Mon. Apr. 20th: Yesterday was one of the BEST days since quarantine started. I spent the day with both of my amazing daughters & my older daughters boyfriend, Michael. The 4 of us played board games, like Balderdash (so much fun!) and ate snacks and talked & laughed. It confirmed what I already knew: That family & the people you love are truly the most important thing in life. Love makes a family, not blood. Michael, my older daughter's
boyfriend, has become like family to us.
They have been dating almost a year and he is such a great kid. I'm so happy my daughter met him.
Yesterday morning (Sun. 4/19) I went out & bought: potting soil, flower & vegetable seeds & some gardening supplies. NEWS FLASH: I have NEVER gardened in my entire life. But now all of a sudden I'm SUPER excited about making a VEGETABLE GARDEN in our backyard, and planting some beautiful flowers to brighten the yard. The flower mix I bought said it attracts hummingbirds (my favorite) & butterflies. I can't wait for them to grow and bloom! I'll add photos when that happens!
"Wait, Today is THURSDAY?" (4/16) I always double-check the date before writing a post and no joke: I was surprised to find out today is Thursday. Where has the time gone? My last day at CMS is next Friday, April 24th. Words can't express how much I will MISS all my students. :'( And not being able to see them and to say a proper goodbye makes it even harder.
Self-isolating has been hard on everyone and it doesn't help that the weather has been so cold. But the forecast says the SUN will be out today, and even in cold weather, the sun shining down on us always makes things better.
My best advice: Try to find the silver lining in this time. Try to find all of the positives; like being able to finally SLEEP IN every day. Being able to wear your HOODIE UP over your head and NOT getting yelled at. (Ha :) And spending time with the people you love the most.
Try to go outside at least once a day: Walk your dog. Play catch with your brother or sister. See how many jumping jacks you can do. Or exercise your MIND: Write in a journal, like this! (And YES, it really does help.) Zoom or Facetime your grandparents & friends. Make art. Or write an old-fashioned, hand-written letter and mail it to someone you love. Want to hear from me? Send me an email & I promise to write back. Thinking of you all. Be safe. (Thurs. Apr. 16, 2020)
Mon. Apr. 13th: No one ever expected something like this to happen. It's like something out of a sci-fi movie like Outbreak or Pandemic. But it's real life. As I read through student journals I'm touched by how open and vulnerable they've been. Most notably, opening up about feeling sad and depressed. Feeling sad & anxious is something everyone can relate to. Every single person has felt sad, upset, lonely & depressed at some point in their life. And this very new, surreal experience- being forced to isolate ourselves- has intensified those feelings. But please know you are not alone.
Don't believe me? Read what other 8th grade students have shared in their journals over the past few weeks, since the stay-at-home order was placed in March. Click HERE.
Sat. Apr. 11th: The sun is shining as I sit at my kitchen table, finalizing grades for term 3. There are still a lot of students with missing assignments, so I am emailing each one individually to let them know. It's Saturday, the day before Easter and the sun is out. I should be relaxing but I have to get all my work done first.
I'm not sure students realize how much work teachers & administrators have to do. I always hear students complain about "how much work" they have. But I always try to create assignments (like keeping a journal like this) that are meaningful, interesting and fun. It's not always possible, but I really do try & I hope they know that.
My next door neighbor is working on an old sports car. A year ago, he added a huge, heated 3-car garage, the size of another small house, to their property (they already had another small 1-car garage, so now they have two!). It's totally decked out with A/C, a full stereo system and is heated. He literally spends 95% of his free time out there. (My daughters jokes it's because he is trying to avoid his wife & three kids.) Right now, he is working on this old, classic silver sports car and it's so LOUD. He keep taking it out for "test drives" and the motor is very noisy. He speeds out of the driveway, revs the engine and squeals the tires on the country road in front of our houses and it's difficult to concentrate.
As I've been reading all of the journal entries I assigned last week, I am touched by the thoughtfulness, empathetic, and caring things my students wrote about. I created a collection of excerpts from their journals (all names & any identifying information has been removed to protect their identity) and I can't wait to share them all with you soon. My neighbor is revving his loud engine again (insert eye rolling emoji here) so I need to get back to work.
Please keep checking this journal blog for more news about the students at CMS and how they are coping during this surreal, history making time in all of our lives. I miss you all. Xx
Thurs. Apr. 9th: I never had the chance to say goodbye. Not to the wonderful teachers and the amazing staff at CMS who helped me so much along the way. And not to the 118 kind, thoughtful and wonderful students who I was so blessed to see each day.
I was only there for 6 short weeks but the staff and students there touched my heart for a lifetime.
Want to win some Easter Candy? Chocolates, Haribou Gummy Bears, and other cool prizes? Find out how here by reading my journal entry for this day. Click here.
This is my kitchen table "office" work space and one of our 3 rescue cats. They all like to keep me company while I'm working.