distance learning

Practicing my social distancing in the El Dorado National Forest. Giving a lot of thought to the idea of distance learning. Remote learning sounds a bit isolationist, I suppose. Educational continuity sounds too stuffy and a bit like a business model. 

How do we continue to educate students when they are no longer in a physical classroom? For the past 100+ years, students attended class for 180(ish) days and the magic happened in a set routine. With the COVID 19 pandemic, this is no longer the case. 

Maybe this is the chance teachers have wanted for so long—a chance to redefine the educational landscape. Maybe this school closure is an opportunity radically change school. I don’t know what that redesign looks like right now. No one has the answers. But, I’m having this conversation with others...and I’m optimistic about the changes ahead. 

social distancing

Strange times. Across the globe, and now locally, COVID-19 is altering daily life. And, no one really knows what the "new normal" looks like...we are all still trying to find our way. 

Yesterday, the stores here in California (and elsewhere) were overrun by shoppers. Hysteria finally gained traction, and panic buying ran rampant. Carts overflowing with non-perishable goods. Empty store shelves. No toilet paper to be found. The run on toilet paper really puzzles me, but I am not terribly concerned about it. Thankfully, I have plenty of provisions on hand and I doubt this "flattening of the the curve" will turn apocalyptic. 

At least, I hope my assumptions prove correct. But, the main disruption of COVID-19/corona virus is the "social distancing" and the advisory that people over age 65 (or those with a chronic health condition) stay isolated. Quarantine is such a nasty, clinical word—isolation doesn't sound so punitive, I suppose. Regardless, this is how we flatten the curve and prevent such a mass outbreak like the ones in China, Italy, and Spain.

Schools announced on Friday that they will remain closed for up to 3 weeks. Meaning, no school until after Spring Break. Schools are struggling to push lessons to students and to continue the learning. Many schools are implementing a drive-thru service for student breakfast and lunch, as some students rely on those meals.

Social distancing also means that I will be delivering meals and other necessities to my parents (both over age 65). I am sure they aren't happy about cancelling dinner outings, book club, or any other social event they enjoy so much. But, in order to ensure they have what they need while they remain isolated at their home, I will be making deliveries...and staying 6 feet away. *sigh*

On a personal note: the upside to all of this, if there is one, is that I will finally be able to work ahead on my doctoral studies. And, I like to joke that I have been training for "social distancing" my whole life. That is partly true. As an ambivert, I am elated that I do not have to attend large gatherings! But, I wouldn't wish it for others.

milestone

Tomorrow, I turn 50 years old. I don't feel 50. And, reflecting back on this birthday, nothing much has changed since I turned 40.

Nothing much has changed at all. Several people have told me that this is a milestone event. So, I suppose I should be thankful that I have made it this far.

I am grateful for what I have, and I am humbled by all the love and support of friends and family. Although, I am still trying to figure things out. I am still trying to find my way. I am still learning...and playing the game.