Saturday, March 28, 2020

Writing, trying to stay normal 2

Happy Friday!

We are on day 10 of our Shelter in Place and what I've learned so far is it's important to make a schedule and get dressed each day. And I mean both of these pretty loosely; I try and do yoga every day, I do something for school, and I do get dressed but that could be sweat pants or other activewear. Most days I make food for both of us. Today is the first day our teenage daughter is home with us. She's been on quarantine with the family she traveled with for Spring Break for the last week. She doesn't have any symptoms and neither does the family so we deemed it safe for her to come home. We don't know what's really safe and what isn't yet we missed her and felt like it was just time. It's hard to keep our distance and it's extremely difficult not to hug/cuddle but we're doing it because this is the new norm.  In another week I'm going to feel comfortable to hug her.

Yesterday we had a teacher/car parade through our school neighborhoods. It was fun to honk and see students and families--I miss them all. It's a lot more fun to teach class in person than remotely. The teenager here is struggling to understand a new set of rules for school as well. She has one college-level course that needs real assignments.  Her teacher posted assignments with no due dates and no real instruction.  It's confusing and not exactly how she wanted the last months of her senior year to go. Everything is off the table; senior skip day, prom, dance recitals and competition. Really it's the essence of being a senior that's been cut short.  Plus her sibling are all trying to make it through.  Kaylee is in Brooklyn trying to shelter in place as she works from home. She takes walks and even then it is too crowded on the streets she says. Tristan is still going to work every day hoping he doesn't fall ill. Everyone is worried about money and rent, house payments and toilet paper.

It would be real easy to bury your head in your covers and not come out for a few weeks.  Obviously I've contemplated this more than once but I find it much healthier to get up at a decent time, have breakfast, do some yoga, clean something (even myself), and read.  I limit watching shows or movies until the evening. We've been great about taking our dogs for walks, getting out breathing the crisp air.  We've played cards and board games-don't know how we will do that with the teenager yet but we'll figure it out.  March seems to be going out like a lamb not a lion so I hope spring weather is just around the corner. I would love a walk without the biting cold.  I always said my house would be the best place to be stuck indefinitely because I have stacks and stacks of books.

Right now I'm reading The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie McDonald (800 pgs). And I've finished Netflix's Next in Fashion, Virgin River, and still watching Sex Education.  I think my goal for next week is to read chapter books using Google Classroom and posting for students to listen in. What are you doing to keep yourself busy?

Friday, March 20, 2020

Writing, trying to stay normal

(Our teacher celebration b4 it got crazy)
I haven't been inspired lately. It's been a long winter and I've spent most of it sick or just slightly under the weather, as they say. And now the world is sick and we've only just begun. We are shielding ourselves and others by staying home; social distancing.  Others are just plain greedy sick, grabbing more than their share of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, water, produce, soaps, etc.

Today I stopped into to see two friends working at a small shop downtown and while we chatted, staying a few feet from each other, another woman burst into the store grabbed one solitary candle and told us she had just returned from Florida. The rest of us took a few steps back and the shop owner even said "well please don't breathe on me". Now granted I didn't have to stop in the shop to visit yet my thought was why on earth upon return of travel would you feel the need to stop in a local shop to buy one candle?  This is equal to buying extra toilet paper because it shows a lack of empathy about others.

This is where we are at. I worry every time I cough or sneeze. We are trying to hold together some form of normalcy in the midst of a pandemic with no leadership from the top in our country.  The two school districts in our county will not go back to school until April 13th.  The trickle down for this will be far-reaching as well; graduation, dance recitals, dance competition all will come to an end. The world as we know it has changed ~ R.E.M. (on replay in my brain constantly).

43982054So what have I been up to to occupy time over Spring Break when I normally would be about town, hanging out with friends.  We've met several times with friends over FaceTime which felt so good to reach out and connect with friends in town and out of town. We had a virtual meeting with cocktails with our theatre group~ so much fun to arrange about 7-8 people on FT messenger video chat. We've had happy hour with my husband's family via FaceTime. And tonight we are eating dinner with friends over Zoom. Next week I have a few school meetings over Zoom to figure how best to take care of our students and families. I'm trying to keep on a schedule of activities otherwise you can just spend the day flying the sofa...

My list:

I'm reading Ta'Nehisi Coates' The Water Dancer.
I'm watching Unbelievable, Contagion, Next in Fashion, and Virgin River on Netflix, all great but I highly recommend Unbelievable based on a true story and frustrating as hell until the end.
I've played around with video taping myself reading stories for students.
I'm deep cleaning parts of my house.
Today I made bread for friends and they are picking it up from my front door.
Connecting with friends.
Waiting for my daughter to make it home.

What are you doing with your extra time?