So many different feelings today. I woke up to about 3 inches of snow. It was pretty, but I was not ready for this. Then a friend called and we talked for about 40 minutes. It was nice to talk with someone this morning.
One of those days where motivation was lacking, and then with one decision at the state level motivation took a dive. The governor for Iowa closed the schools for the rest of the year. Did I know it was coming, yes, but I was still hoping that we could go back to school yet this year. I will be honest, at that point tears were shed. Yes, I know it is the right decision, but I am still sad. Sad that I didn’t get to say goodbye to my students, sad that I can’t watch the seniors celebrate, sad that there will not be a graduation ceremony (I am hoping that they will do something once this is all over with) sad that there will be no awards celebration this year, sad that I am missing so many of my co-workers, and sad that this is happening all across the world.
A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to order t-shirts for our school about the quarantine, how ironic that mine came today. Yet another reminder that I am sad.
Yesterday, after getting a couple of pickups with missing/wrong items, I decided to brave it and do my Walmart shopping in person. What a change, a line to get in, waiting until the door opens, being counted as I entered the store. Once inside, it seemed like normal shopping, well except for the fact that the toilet paper aisle was empty and that they are only allowing you to purchase 1 box of tissues. My girls and I have allergies, one box at a time will not work. It is really sad when I consider that going to Walmart is a highlight of my day and or week.
April 16th was scheduled to be opening day at our local minor league ballpark. Instead, they opened the concessions and served carryout orders. It was fun to order ballpark food for lunch. What a turnout. The food was available from noon-6pm and you had to place your order and pay online or by calling the office ahead of time. Our pickup time was 12:30, but the line of cars was long and we didn’t get our food until 1:15. It was fun to have some baseball types of food; cheeseburgers, and the garbage pail.
Whoops, I was into a book that I was reading and totally forgot to write the past two days. So sad, hopefully, you can forgive me.
Monday both girls were off and they decided to clean their room. Oh my, for the first time ever they managed to work in the room and make progress without fighting. I was so impressed and hopeful. They even decided on a couple of ways to organize the stuff, some things that they could get rid of or store because it was out of season. I am so excited because there are actually spots where you can see the floor.
Both girls work for the same company. One is in management and one just works when she is home. Normally, I am thrilled with the company that they work for as they treat their employees very well. Yesterday and today I am irritated with the branch that DD2 works for. She was scheduled to work on Tuesday evening, however, that morning she received a text from her professor who was moving the time of the class to late afternoon due to some internet problems. Kristen called the store and told them about the problem, the Assistant manager didn’t believe her and said that she was just trying to get out of work. Finally, they came up with an arrangement that would allow her to leave work, come home, take the class and then go back to work. Then just before she was to leave, she received another message moving the class to later that night once again because of internet problems. The assistant manager once again refused to work with her and said that she doesn’t want to work. DD1 let the district manager know, who then called and talked to DD2 and then the store manager. Hopefully, the schedule will be ok, but now there are several of the other employees that are made at Kristen and saying she doesn’t want to work.
Today, I was allowed back into my classroom. I had to notify the head of maintenance, who met me at the school and let me in. It was so strange to be in the building by myself. Even when I have been there working on the weekends, someone else has been there. It almost made me want to cry. Then as I neared my classroom, I noticed that the mural that has been outside of my classroom since before I started teaching there has been painted over. This mural had originally been done by art students many years ago. Today, it was gone. Instead the school’s mascot is painted on the wall. I wonder how the students that originally painted the old mural will feel when they learn that it is gone.
We started online learning this week. It is not mandatory but it is voluntary and encouraged. We are to give detailed feedback, but no grades. The work can’t hurt or help a student’s grades. I am impressed that after 2 days almost 1/2 of my students have logged on and completed the assignment.
Tomorrow, I am planning on attempting to shop at Walmart instead of ordering online. I am getting tired of the strange substitutions that they tend to make.
Yes, today was a much different Easter than what we have ever celebrated before. Since there would be no church we decided to have Easter Breakfast late morning after we came home from private communion. The girls and I had the table set and the food ready for the oven. We used the time back for the first time and timed everything perfect as we arrived home as the oven was turning off. It was nice to have a family breakfast, something that we don’t normally do.
Bacon, sausage, coffee cake, and for two people scrambled eggs.
Kristen had to go to work for 3 hours today. So we planned on having our Easter Dinner later today instead of around 12:30 after church like we normally do. I must say, I really loved having time to make the meal and not feeling rushed. I just might talk the family into moving our traditional Easter Dinner at 12:30 to 4:30 permanently.
Honey Ham, Party Potatoes, Sweet and Sour Green Beans, Fruit Salad and a roll. Yummy.
On a side note, this has been a clumsy week for me. The other day, I fell out of bed. Don’t ask me how it just kind of happened because I was trying to do something that would have been easier if I would have sat up and taken care of it. Then this morning, I woke up to use the bathroom, figured I would need to get up again so I decided to head to the living room to sleep for a bit so I didn’t disturb my husband. Needless to say, I ran into a box that was where it didn’t belong and somehow ended up pulling a muscle. Ouch, I never realized how much I use that particular muscle. It hurts to move, to stand, to lay down, to sit on the commode, and several other things. So embarrassing, but my girls have really enjoyed laughing at me about it.
Tomorrow begins online teaching and learning for us.
Forgot to write yesterday. I have had a couple of exciting days. I was able to drive the car to a store to pick up an order. I never got out of the car yesterday. Today, I took things to the storage unit and looked for my Easter table setting items. Just because we have to stay home, doesn’t mean we have to go without anything pretty on the table.
We learned yesterday that we are going to be starting voluntary learning on Monday. Each teacher has to plan 2 hours’ worth of work for a week. The students may choose to do the work or not. Each subject has an assigned day to post. My assigned day is Tuesday. I will work on my material tomorrow.
Today was a stressful day with online learning. DD#2 woke up this morning to a few emails adding work to what was due at 11:59pm. To complicate the problem, even more, she had to work from 3-10 pm. Needless to say, nothing went right today, she struggled to get things done to her expectations. This not being able to get help from her professors could become a problem. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day than today.
On the piano front, I found my old lesson books and did practice the first several songs and finger exercises. I am looking forward to seeing where this goes and if I can actually improve from where I was.
As a young girl, I wanted to learn to play the piano. I begged my parents to take piano lessons. Finally, the summer before my 4th-grade year, they found a piano teacher who lived about a mile from my house. I was so excited to finally be able to learn. At first, it didn’t bother me that I had to walk or ride my bike to my lesson. I tried really hard to practice also, but sadly that wasn’t going to work the best. You see, we had an old piano that came with the house when my parents bought the house. The ivory on the keys was missing, the piano was extremely out of tune, but the worst part was that middle C stuck. So every time I would practice I would have to stop and release the middle C key before I could play another note. This made it extremely hard to practice and I didn’t progress as much as I would have liked. When possible I would go to my grandmother’s house to practice the piano. My grandmother was a really good pianist, she played piano at church. My dad played when he was younger and I even have the record that he made when he was probably around 10-12 years of age. Some of those piano playing genes had to have been passed down right?
At the beginning of my 5th-grade year, I didn’t get to start piano lessons right away. My teacher was sick and didn’t start teaching again until halfway through the year. And then it was time to pick an instrument for the band and my parents gave me the choice to continue the piano or join the band. Playing an instrument that worked was much easier so I gave up the piano to join the band. Even though I stopped learning piano, that desire never went away. There has always been a little light that has kept me wishing I could play the piano. So much so, that I made sure to give both of my daughters piano lessons when they were younger. Sadly, the didn’t take to the instrument that well (something about not wanting to practice). Kristen tried 3 different times to learn the piano and actually wasn’t doing that bad after the second try, but then she was busy with things at school and no longer had the time. I was really sad to see her give up the piano.
Fast forward several years and Kristen is now a sophomore in college. She has to take a piano proficiency test in order to graduate and she is struggling to learn the piano. I think she has a piano professor that is just working with her personality. After struggling to get her to practice the past 3 weeks, I came up with a great idea. Yes, we pulled out my old lesson books and I am going to start working on the piano. She thinks that this will be fun and help her to want to practice again if she sees me practicing. I have promised to spend 30 minutes a day practicing at least until we go back to school and then again in the summer.
Hopefully, I will progress and get to the point where I can play some easier pieces.
It has been 3 weeks since we were last allowed into the school. I can’t believe how much I miss going to school, seeing my students and teaching them to love reading and writing. I thought a week and a half off was bad last year due to the polar vortex, but at that point, we were at least allowed into the building. If I ever complain about needing some time off or a break again, please someone slap me.
It looks like things might be changing soon. Iowa is now going to allow online learning and I have a feeling that we will be doing something. We were notified today that there will be a Zoom meeting on Thursday with more information. I really hope we are going to begin teaching online. I need something to do and a reason to sleep/get up. Unable to sleep most nights (I think it is because I am not getting out and doing anything, need to try walking or something, but the weather has not been the best since this all started).
Normally, I am up around 6:00 am even on days when I can sleep in, however, the past few days, I have been sleeping in and today didn’t get up 8:00 am and it was after 10:00 before I finally was dressed and eating breakfast. Needless to say, I don’t get anything done on those days and feel so unproductive. I am tired of feeling so unproductive. At least I know that I will need to make sure I have a reason to get up and go when I am retired. Hopefully, we won’t be quarantined during that time.
Today is Palm Sunday. Normally our church has a pancake breakfast between the services. The youth group traditionally puts this on as a fundraiser. In honor of this tradition, we decided to have pancakes for brunch today. I made pancakes with bacon and sausage along with two types of syrups. I am really enjoying having the fruit syrups. It was fun to see the number of people from the church that posted about having pancakes today for one of their meals. I guess now, more than ever, traditions are important. Traditions keep us grounded and going. What traditions can I keep going during this interesting Holy Week?