Have I really not posted since last April?
It’s been a year. The girl finished middle school with her Principal’s Honor Roll K-8 intact, the only one in her class with that particular achievement. The boy made it through 6th grade.
The girl started high school at one of the IB schools in the local district. It has been going well. She got involved in drama right away, and that has given her a focus and a group of friends. She is doing well in her classes and likes most of her teachers. She performed in her first high school play. She will be taking the AP Human Geography exam next month. I’m impressed. She also did confirmation class this fall and was confirmed in the Presbyterian Church.
The boy started a new middle school at the neighborhood school. It is a 7-8 school, so he started with all the other 7th graders (and none of the 8th graders had been on campus last year, so the whole school was starting new in some ways.) About 6 weeks into the school year, he was moved into a new cohort. He said the biggest difference between the two groups is that the students in the new classes engage. There is a lot to unpack in that, but this probably isn’t the moment. He has made some school friends. He wishes he had friends who weren’t just school friends.
The school year started in person with mask mandates. Masks became optional last month. With a few exceptions, so far, mostly kids are wearing them and teachers are not.
The community college was in-person with masks in the Fall. It was good but challenging. There was a lot of attrition in attendance. With the Omicron surge, we started Spring semester via Zoom and moved to the classroom 6 weeks later. The mask mandate at the college has been extended through the end of the semester.
I have had a nice run of 6 years teaching British Literature as an adjunct. For the first time in those years a full-timer has asked to teach Brit Lit. I have enjoyed my niche, but sharing is good. The professor who wants the class is suggesting an every other year trade-off–which he doesn’t have to do–and the department chair is working on getting me good classes in the interim. I have the opportunity to teach a Distance Education Women’s Literature class in the fall. It will be some work, but it should be totally fun. I think I will also be teaching a dual enrollment English 101 at a nearby high school. I did that in Fall 2020 virtually and enjoyed it. I do enjoy high school seniors. This will be in person 4 days a week, one hour a day.
Computerguy is back at work fully in person for the last year. They have given no consideration to allowing people to work from home (If any employees have to be in person, all employees must. They used to use the same argument for why the computer guys had to wear button up shirts and ties every day.) Right now he is in Idaho visiting his parents. He will drive back their 2012, 53,000 mile Plug-in Prius for us. That will give us a reliable car and allow us to have our 2005 Prius for the girl to drive next year (!!!???!!!). I was telling our neighbor and remembering he and his wife coming over to meet the newborn baby girl. Wow!
I came over to the blog to write about the confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. I don’t have much to add to the discourse, but it makes me glad.
I guess that’s the last year in a nutshell. In some ways it was harder than the first year. There has been a lot of pivoting. It was easier to just hunker down. I continue to try and think of how we can come out of this different. I don’t just want to go back to “normal.” I don’t think “normal” was healthy. But I’m not sure what I am hoping.