The First Week of School: Day 4


I'm exhausted.  It's the 4th day of school.  Our district started late this year not because of this crazy Covid thing, but because LAST year a referendum was passed to do some much needed upgrades in all the schools [all the buildings need re-roofing and had ventilation issues].  All the work was to be done over the summer and finished by the 14th.  It still isn't finished and I'm NOT blaming lazy construction people.  I'm blaming Covid that shut down so many things so that parts and pieces weren't available and still aren't in some cases.  All of the school EXCEPT the high school are finished.  What does this mean?  All schools are virtual (with the exception of pre-k, k and 1st which go in for 4 hours 2 days a week), but all the teachers (with the exception of the high school) are in the classroom.  The high school teachers teach from home.  That might sound easier and you might wonder why all the teachers don't want to do this.  Maybe some do, but when I see all the technology that goes into presenting virtually; I can see why they need a classroom for all of that.

That being said, I am NOT a teacher.  I admire them and their determination and they must really be exhausted.  I am exhausted and it's only the 4th day in and I only have one kid who is a teenager and should be able to go about his day without any input from me (operative word being SHOULD).  I can't imagine what it's like to have more than one child, let alone more than one child who is young.  Those parents must be beyond exhausted.  And again, let's not forget the teachers who have children, who are teaching AND dealing with their own.  I know my son said one day one of his teachers had a dog barking in the background as well as the sound of children too.  I am NOT putting down this teacher...I'm lifting this teacher up for doing it all.  I also used it as a teachable moment; teachers are human too.  We are all facing our own challenge and doing the best we can.

We are in such a different landscape this fall semester.  And it's a landscape that keeps changing.  It HAS to keep changing as the world and the virus change daily.  Initially, all the schools were going to go back in a hybrid mode.  But when it became clear that the high school and possibly the middle school were not going to be complete in time, the switch to virtual had to be made.  Athletics were going forward in a modified form.  Then, the weekend before school started, there were rumors of a party/gathering of teens.  (You know I'm NOT talking about a dozen chaperoned kids right?  I'm talking about what used to be considered a rite of passage where a bunch of teens do stupid things like drink and smoke in the woods.  Stuff that mostly gets swept under the rug and ignored, but not this time.) Rumors continued that one of the teens had Covid.  All athletics and activities (like band and clubs) are immediately cancelled.  There was moaning and groaning.  There were angry social media posts.  There was protesting and a news crew.  (Really?)  Two days later, after the smoke cleared, everything was back on.  

It's a crazy world we live in.  Some people try to be cautious.  Some throw caution to the wind and let fate (or Covid) take them wherever it goes.  I'd like to think I'm somewhere in the middle.  I'm take precautions, but am not obsessive. (Let me say there is NOTHING wrong with being obsessive when it comes to health.  Again, it's a crazy world we live in.)  I'm trying to make some semblance of normal in my life.

But this first week of school is anything but normal.  I've been walking by the high school on my morning walks.  (Which are now in the I miss the early morning dawns)  The illuminated sign on the front lawn is dark.  No information; no inspiration.  I think that describes 2020!

I have to be home before 6:30 so that I can make sure my son is up.  His choir class starts at 7:10.  Do you know how much fun it is getting a teen into a 7:10 class?  I am not complaining about the class.  I am grateful that he is in the class since it looked like he wouldn't be able to do a choir at all.  Good thing it IS remote because getting him in front of a computer at that hour has got to be easier than getting him dressed, out the door and to the physical school.  (When we go "back" won't that be fun?)

I sit in my "office" and work.  He sits in his room and "classes."  I try to be quiet on my calls.  He's got his headphones on and I end up hearing part of his conversation.  We both try to ignore each other as well as the construction that continues next door...when it continues.  (Thankfully they ARE wrapping up and most of the work seems to be happening between 5pm and 8 pm.)

Why is this exhausting me?  I'm not sure.  All I'm doing is "working".  And making sure he's in the right class at the right time.  (It is weird trying to figure out times...even with a clock.  Whose clock is right?  There is no bell saying that class is over.  There is no bell that says the new class is about to begin.)

It's probably just the newness of the situation.  After a long summer break here we are back in a new school year, which looks different than a regular school year and even looks different than what we had in the spring.  We'll get into the groove, right?  Eventually?

In the meantime, keep that coffee flowing.  It is pumpkin spice season after all!

Parents, kids, teachers, all school staff, heck EVERYBODY:  keep doing your best.  Stay safe.  Stay sane.  And when you need to, keep caffeinated!


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