Coronavirus Days--Week 17
Distractions work. They keep me from constantly refreshing screens, drinking in too much news--a toxic habit some days. But, when I have somewhere to turn my mind, my being, for a time, much of that ceases. Sure, I always find time to check the latest data on the positivity rates (Colorado continues to climb, which is not a good thing), r nought values (Colorado is also not where it should be). Data. It helps steady me in reality, understand exactly what is happening and being measured scientifically. It is our situation. I prefer to know even if it freaks me out.
Fortunately, though, I don't reside in data constantly. This past week, especially, I directed much of my brain and heart elsewhere, thinking about students, inclusion, my approaches. For a week, I've been a student, taking a fantastic and energizing course called "The Humanity of Inclusive Practices." It's helped me shift from a dread of the upcoming fall semester to a sense of excitement to try some new things, to stretch and see how inclusive and how much a sense of community I can establish in an online/remote environment. I have some concrete things to play with. I've had to remember to examine my self a bit and show up with that in my teaching. It's not all head. And I know that, and I practice that, but when I'm not F2F with students, it is mostly intellect and not so much emotion. This semester, I hope to shift that a bit, and find a way to create that same sense of community that comes more naturally to me in the classroom with students.
And since my head felt so full most days from either meeting for 2.5 hours in a synchronous environment, or doing the reading prep work for those classes, I made sure to hang out in my hammock, reading, staring at the clouds, learning to sit in the view. A bit of nothingness. Fortunately, Nan and I spend a lot of time in our backyard, when we want, moving to areas of shade to escape the heat, which settled in early in July and may not let up for awhile, like the virus, here for an extended stay.
Moments. An unplanned stroll with my neighbor, both setting out for our morning walk at the same time, random blocks, a conversation, through our masks, a mostly safe distance from each other. Noticing homes, plantings (she is a botanist), the pace of life blocks from home. A weekly happy hour with a friend during these coronavirus days, a cherished time devoted to a drink and conversation, growing closer at a distance, since now we have time to connect weekly. Sharing meals and good food with Nan. Cooking with fresh picked zucchini and shishito peppers from our garden. We all need moments.