Saturday, March 28, 2020

Humor is Welcomed {28 of 31 Slice of Life}

Baking has become a past time for one of my daughters.  We are enjoying freshly baked chocolate chip cookies after dinner.  She made a double batch and plans on dropping some of to her friends later tonight.  My other daughter takes a bite and says, "this cookies doesn't have enough chocolate chips."  The baker replies - it's like an Easter egg hunt.  We all started laughing.  Humor is welcomed and needed during a pandemic.  

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community and offering this challenge.

Rallying for One More Hour {27 of 31 Slice of Life}

Today I took a midday run; two miles.  I planned my day around the raindrops that keep interrupting my life and staying engaged with my distance learning.  As I returned to the bottom of my driveway, I didn't feel like going inside quite yet.  I knew I needed to go back inside.  I had Seesaw posts to view and respond to.  I wanted to get them done before my Zoom PD with Kristin and Katie.  I decided to lay down on the blacktop and capture any warmth that might be radiating from the sun. I was surprised the blacktop wasn't as warm as I anticipated and then I remember it is only March and not July.  I laid down, closed my eyes and tried to rest my mind.  Resting my mind wasn't happening.  Nine days didn't sound that long nine days ago.  Distance learning has brought new learning, new ways to connect, and new worries.  Thinking can be tiring.  I wasn't sure I had one more hour in me.  I closed my eyes.  I took a selfie with my eyes closed to document this moment and bam.  I rallied for that last hour. 

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community and offering this challenge.


Thursday, March 26, 2020

Distance Learning Grading to BLUEBIRD! {26 of 31 Slice of Life}

I was on the phone with a friend I work with and we were discussing an email we got earlier about grading what we are now calling distance learning.  When, I blurted out mid-sentence, I have a bluebird in my backyard!  Then I talked at a rapid pace explaining I've had this special bluebird feeder for a few years and I've never seen a bluebird go in and out.  It's a traditional rectangular hanging house with plexiglass longer sides so you can see through it.  There's a dish inside that houses bluebird energy food right now because I couldn't find mealworms at the store.  There are two holes at either of the short ends allowing just right sized birds to go through; that being a bluebird.  I don't have a bluebird box here at the house and help over see a bluebird trail at school.  I'm in love with them and now I'm thinking I need a bluebird house at home now.

As I reflected on this moment today, I think it was a sign.  It was a sign that the world is turned upside down personally and professionally.  Things are not going to make sense for quite some time AND I need to find ways to shift my thinking.  We are on pause.  Stop and notice.  Celebrate what you stop and notice.  The pace can be slower.  Decisions of others are out of my control and I can only show up each day and try.  That's all any of us can do.  

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community and offering this challenge.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

4pm Win! {25 of 31 Slice of Life}

Earlier in the day. in the middle of a Mario Kart tournament that was just created I announced -  at 4:00pm we are going to the park.  No one squawked back at me.  I thought they didn't hear me and just kept walking.  I had already announced the sunshine was out and we needed to take advantage of it. Maybe they knew there was no negotiating time in the sunshine.

I went for a short run and returned at 3:59pm to find my people gathering to get shoes and coats on.  Something felt odd about this and I wasn't going to question it.  My husband was able to stop working from his makeshift basement office.  The girls were done playing this round of Mario Kart and we decided to leave the dog home.  Less things to worry about.

We drove down the road a bit to a park we can easily visit and were there for an hour.  It's not a big park.  There's a loop in the woods with a break off path down to the pond.  Here I decided to see if we could jazz up this walk and explore across a dried up creek that leads into the pond and walk some fallen trees.  The youngest a junior in high school was all in.  We were very daring with the height being at the most three feet off the ground.  On the return she thought she could jump the creek and I warned her if her feet got wet we'd still keep walking.  She fell in with one foot, it was wet, the mud pulled at her short boots AND we kept walking.  

After the loop in the woods she and I took the loop through a prairie field while the other two waited on a bench.  I was so surprised she came with me and she said she was worried I could be kidnapped. Who has energy for kidnapping right now, I asked.  We chatted and noticed things and chatted some more.

I think this all worked today because there was sunshine.  We know we have to take advantage of our "Ohio stay home" guidelines which let us get outside while social distancing.   I also thought it worked because I gave them a warning and made a statement.  It wasn't a question.  This was a huge win for parenting teenagers and young adults.  Sometimes those toddler moves of mine still work.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community and offering this challenge.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Flexible and Grace {24 of 31 Slice of Life}

As I wrestle with slicing each day I think - Things are different.  Routines as they were are not here right now.  My teaching world is not as it was and I'm learning new things daily.  I'm working hard to connect digitally with my students daily so our connection to each other stays active.  Last week was overwhelming and this week we are finding a new groove while being asked to stay at home.  I gather slices in my head daily and then it might take a couple of days to get them out.  For me, I had to let go of physically writing each day to help find balance and take some pressure off.  I'm being flexible and shifted my goal to be 31 slices by the end of the month.  As I asked my families at school, I'll ask you for grace.  Grace for understanding and grace for being part of this journey in uncertain times.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community and offering this challenge.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Home Office Hours? {21 of 31 Slice of Life}

I slept in and made a small plan for my day and it got derailed as most days have so far.  The derailments that came up weren't bad derailments.  They were just needs or wants of others.  As we ventured out with Clorox wipes for final bedroom needs at IKEA's curb side pick up and fabric to make blankets for the bestie friends we can't see right now, I found myself wondering...can I hang a sign up for office hours availability?  Helping others settle in has become a huge priority here.  Going from three here full time to four has been a bigger adjustment than normal.  My friend said to me today, I don't miss those days when all the college disorganized stuff comes home and she reminded me we usually have a warning when it's coming.  That made so much sense to me and I had to remind myself on top of all of this - we flipped her bedroom.  We are almost there; having her settled in.  I see light at the end of this welcome home early phase.  

For now, I'm not offering office hours - it seems a bit odd to do at home.  I know once things are settled physically; more will settle within us.  I'm headed out for a long walk bundled up without my dog.  I think going alone with a few podcasts will clear my head.  I might even sneak in a yoga session here at the house; I'm missing those before family movie night.

 Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community and offering this challenge.

Friday, March 20, 2020

A List and Grace...{20 of 31 Slice of Life}

I woke up this morning worried about my days.  This week they were fully consumed with online learning and helping my own children navigate this new way of living.  I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and thought I need a schedule and realized as things come up for others I usually respond and a schedule wouldn't work.  However, a list of things I want to do each day could help me find balance and make sure we were doing things that help us connect and create with each other.    So, I wrote a fluid, flexible, and list of fun.  Maybe a list would help this weird sense of time and questioning I feel we are all in.  I wrote it.  I shared it.  It got a bit derailed today and there's always tomorrow.  I'm giving myself grace.  Grace might just be my new favorite word.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community and offering this challenge.