We're finishing up the 9th week of virtual school, and I'm still in awe of the teachers. The amount of work they put into ensuring a variety of teaching methods, learning tools, apps and off-computer assignments that allows for just about every learning style is truly amazing. They seem to work around the clock, as assignments come through at all hours of the day and night.
As a writer I'm particularly impressed with the amount of writing the kids have to do, both the 2nd graders and the 5th graders. All are getting well-schooled in grammar and parts of speech. Punctuation, capitalization, and neat handwriting count. Dramatic and information narratives, short dramas, and writing exercises for, yes, language arts, but also math, science, and social studies are required several times a week. Glad they're all getting lots of practice in expressing themselves effectively.
Virtual learning has its ups and downs - so much freedom and variety, but a lot of extra work for everyone (especially the teachers) and just plain ol' missing the structure of being at school, being with friends.
And I have to admit - inwardly screaming, actually - that I'm tired. Working six days a week - three with the kids and three at the History Center - is testing me right now. It's a physical thing, but it's more than that. I feel dispirited. Part of it is this crazy virus, certainly, but it's also the awful things that Trump has foisted upon our nation and the stress of worrying about the upcoming election and its outcome. (Yes, I've voted and my ballot received and accepted.)
So, yes, months of stress and feeling helpless and hopeless wears on one. Throw in working a 6-day week, and I'm beginning to sink. Even all the Halloween candy and horror films aren't doing much to bring me cheer.
But like everybody else right now, I have no choice but to stay on this long, strange trip carrying a tiny candle of hope that we'll turn a corner and behold a better world.
So, fellow travelers, let's link arms and hold each other up as we struggle along. [insert hopeful Depression Era song here] Sigh.