Today is the last day of the 2019-2020 school year. 😏
This year has been quite the adventure. We got my son's type 1 diabetes diagnosis in December. My school was closed for snow then when we got back we had a water pipe break and flood part of the school over a weekend and we were closed again. On March 13th our schools closed due to Covid19 and we've been "distance" teaching and learning at my house. In the midst of this the black lives matter movement grew exponentially with protests and rallies.
Many years ago, I read a research report on the effects of watching the news in the United States. I don't remember how I came across it, probably sipping coffee in my pjs while my family slept in. I often go down a click-road and am often surprised at where I end up. The research showed that the amount of news watching a person did was directly correlated with the level of unhappiness for that person. What? Yes, people who watch the news are unhappy! Maybe people who don't watch the news are happier because they are oblivious but I know watching the news doesn't bring me joy so I often don't do it. I rely on my friends and relatives to just give me the important and big events condensed and without the sensationalism. So then along comes a global pandemic and I'm home all day every day...
I'm not watching the news but I am reading it. I scroll through the internet in the mornings and peruse the main news topics. What a bunch of jumbled mess. I guess I've come to the time in my life when I will now say "back in my day". I admit I never gave much though to the news and it's legitimacy when I was young but I fantasize that at one time our news was reporting facts. It probably still is but it is difficult to tell right now. It seems to be that "news" is just a blatant attempt to out-shock the competition. This morning in my "news feed" there were four articles back to back that each contradicted the other. Chasing down my own information was difficult and when I finally was able to find a source I felt confident was providing some research-based information it didn't seem to support any of the sensational articles I had just read. I have the time, ability, and desire to chase down a source but many people don't. I'm guessing they only read the article with a title that matches their opinion or if they read multiple articles they would lean towards their existing opinion because there is no compelling reason given not to.
The school year is over. For me, and several of my students, next week is going to feel exactly like the previous three months. I will sip my coffee while my family sleeps, review student's responses from the previous assignment, set a new learning target or make an adjustment to the lessons, and create their assignments for the day or week. These students will follow the routine their families have set for them and I expect to see each student submitting work pretty much in keeping with the time they have been submitting work for the past three months. I will still be joining zoom meetings with select groups of colleagues as we try to plan for re-opening in the Fall without much in the way of guidelines or accountability from those who set the guidelines.
But mostly, I'll have my days to enjoy the sun and my family and sit on my porch with my book and glass of wine or a lemonade. My mind may try to race from the sensational news to the uncertainty about the coming school year. I will review my social media and try to skim over everyone's personal opinions on masks vs. no masks to enjoy pictures of friends and family. Time marches on and it will this summer too. My plans have changed since R & I were planning a wedding ceremony for July but we've cancelled/postponed it. We feel married already anyway and whenever we have the ceremony we want our people to feel safe to attend.
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