Saturday, November 21, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving



   Well, Thanksgiving is almost here. One of my friends had a type of half humorous pool as to when the schools would close down – most had a guessed around Halloween and the day after election day. My own guess has been the Friday before Thanksgiving. That’s when the weather starts to take a turn and teachers nerves are frayed and kids even need a break. Thanksgiving week should always have been taken off. For many it always has been. In my long running jaunt as an ATR, it was one of the worst weeks to work. In many of the schools I was in, 50% of the staff had taken off. Those hires from the Bloomberg days had to fly back to Oshkosh and Boise to see their families. Subs and ATR‘s were left trying to control their classes. I still remember those days vividly, I often felt like a lion tamer without a whip or a tranquilizer (for me or the students). The Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving was like reaching the finish line of a grueling marathon, in what was in actuality a three day week. But enough of that, DeBlasio finally did the right thing while working on an assembly line of a year that has left him looking like a lobotomized Lucy trying to keep up. 

This year has been rough for all of us and it’s not over yet. I’ve been working since September and it’s not easy on anyone. The school here does everything correctly. Zooming and teaching physical classes simultaneously with another teacher can be grueling in a new way. It’s all the little things that can make you feel like Bruce Campbell being attacked by tiny evil miniatures of himself. Zooming, ahem... Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Then there’s the mask. The F**king mask. The first week wearing it all day was pure torture. The chafing on the ears and face! Worse than that, many a masked pedagog, including me, realized we couldn’t stand our own breath and dentists starting seeing flocks of new patients in the quest to solve many a student’s insultingly true perennial complaint. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking - stay home, but it’s a thousand times better than  tip-toeing around the house while my family are all working and attending classes on Zoom. I like getting dressed and leaving, and I love teaching and/or helping students. For the millions of newly homebound, sweatpants and tee shirts are the 2020 uniform of choice. Many have seemed to embrace this new life of isolation and I’m starting to wonder if anything will be the same. If I’m honest to you and myself, I’d say no. Why go anywhere if you can do it from the comfort of your home? It’s easy to start thinking that way, but it’s a dangerous and false paradigm shift in thinking. Will we all become a type of soap opera, novella loving junkie living our lives once, twice or exponentially removed from living in the physical world? A technological life trade that seems free and easy, but in actuality is extremely expensive and will continue to be so. 

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. Remember life and don’t get too comfortable. 

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Stories herein containing unnamed or invented characters are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.