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Jim Gaffigan: Lessons of "distance learning"

Jim Gaffigan: Lessons from "distance learning"
Jim Gaffigan: Lessons from "distance learning" 03:06

Hi.  I'm Jim Gaffigan.  I used to do stand up comedy, I use to write, I also did some acting. But now I'm a professional shut-in, living with my wife and five children in our New York City apartment. 

The daily ritual of cooking of and cleaning up after five children seems cruel – well, it seemed cruel until they started their "distance learning" program. Distance learning … How do I say this without cursing? 

If you've never heard of distance learning, that means you probably don't have children, or you're a worse parent than I am. For students, they get to go to school but don't get to be with their friends; for teachers, they get to teach but only to a screen; and for parents, we get to fail as tech support and class monitor.

We have five children on five different devices in five different parts of my New York City apartment, with five different schedules that happen simultaneously. Sounds fun, right? Well, it sure is! 

Online classes at the Gaffigan household. CBS News

My wife has created elaborate color-coded schedules and charts to manage when online classes end and others begin. There's usually some drama with every change.

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The great irony of distance learning is that it occurs on screens; screens, the great enemy of parents! Parents are always trying to get the screens away from their children.

But during quarantine, and during distance learning, you give them the screens ... and then you take them, and then you give them, and then you take them. It's fun. It's fun. If you don't know what it's like to take a screen from a child, just imagine you're trying to convince an addict to go to rehab.

My wife and I just finally caved and bought a steel charging contraption that locks away the screens.  Now that may seem extreme, but hey, I've only had to change the combination twice this week.

Uh-uh-uhhhhh! CBS News

I guess the point I'm saying here on Easter is, we are having fun.

Be safe everyone!

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Story produced by Sara Kugel. Editor: George Pozderec. 

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