The walled city’s last masquerade party came to a close, surely adorned with at least one viral costume and its wearer grasping a particular brand of beer. Within twenty-four hours, the new reality of the following day was announced late in the evening, way past someone’s bedtime.
For those of us who had already played (and won?) the model disease mobile app games, seen the “find the cure” movies, it was life imitating art imitating life, and a touch anticlimactic.
For the women I know, myself included, a plan, or lack thereof, was set in motion.
The spectrum of endeavors ranged from infrared Bee Gees’ staying alive through to ultraviolet stereotypical, ideal ’50s housewife (and mother), who simultaneously started her very own side business, from scratch, like preparing pie with a homemade blind-baked crust using fruits from your lemon tree in your garden apartment yard, the perfect toasted deep brown meringue by blow torch, which doubled as a tool for making a new sign for the front door of your forever home AND time to post it all on every. social. media. platform.
Distance Learning. Let’s tackle this one like that school PE class where the girls play flag football for the male gym teachers amusement.
“Run, Rachel, run!” (way before Forrest) until I slid down the hill serving as the end zone, winning a touchdown for my team of twenty minutes, mud down the entire leg of my gym sweatpants, a smile of accomplishment, achievement even. Six points earned. Did I mention we were also required to learn sports theory with written exams?
What was sprung upon me, us, a mere week and a half ago, this form of distance learning, is a distant cry from learning.
And one whimper for help.
Am I smarter than a fifth grader? And does it matter? Will a young person know how to survive in the world after this?
In an interrupted stretch of an hour and a half, my partner showed me a filum entitled Idiocracy. Whereas Contagion was more of a documentary, this Mike Judge gem was a horror movie. An elucidation of the future where people sit in (and “use”) their easy chairs, order delivery, speak incoherently, and produce copious amounts of trash. Dystopia I understand. Reality, harder to stomach.
What we are accomplishing is distracted learning – the links don’t work, the instructors haven’t yet learned the technology, the timing is off, the lessons are not appropriate, the assignments are located in four separate places, the fourth and second grade schedules are not in sync – someone more responsible has to be there, or nearby, for the things that go awry. Perhaps I haven’t properly prepared my young ‘uns for online instruction. Maybe, maybe, it’s my fault.
On average, I fail to eat breakfast before 11 AM. Last night, at the request of the youngest, I camped out on the porch, in a tent, and was unpleasantly woken by a crow who thought he was a rooster. I could probably benefit from a nap. I digress.
Kids were learning how to flip their images upside down with a tap on the touchpad, and I immediately thought, what a great way to give over the geometry lesson on angles of squares and rectangles! (Can you name the other parallelograms?)
Practical examples, in real time. Turn a sheet of paper by 90 degrees, four times. You’ve gone full-circle.
I know too much, and more importantly I know too little.
We are adrift in the same storm, states the meme less poetically, and not the same boat.
The teachers will educate when school is back in session, if you keep loving ’em, keep caring for them, keep from throttling them in the hilarious Simpsons animation method of dealing with parental lack of control. *The teachers of the world* collectively signed off that *they’ve* got this.
The homeschooling families say that parents will see the beauty of educating their own children and will quit the standardized education systems. I countered with: homeschoolers will be enrolling their charges in the Fall. (I don’t call it Autumn for nothing and yes, I capitalize it on purpose.)
What this lockdown situation has gifted me is the time and the awareness that the resources, the lesson plans, the educational moments toward minutes are within my reach, protected by these apartment walls. Note how I didn’t mention the ceiling.
Overall my message to anyone who wants to hear it, is:
“Communication with Comprehension is key.”
Merely saying or writing is not enough. We don’t have the same reference points, life experiences, language, nor truths. Without understanding one another, where could humanity possibly be headed?
Often my mind races far ahead of my typing and I slip down the hill in a victory for one. Me. The bell rings and I must race back to the locker room to prepare for my next class.
I always invite my readers to ask me about my writing. I want to share my reality. I long to be understood. Don’t you?