Pandemic · Thankfulness Thursday

This is happening for real, you guys

So, this is happening, guys. We are currently on March 739, and this is happening. COVID-19 is dangerous, real, and here. We are living in a reality none of us imagined three weeks ago.

I am a teacher, and this time a million years ago, when the world was young and it was my birthday, (last week Wednesday) I was just about to hear one of my colleagues who is involved with tech for our district say, “I was just in a meeting about how our district can go to fully virtual learning. They think the Corona Virus thing might require us to shut down school.”

Like I said. A million years ago. LAST WEEK.

Fast forward from the 11th to the 19th of March. A LOT has happened. Schools are closed. All major sports shut down. Everyone learned what the phrase “social distancing” meant. We all discovered that grocery store employees, custodial staff, semi truck drivers, and anyone who delivers for Amazon are LITERALLY the most important people in America…and that no one cares about the newest iPhone when you have toilet paper concerns. I went from sightreading new repertoire with my choirs in our choir room to hatching a scheme to teach choral music while I sit at my dining room table with my computer.

It’s been a heck of a week. And it’s tough. I am now trying not to eat the universe out of boredom. I miss my students so much more than I thought I would after only one day of virtual learning. I am trying to come up with some sort of schedule so that I construct a new “normal” for the next (apparently) several months of my life, when the systems I’ve used for the past 36 years will not be allowed…

I have already learned stuff about myself. I now know that I am a person who likes to have structure if for no other reason that I enjoy flying in the face of it. I’ve also discovered I am apparently an extremely social person, which I didn’t ever realize before because I usually teach all day and by the time I ditch my teacher gear I’m human-ed out. I also have some gnats living in one of my potted plants and they are driving me INSANE.

SO. Where does this leave me? It leaves me needing to make structure and schedule for myself. Also to figure out how to kill gnats using what supplies are currently in my house.

I need to develop some sort of daily routine to follow. Right now, my routine is this: Get up. Brush teeth. Get dressed. Make coffee. Disinfect all flat surfaces, light switches, cabinet handles and door knobs. …That takes about twenty minutes, which leaves me about, oh, 14 hours or so to kick around in.

School helps. I will continue to teach my students and plan with my colleagues. But it doesn’t take the same amount time of my REAL job. There’s still a massive amount of free time in my life.

One thing I’m going to do is start a giant list of projects that I can tap into when I’m bored (It’s Day 3 of work-at-home social distancing and already I’m getting bored with Netflix, and if I keep comfort eating like this, I will be 400 pounds when this is all over. Giant list of projects it is. I will actually now COMPLETE the multiple projects that are sitting in corners all over my house!

I’m also going to rock my teacher need for nerdy alliterations and give myself a “goal” for each day. I can do projects that fit into this category, but also just things that make me happy. Here is my weekly schedule:

  • Music Monday: Yes. I know I’m a music educator so everyday is music day for me. But I want this to be really intentional music. Like–stream a concert. Record music to share.
  • How-To Tuesday: You know what makes me really grateful? Last year’s polar vortex. I spent the days locked in my house when it was -50+ learning how to make BREAD. I have this skill now, which means I don’t have to worry about trying to freeze loaves of WonderBread. All I need is flour and yeast! There are so many DIY skills that I can hone right now because, well, I’ll have to. Sewing, knitting, cookery, baking…Sharing the skill is real!
  • Writing Wednesday: Remember how I’m supposed to be finishing all these books I’m working on so my friends don’t come after me with pitchforks? I am officially out of excuses. I have huge chunks of time to actually get this done.
  • Thankfulness Thursday: Yeah, I know. It sounds corny, and there is a lot that’s not great about right now. But GUYS–there is so much good happening. So many people are stepping up to the plate and doing amazing and selfless things. It’s so easy to be weighted down with the negative. We cannot lose hope. We must celebrate the best things that make us human.
  • Home Fry Friday: My husband, the Vulcan, and I have been talking like this a lot this as things have been shutting down to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We are fortunate to have salaried jobs, but we are trying to be really intentional about putting money into our local community to help the shops, restaurants, and businesses in our neighborhood weather this storm. Major chains will make it because they have cash reserves as big corporations do. Little businesses run on tight margins and closure is a real threat. I do not want this to happen. There are lots of little ways to help your home fries! (Plus, it means I get to say the phrase ‘home fry,’ which literally makes me giggle every. single. time.)

And I’m going to document it all here. Hopefully we will connect through this. We are all in the same boat now. We must weather these uncharted waters together. And since it’s Thankfulness Thursday, I am thankful for all that is good. My home. My extraordinary colleagues. My family. This computer that connects me to the world around me.

So stay safe. Be well. Wash your hands often, and be kind to those around you.

See you tomorrow!