Thursday, March 19, 2020


A chart of reported COVID-19 deaths per day
from Aug 16,2022
    I thought the strike of '17 was the biggest disruption to teaching I would ever experience.

    I was off by a significant margin.

    On Friday March 13th, I met with my ANC students for the last time and we were sent home. Today it's official that the rest of the program will be delivered online.

    I'm an in-person kind of guy, so it's tough to make this change but safety comes first. The logistics on my end are manageable. It's overcoming obstacles for students with limited access to hardware/software or internet that presents a real challenge. 

    It's been a whirlwind as everyone is working to get things ready for classes to resume online on Monday March 23rd. I'll update this post and let you know how it goes.


   The transition to online teaching has been challenging, especially with the launch of the new Animation program (ANI). We've managed to adapt and persevere. The tools and tech for delivering virtual content have improved significantly.  Conducting meetings in a virtual format has afforded significant advantages of efficiency. When the pandemic is concluded, I expect some classes will continue to be conducted online regardless in order to alleviate the classroom space crunch at 137 Dundas.


*update one - added first stream on here:

A quick(ish?) demo of removing unknown nodes, posing the ray rig, snapping, IK/FK switching, and constraints for the Weight Lift (WL) exercise. Constraint workflow starts around the 19 min. mark.

*update two - May 25th, 2020. For the most part, the semester completed successfully. There are still a couple of students with 'I' grades who have to complete and submit their final projects. I'm really impressed with how smoothly my students adapted to the move online. Staying motivated and engaged has been a struggle for everyone with lock-down malaise hanging over them. Thankfully, everyone so far remains safe and healthy.

*update three - March 15th, 2021. It's been over a year since I last stood in a room with my students. At the time, I imagined that we'd be back in the classroom in a week or two. By March 19th, it was clear that the term would be concluded online instead. Thankfully there are a number of effective vaccines in circulation that significantly reduce the risk of severe consequences from infection. Unfortunately, the rollout has been unusually slow in Canada. It's unlikely I'll be vaccinated until the end of summer, more likely sometime around the beginning of Fall. 

*update four - April 27th, 2021. I'm surprised to report I received my first shot of the two dose AstraZenica vaccine today. An unexpected shift in supply meant that a large amount of this vaccine became available in Canada to anyone 40 years of age or older. The second dose may take longer depending on availability. One step closer to an end to this pandemic.

*update five - September 7th 2021.  While I was able to get my second dose of vaccine (Moderna this time) on June 27th the pandemic is far from over. There have been a number of surprises throughout this pandemic. A number of people have expressed vaccine hesitancy/refusal (~ 20% in Canada). Others defy basic public health measures like wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, or limiting high risk activities. 

    If you had asked me at the start,  how this whole thing would play out, I would never in a million years guessed at the issues. The attribution of mask wearing to political allegiance is baffling. Less surprising is the uneven distribution of vaccines. There are wealthy countries with a surplus of doses that half their population refuse to take, while poorer countries struggle to get any at all. "The rich stay healthy and the sick stay poor". It is becoming clear that this pandemic will become endemic: how much of that is due to folly and greed is subject to debate.

*update six - December 7th 2021. For the first time, I'll preparing to teach in person during the winter term. Wed Jan 4th 2022 will be my first onsite class. Things are still far from normal and it's starting to feel like there is no clear path to an end. The ripple effects of the pandemic; supply shortages, industry disruptions, and societal shifts will likely last for years. They pale in comparison to the impact of 5.26 million people lost. The absence of loved ones will be felt in perpetuity.

    I am thankful that the tools for online teaching have evolved at an incredible pace, creating workflows I couldn't have imagined when this started. Zoom, TeamViewer, Discord and SyncSketch have been invaluable. I am planning that some of these online tools can be incorporated into my onsite teaching.

*update seven - March 14th 2022. Based on new developments, plans to teach onsite classes were scaled back. I will continue teaching online. It has now been two years since I last stood in a classroom with my students. The pandemic has taken a terrible cost on many. I am fortunate and grateful to have escaped relatively unharmed. Millions have died, faced the loss of a beloved friend or family member or suffered lasting harm to their health. These costs will echo for years to come. In the last few months, highly transmissible variants have spread like wildfire. While I have managed to avoid infection, many of my family and friends have contracted and, thanks to being fully vaccinated, recovered from COVID. Most of the restrictions are likely to end this summer. The ripple effects will likely extend further.

    With restrictions easing, I had hoped that I would be returning to some in-person teaching by this Wednesday. Unfortunately, the Union is out of options and has issued a strike deadline for this Friday. A return to in-person teaching may not happen for quite some time. While I am deeply disappointed, it is tempered with the knowledge that it could be so much worse.

*update eight - Aug 13th 2022.  I'm now preparing my content for the coming term. For economic and logistical reasons, some of the classes we hastily prepared two years ago to deliver online have been permanently moved to online only. This is in stark contrast to assurances from the administration at the time that online teaching was "a temporary measure only". Another facet of "the new normal", albeit a minor one. As epidemiologists predicted, COVID is endemic now with vaccination boosters recommended every 6 months or so. I recently got vaccinated for the fourth time and expect that it will be an annual event going forward, like getting the flu shot. My wife got COVID this summer. Her symptoms were thankfully minor and she recovered quickly. So far, as far as I know, I have managed not to catch it.



 - David

To ensure the health and safety of our students and campus community, and to prevent the risk and spread of COVID-19, Fanshawe campuses will be closed as of 11:59 p.m. March 17, 2020.  Student services and academics are moving to a virtual delivery format. For COVID-19 updates, please the FAQ page on the College website.