Wednesday, May 6, 2020

May Days

The weather has finally turned enough to where I am having more and more opportunities to sit outside and write. These are my glory days!

(Sadly too, they are my allergy days, as my eyes have all of a sudden succumbed to allergy season when paired with the dust and dirt double whammy of cleaning my garage on one of these nice days yesterday.)

As I watch the little yellow finches congregate on our finch feeder...
As I observe birds zipping in and out of their new home--our birdhouse...
As I enjoy the newly placed plants that my daughter and husband planted yesterday...
And as I take notice of the blossoming rosebushes and the leaf-filling trees which grow greener by the day...
I see that spring certainly has sprung.

May Day has come and gone and we continue to progress each Covid 19 Groundhog's Day (just like the movie) doing our daily business, which (more times than not) feels daily mundane, monotonous, and repetitive. Wash, rinse, repeat. We are at week 8 of quarantine, and Day 26 of remote learning (not mentioning the behind the scenes [and during spring break] prep), leaving me to question "why does it feel like we've been doing this at-home school well over 173 days?"

May's start brings me to "birthday season" for a few in my family, the anniversary of my dad's death (several years ago), and of course Mother's Day. It also brings about the start of the end of the school year... and all that comes with that. We technically are still "on hold," with governor-dictates keeping us closed only to mid-month, with the potential of returning to school mid-May. We are only one of 6 states who haven't outright closed schools through the end of the year. "Hope" is a beautiful thing to hold onto; however, with numbers still so high nationwide, a mid-month return feels unlikely. Given that (and the fact that I still need a physical calendar to really "see" time), I just went through my calendar with my white sticky labels and "whited out" events like Field Day and other fun outdoor school gatherings slated for both my students and my children. While considering the calendar, my heart especially goes out to the seniors, where College T-Shirt Day and their last full day of classes didn't have the same feel after 6 weeks of remote learning daily dress down days. Add in their major loss of multiple, culminating "end of high school" events.  Jury's still out on how our school is going to handle the biggies like 8th grade promotion and high school graduation. Time will tell and we shall see what unfolds this unconventional May, Covid 19, 2020.                                                                                                              

As the Lower School Tech Specialist (turned tech support in remote learning), I spend my remote learning days on computers all day long. Though the problems change, every day is indeed Groundhog's Day. It might sound surprising or seem counter-intuitive, given my title as "Technology" Specialist. But so much of my "in-school" job is going to classes and integrating curriculum with technology, working with students. As I've mentioned before, my "students" these days are my teachers and our school parents. So, essentially, I'm still teaching, though in a different way. The upshot though is that I miss the little guys. I miss the in-person part. I miss the interactions. I miss my colleagues. I miss the variety that tech integration PK-5th grade allows.  Zoom alone just does not quench that thirst.

In fact, these CV-Days have done a number on my motivation. I think it's due both the fact that I'm sitting long days, attached to my computer as well as living the Groundhog's Day of Covid 19. Tech support is not really a matter of creativity, aside from creative problem solving. Tech triage also doesn't have the same level of kid-energy associated with it. And everything I read about the Coronavirus talks about how the longer this goes on, everyone is getting more and more CV-fatigued and Zoom-fatigued. In that light, maybe it makes sense that I'm not finding the time I did before remote learning to get on the computer to write (not the computer again!) or sit and read like I once used to... despite having all the time in the world to do these things. Is it really any different to the traditional end-of-the-year fatigue? Senioritis? Perhaps we all have Coronavirus-itis!

It reminds me of a talk I saw of from our high school counselor. In part, she mentioned all of the above regarding the end of the year/senioritis part. She went on to discuss the weight of a glass of water:

We've all been holding the glass of yummy coronavirus water way too long. (Yes, Sheldon, that's sarcasm). We can stay strong, by setting down the glass and roll with it rather than fight it. Sort of like riding out a riptide. The riptide of 2020.

If you need a little May motivational help, like me, these 3 resources are good.

Plus getting outside to enjoy the beauty of nature (and getting active) will certainly help!

Hang in there teacher friends, parents-turned-teachers, students, and all those who are corona-quarantined. Make it a May that is more-memorable than just this virus!

Images from my backyard, video from

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