Assorted Stuff

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Somebody Should Have Been Paying Attention

Screen Shot 2020 04 24 at 11 43 53 AM

Ok, so we’re all cycling through a big mix of emotions in dealing with a pandemic and our social isolation. Concern, frustration, depression, enjoying time with family (alternating with feelings around too much time with the family), boredom, and more.

For me, one that has been frequently rising to the top over the past few weeks is anger. Angry because I’m more convinced than ever that this crisis didn’t need to play out the way it has. It didn’t have to be this bad, and getting worse.

What Can I Say?

Red and Yellow

At the end of last year (which now seems half a lifetime ago), I settled into a pretty regular schedule for writing around here. Three posts a week, plus one, usually a photo post, on the weekend. Not every entry was great, or even good, but I had a nice rhythm going.

It was going pretty well. Until the end of March when blogging discipline just fell apart, along with most of the rest of life.

An Anthem For 2020

The Mountain Goats is one of those bands that has been around seemingly forever, creating a steady stream of great music year after year. I discovered them about fifteen years ago when a friend recommended their album, “We Shall All Be Healed”.

That same year they released “The Sunset Tree” which includes one of my favorite songs of all time (from any performer), “This Year”. It’s a surprisingly upbeat tune in which the singer declares his intention to escape an abusive home environment.

Exploring The World From Home

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With many schools closed due to the pandemic, many K12 educators are working hard to understand the basics of running an online classroom. Everyone is trying to help each other, with social media and discussion threads filled with stories, advice, and lists of resources. Lots and lots of lists.

A good chunk of the advice is, of course, centered around using Google tools, like Classroom,1 with the primary focus seemingly on how to continue teacher-directed instruction in an online environment. I wish there was more effort to turn that around and find ways for students to create projects based, at least in part, on their interests and concerns, rather than continuing the fixed curriculum.

Going Nowhere

houseboat in Amsterdam

If today was anything resembling the normal we used to have, I would be heading to Dulles Airport right now to board a plane to The Netherlands. This was supposed to be the start of a ten-day photo trip that a friend and I planned six months ago.

Obviously that didn’t work out the way we wanted and, probably like you, the only travel I’ll be doing in the near term is regular walks around the neighborhood and occasional, very cautious, visits to the grocery store. Plus lots of virtual trips and thoughts of future adventures at a time when the world is more welcoming.

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