Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Isolation In Pictures and Memes

The times are strange, indeed.

The bread aisle at my Bel-Air market, one day after schools
in my county closed.

Fortunately, I haven't been in the market for instant noodles.

Bottled water, also scarce. I drink tap.
That day, all I needed was milk, so I was in luck. My Bel-Air
has consistently had zero paper products when I've gone in.

For the Scots among us.

New mug from the gig, which feels like ages ago.

I laughed so hard at this one. 

...and even harder at this one. Hysterical. 

No more travel mugs. Working and drinking tea at home.

Four years ago, I bought a condo, and proceeded to
unwittingly collect a gazillion screws of all sizes. 

Nothing like a self-isolation to give me the desire to organize
my tool boxes. 

One of those "Name" workout deals where M = 20 Burpees,
E = 1 min. wall sit, etc.  I've been doing that in addition
to using all the equipment I'm so glad I have...kettlebell,
dumbbells, a big ole barbell, bands, etc. 

He was comfy. My leg was asleep. Did I move? Of course not.

Watching The Tiger King with one very unimpressed little
mini-tiger. (In all seriousness, the people in that series made
me ill. The abuse and exploitation is sick.)
Fun with watercolors

I love how these turned out.

I have made so many Atlas Hearts. Listing them all is taking

Pandemic baking: while others are making sourdough starters,
I finally got around to making my Christmas fruit cakes. 

Zoom Meeting with my middle school colleagues and a very
curious Popcorn. 

He was not offering assistance, he was begging for 2nd
breakfast or lunch or snack or whatever.
I loathe wearing masks, but I will do it.

My work space. I brought my school laptop home, along with
a hastily-thrown-together shopping bag full of resources. 

Not gonna lie. Quarantine means a lot of cat cuddles...and
cat pictures. But come on, my cats are ADORABLE.

Two Teacher's Assistants who are NOT earning their tuna. 

We still celebrate Autism Awareness, even from home! I
bought this tee before we knew everything would shut down.

Some seeds I planted a while back, going wild. They will be
a mix of wildflowers that are supposed to attract bees and

To keep my good habits going, I brought my work water bottle
home. Two a day, in addition to whatever I drink when taking
my meds and whatnot. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The Binge List

It was one month yesterday since school closed, and I started isolating at home. This has given me time to read, watch more TV, and do other activities I don't always have as much time/energy for. My  reading has slowed down, mostly because I've picked two books in a row that were slower reads for me. The first was about Auschwitz, so I had to read it slowly so as not to overwhelm myself (it's not exactly a cheerful book, obviously). The second is translated from Swedish, and was actually mentioned in The Librarian of Auschwitz, and it's been slow for me. It's sweet (it's a children's story), but it's very lengthy.

I finally caved and subscribed to a year of Disney Plus, where I promptly watched some old favorites and fell in love with Baby Yoda in The Mandalorian. I caved to the social temptation to watch Tiger King, which was a wild ride. The best thing I've watched this far, though, was Unorthodox. Very worth a one-evening, four-hour binge.

With so much time on my hands, I've been trying to use up as much of my crafting stuff as possible and get new items listed in my Etsy shop. This has included experimenting with watercolors and pulling out some unused rubber stamps. I like the result.

I thought it would be entertaining to keep a list of what I've been consuming, just for the quarantine record. Now that the rain seems to have stopped for good, I want to do some clean-up in my garden.

What I've Read

The Librarian of Auschwitz (Antonio Iturbe)

The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (Selma Lagerlöf)

Up next: Calypso (David Sedaris)

What I've Watched

Disney's Robin Hood

The Mandalorian

Tiger King (hoooooo boy)

Northern Rescue (Netflix)

Unorthodox (Netflix)

10 Things I Hate About You

Other Activities

I've made approximately 75 new Atlas Heart Ornaments for my Etsy shop.

I've taken out some watercolors and experimented with them

Organized my tool boxes.

Friday, April 03, 2020

Notes From an Isolated Teacher

Some people are keeping track of how many days they've been in isolation. I lost track some time in the first week.

Today marks the end of Week 3 of online teaching, and the learning curve has been huge. The long-running group text between my middle school colleagues has been a source of information, support, great ideas, and a lot of mirth. The ability to vent a little when things get frustrating has been so important, too. We're all in this together, even though we are teaching different subjects and all managing our own Google Classrooms and class meetings on Google Meet or Zoom.

Isolation isn't the easiest thing, and working from home doesn't feel much like working to me. I know there are people who sit at desks and do computer-related functions all day, but that is not my function in my job. I feel discombobulated being at a computer instead of standing in front of thirty kids, or wandering around the classroom. Most of my work load has been drastically reduced. Instead of planning weekly lessons for six grade levels (3rd-8th), I'm down to three (6th-8th), though I have put some fun activities up on Google Classroom for my elementary students to do if they get bored. We're not inputting grades into the official online gradebook, so my "grading" has consisted of checking if they did it and marking it in my paper grade book. There is no such thing as classroom management when you are not seeing all of your kids every day. Just class meetings where they ask questions and want to talk because they miss us.

This week, I started working with a web site called Loom to make teaching videos--it's really great because I can show the kids my desktop and myself on camera at the same time. As we move forward after Spring Break, I'll be using this for most of my "lessons" with the kids, and giving assignments based on that.

Next week, by the way, is our regularly-scheduled Spring Break, and we have been ordered (haha) to take it. "Don't work! Relax! Take that time off, because you've earned it!"

Thing is, I'm already relaxing. A lot. In between work tasks, I work out and do household chores. By the time I log off for the day, it's 3:30, and all I have is tons of time to watch TV or read a book. I have made a ton of atlas heart ornaments for my Etsy shop, watched the whole of The Tiger King (I will never get those brain cells back), and I've subscribed to Disney Plus, watched The Mandalorian, and fallen in love with Baby Yoda. (I know, it's The Child.)

Officially, we are closed until May 1st, but Governor Newsom has been saying this week that all California schools will remain online through the end of the school year. It's sad, and frustrating, but we just don't have full public participation in isolation measures, and we are not curtailing the virus enough.

So here I will stay, pushing the online learning and doing the best I can in strange circumstances.