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Confessions of a Cooped Up Teacher 4

Day 18: April 8, 2020

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Walking the dog. Walking her again. And again. And again.

Hours at the dining room table, covered in papers, notebooks, sticky notes, and tech.

Bleary-eyed from wearing glasses for so many hours of the day. Remind me to get my eyes examined. After.

Cooking from the freezer and the pantry. Weighing the urge to pick up groceries against the fear of picking up the virus, and deciding to stay home. To stay safe.

Learning to use Zoom, then not using Zoom. Learning to use Google Meet, then learning how to get rid of that echo. That horrible echo. Learning how to conduct online meetings with nine year olds who are just happy to see one another, and hopefully me.

Learning to sleep through the night in spite of my increased anxiety. Learning to avoid napping in the afternoon as an escape (which in turn messes up the sleeping at night).

Trial and error creating masks. Wearing my mask. Making one for my sweetheart and my son and his roommate and my aunt… Being productive. Helping. At least in a small way.

Appreciating nail technicians. Pedicures are so much more than the polish. I always tip them well, it’s a job I would not want, but I will tip more when I go back. After.

Thinking about everything I see and read in terms of social distancing. Starting to get anxious on those dog walks. Even while wearing my mask.

Appreciating my home. Knowing I have it easy. Appreciating the safety and space and comfort it provides. Appreciating my job and my sense of purpose. Appreciating others who are doing far more and making do with far less.

Waiting. Waiting for this thing to wrap up. For it to stop taking lives. For it to stop interfering with lives. For it to stop ruining lives. Waiting for it to end. Waiting to see the world come alive again.

 


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Stop. And Breathe. Crisis Cleaning Rears its Ugly Head

garbiketa.jpgI’m working myself into fits and I need to stop. I feel like I’m spinning in circles, rushing from one room of my house to another tidying this, straightening that, dusting this bit off, putting this thing away at last, only to to see a thousand more of these items to do. It’s productive, to a degree, but it’s making my anxiety level climb, so here I sit. Breathing. Good.

Why all this nervous rushing about? Because after living in this house for four years my friend is finally coming over to see it. My friend, whose beautiful new(ish) home I saw for the first time a couple of weeks ago. My friend, whose home is perfect.

I know, I know…

I’m NOT comparing my home to hers. They are different. We are different people at different stages. I have a dog (yep, blame it on the dog… she won’t mind), my friend doesn’t. I have a college kid here for the summer, she doesn’t. I have a blended household, she doesn’t. I work full-time (except in the summer, but shh), she doesn’t. Still, her house is CLEAN, and mine? Well, it isn’t.

So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to post this (yep, warts and all) then drag out the vacuum cleaner, see if I can find some Windex, and call it done. Oh wait, I’m supposed to meet her in half an hour and I haven’t brushed my teeth yet. Yeah, maybe the other stuff just won’t happen. She’ll love me anyway, won’t she? I hope so. And exhale…


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First Day Jitters, Again

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It happens every time. Tomorrow I start writing camp with a new group of kids, and I’ve got the jitters.

I’m prepared. My day is all mapped out, my cart is full of the necessary supplies, and today I toured the site, so I would know just where to go and how to get there. Seriously, I’m ready.

I’ve reviewed the roster, sent out a welcome email, and planned activities that I think will be both fun and enriching for my young writers. I’m bringing my A game. So what’s the big deal?

The big deal is that every time I work with a new group of kids I get this way. I’m not afraid of them. I’m not afraid that I won’t know what to do with them. It isn’t fear at all. Anxiety is more like it. I suppose it’s more excitement than anything else.

I’m excited to get to know them. I’m excited to try out some new things. I’m excited to see what they can and will do. I’m excited for it all, and it all starts tomorrow.

I know it’s going to be great, now if I can just calm down enough to get a good night’s sleep I’ll be set.