|ebb and flow|
November 20, 2020
There are good days and days where the thought of interacting with actual people is exhausting. I try to save the energy I do have for Brian and the students. I'm looking forward to having next week "off." Let's be real, teachers at every level are never really off. There's always something to grade or plan.
Yesterday morning started out rough, I was oddly triggered by some news from Iowa. Everyone in my realm is okay, but a friend of a friend isn't; in fact, she's in the hospital in Ames. And while that's close to 1,300 miles away, it felt a little too close to home. I was supposed to go to the chiro but didn't, and I held conferences from home.
The conferences were hit or miss; some students were really prepared, some haven't a clue, and I helped get them back on track, and a few students didn't even 'show up.' Their loss of not only 10 points for the 15 minutes of 1:1 help, but there'll probably be lost points on their essays for not doing things properly. However, I had a couple of really good conversations...the shoot-the-shit with the students kind of convos. And those are the ones I really look forward to.
Let's be real, so much of what I do is playing off of the audience, and since zoom (or other streaming) removes the real-time reaction, it's difficult to adjust on the fly or insert corny (self-deprecating) joke here. I miss seeing the knitted brows of uncertainty as much as the open wide eyes of "Oh yeah!!" I miss SEEING the students at the coffee shop, on the lawn of the quad, calling their names in the hall, or waving frantically when someone calls my name. No impromptu bull sessions after class or in my office...that sort of thing. It's taken me twice as long to figure out who the 'characters are.' So 1:1 time is important. Just thinking about it, I just may start out the semester having 1:1 so I get to know my people.
In other news, Connor and I have been texting. He got a phone for his birthday (in August) but lost privileges a few times. He recently got it back and is happy to converse this way. He's doing much better in school even though it's virtual. He said he has about 4 hours of class each day, but math is a struggle. Their cat had 5 kittens, he's building a lego rocket based on a video he saw on youtube and is reading "The Ninth Ward" about a kid's experience with Hurricane Katrina. He said they talk about the story in English, Social Studies, and Science...immersive, project-based learning sounds like. He seems okay, but it's hard to tell just from words these days. And well, 13 is rough for any kid at any time. They've got two other families in their bubble, so there's a couple of kids to hang with. Daughter says it's like a little commune sharing of responsibilities, child care, communal dinners.
I'm bummed I won't be able to see him over the break. I guess we'll see what the spring semester and covid bring.
I have about 10 more meetings today before next week's downtime. Everything else seems okay for right now, and you know, I'll take that.
Stay courageous, not contagious~