook moderately lavish meals (this has been a boon for my knife skills), and having a cheese and cracker “happy hour” on Fridays (and some Thursdays) right at 5, but regardless this has been a challenging 37 days.

Nick's baby daughterStill, even with the stress of the situation and long hours, this time has had its perks (beyond the dress code). It has been amazing to spend so much time playing with my kids, despite the late nights. Something that has pleasantly surprised me, however, has been getting to know so many prospective Fletcher students! I’ve been in admissions a long time, and am used to spending the spring on the phone with applicants deciding where to enroll. But, between the expanded use of video technologies like Zoom and the fact that everyone is in a similarly surreal position, these conversations have been made special. Being able to connect face to face, share a moment of commiseration, and talk through some of what the future may hold with so many of you has helped ease the passing of our quarantine, and brought some humanity to these uncertain times. So — thank you!

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