Category Archives: Family

It’s Different

Walking into the scene shop to get started organizing yearbooks, my breath caught and I had to swallow tears. Usually opening the boxes is one of the most joyful moments of the year. There’s music and dancing and awe when the editors have the staff gather round for the unveiling.

The editors take the staff through page by page and tell them stories, and we laugh, even over the pages that made us cry.

And then the kids alphabetize the yearbook boxes, find their books and pour over the pages for an hour. After that we have our awards ceremony and eat.

Then it’s more organizing followed by the staff signing party.

Kids are in and out because they have tests or makeup work or projects to present. The room is constant activity. Constant music—sometimes I have to say “hey, language in the newsroom,” and we laugh and laugh and laugh.

Then we open the doors for early distribution and the signing party.

Sometimes there’s cake.

This year it’s me and DH, and it’s all task oriented. Do this, do that, get done.

Distribution starts Tuesday and runs 3 hours a day through Friday.

I have no idea what to expect.

I don’t have those feel-good moments of watching my editors open their books for the first time. I don’t have video of them going through page by page. I don’t have the happy to get me through the complaints that are simply part of the publication process.

Or the memories of the staff as they look trough their books. This year’s book is the biggest ever for CTHS at 255 pages. The staff would have loved that celebration.

I know I need to shift my mindset. To embrace the happy that happened. But this is hard.

I’m thankful to DH. For 21 years he’s offered to help with yearbooks. Today he got to do it!

I’m so proud of my editors who can’t be with me today but who worked SO HARD. They completed over 100 pages at home in a month on little laptops in quarantine. A parent emailed me in April to see if we were even going to have a yearbook since school closed and nothing happened. I was able to say “oh, no. We had a year and a lot happened. And the end looked different, but we still have a book. And the book even covers the end.” We have four spreads of National COVID coverage—thanks Walsworth— and two spreads of CTHS coverage done with help from all my classes. That’s a victory, a huge thing to be happy over!

I’m so thankful to my school and the support they’ve shown.

One more week.

It’s not the book we planned exactly, some pages had to be replaced, but it will always be the most memorable. And through the bad—thanks Coronavirus—there were some really great moments.

DH helping with yearbooks. ❤️💜💛

We Don’t Know

I just read these words and they struck a chord.

We don’t know. By we I mean the regular old everyday folks. Not the doctors and epidemiologists and that doc in Houston who went to Asia to learn how to fight SARS and says he’s a COVIDOLOGIST now and none of the 50+ patients in his little hospital have died.

He knows, maybe. They know, sort of.

But most of us don’t know. At all.

And that’s why I’ll wear a mask when I’m out.

I don’t know.

I’m a journalism teacher. I know NOTHING about this except what I read in newspapers and hear Dr. Fauci tell us.

It’s one of those what if it’s right things for me. And I’ll gladly continue hoping the mask is right because Dr. Fauci said now it is and he wore one today for the press conference.

That’s it. That’s enough for me.

Edited to add. They probably know. They’re warning us. Man, this is hard.

We Don’t Have To Be Constantly Aware

It’s hard to break a news addiction.

But I’m trying.

DH turns the news on and keeps it on all day. Unless Ancient Aliens is on. AA marathon, all bets are off. Lol.

Honestly I didn’t know how much news my husband consumed until quarantine. I’m a fan of the news. A big fan. But right now, leaving the TV on the news is not okay. It’s awful to watch the COVID numbers increase, to hear the President say something ridiculous like we don’t need to test because if we don’t test our numbers won’t be so high, to see people storming capitols with guns, to watch a black man gunned down on his daily jog…the list goes on. When the news is on all morning, the list is long and enraging.

I’m working on breaking my news addiction. And it’s working.

What we’re doing instead of watching the news: music. iTunes is outstanding and we’ve listened to so many different artists lately. Our favorite right now is Nora Jones.

That’s where we are. I need to break the constant news habit before summer. Right now I have classes and grading to take me away, but once we get to summer…oh boy.

It’s Hard Not To Be Angry

But it’s not healthy to be angry all the time.

And honestly, we know there are outside influencers trying to keep us divided. All the time.

Social media is tough. I love politics, but when every little thing is political, politics ceases to be fun. During quarantine when your only contact with some people is social media posting politics all the time skews things, and when you live in the middle of red America, it skews them in a bad way.

It took me a long time to get here, but I made it. At least I made it today.

My goal is to stop posting in anger and instead to just post fully sourced facts.

No memes, no opinion pieces. Just facts. When I’m talking politics.

It won’t change anyone’s mind, I don’t think, but hopefully it will help me. And maybe if I’m making this a personal challenge, I’ll be doing my part to stop creating division.

People are dumb

It’s not asking too much to ask you to wear a mask. To ask you to social distance. To ask you to give the curve time to flatten.

But no.

So I guess we’re going to do this thing and make it far worse than it had to be.

And when it’s over I’m definitely blaming every single right wing brainwashed fool I know.

This was preventable. But they couldn’t be bothered.

A 17-yr-old student with no underlying conditions died in Dallas today.

And these people can’t be bothered to wear a mask. God help us all.

Day 5243

The President suggested injecting disinfectant to stop the virus today so there’s that. 😲

I planned on sending out applications to teacher recommended students when we got back to school after spring break.

I sent out the emails today.

I hope some will accept the challenge. And it will be a challenge! But it’s an important thing for us to do. It will be different, but we will still have a year to cover.

Today is the first day in forever I didn’t spend all day on my computer or phone reaching out to my students. I let them email me and responded instead. I can’t do that often but I needed to breathe today.

And I visited my parents for the first time in six weeks. I kept my mask on the whole time and was sanitized. I couldn’t stand being so close and not seeing them. Mom hugged me and I almost started crying because I know that wasn’t safe but she needed that hug and I did too.

I don’t want this to be our new normal.

Teacher

At the end of first grade I asked my teacher for extra papers so I could play school. My stuffed animals and a couple friends and maybe my brother learned lots that summer. 🙋🏻‍♀️👏😁

I LOVED Mrs. Tagee. When I made it to Minnesota via Oklahoma and Arkansas I couldn’t read yet. Everyone else could. We had ability groups back then, and I was all alone.

Mrs. Tagee taught me to read, and she taught me to love school. Plenty of teachers after her did too.

I LOVE school. I love teaching. I firmly believe it’s my calling in life.

But this is different. And I don’t love it.

But I still love my kids.

We’ll get back to school. I don’t know when, but we will. I’m looking forward to when we do.

*****

It’s in the early hours of Good Friday. The day when it felt like all hope was lost. But as pastor Rick Thompson taught us: It’s Friday but Sunday’s coming.

Thank you, Lord, for that promise and that hope.

A Day

Brian’s in WF working. I’m at home working. It’s weird to not be together.

My dog is here with me, also weird. She usually goes to Grandma’s with Dad. But Tanner the puppy is too frisky right now for Emmie.

Time means everything and nothing right now. Everything because the closer we get to a vaccine and successful treatment of COVID-19, the closer we are to going back to school, to work, to life outside shutdown mode.

Nothing because with everything online I find myself looking up from work hours after it started even though it feels like minutes.

It’s a weird time.

I’m staying off the news for the most part so that is helping. I don’t want to see the numbers. That’s so weird. When all this started while we were on Spring Break, I checked the numbers every morning and night. Now I avoid them. I don’t want to know. I just want to stay safe in my tiny little space.

A Quote But Not Exactly

Somewhere I read someone who said something like You’re either going to have the big government running the show or you’re going to have big business running the show. The problem with big government is it’s clunky and bureaucratic. The problem with big business is it’s driven by profit, and money doesn’t care about people one way or another.

I have searched for who said this to no avail, but GOD are we seeing the truth of this right now.

Equity firms have bought up medical practices to make big bucks off the travesty that is the US Healthcare system. This weekend doctors’ hours have been cut because those firms aren’t making bank on elective surgeries. Middle of a pandemic? Who the heck cares. It’s all about the money.

The fear of government led us to this nightmare of a President who hates government and loves money above all.

So here we are with no strong federal government response to Coronavirus. Instead states make their own rules, counties make their own rules. Some counties make rules that lead to more money…at least until the ERs and ICUs are full.

Yesterday, Georgia’s idiot governor reopened the beaches. Tybee county is going to file a lawsuit to stop the governor from making them risk their lives because idiot tourists will flock to the beaches if they’re open.

In the metroplex most of us are hunkered down, closed by county ordinances. Not all of us are though, but we’re all going to pay the price.

States fight each other and pay exorbitant prices for gloves and masks and gowns to protect healthcare workers. Big business, big money, no government oversight.

I sure hope when all this is over we’ll quit throwing away the idea a strong government that regulates big business. I hope we’ll embrace ideas like the ones FDR used to help rebuild the USA.

Something has to change and big business won’t let it if we don’t make it. Because money doesn’t care about people one way or the other.

I’m Tired

Today Jared Kushner took the stage in the press conference. I guess he’s leading the charge against Coronavirus now. He said the national stockpile of med supplies was Ours not the states’. I’m not sure what he means. We’re the United States. Hopefully when I look back on this post it will be with a sense of relief that these people didn’t destroy us.

I had a book party today. I wasn’t going to do it. I hate Facebook parties! But I was sitting here staying home and I thought it would be a good way to take my mind off things.

School is hard. Harder than I ever imagined. I read a post today that resonated. We’re not working from home. We’re working at home in a global crisis. That’s a good way to look at things.

I’m not watching much news. The nightly news and Brian Williams. Not all of that but BW’s voice brings me comfort. I don’t know why. Maybe because he took over for Tom Brokaw and I’ve watched NBC my entire adult life. I love Lester too. But I just can’t watch the news all the time right now. It’s too sad.

I hope I can sleep tonight. I usually don’t sleep much until I’m totally exhausted. It’s not healthy, but it’s where I am.

Prayers for my mental health and this annoying cough I can’t shake.

Prayers for my daughter and grands in Ohio.

Prayers for my mom and dad. Mom thinks she broke her hip standing up. She has osteoporosis. I told her she can’t go to a hospital right now. She already went last week so…

Prayers for my extended family.

Prayers for my sweet students as they work to finish the yearbook from home at the same time they’re facing all this.

Prayers for our nation, our state and my two hometowns: Wichita Falls and Fort Worth.

Prayers for my colleagues and my bosses. This is all so stressful.

Prayers are what we’ve got. They’re all we’ve got.