Day 32 of full remote-instruction.

Dear Diary,

After about two months of families here and there experiencing some struggles accessing my Google Meet, I thought that I would do a test run of Zoom today. I quickly realized that decision caused more trouble than good. I had all of the Zoom information posted in my GC announcements, in my GC classwork for today, and on Class Dojo. Families still had trouble, so I scrapped it about 10 minutes into a class and we all went to Google Meet. It took a few minutes to switch back all of today’s classes to our Google Meet information, and the rest of the day went so much smoother. I think that I will stick with Google Meet despite the glitches every now and then.

Everyone in my household is logged into virtual school this week. As I finish my lunch break, a bunch of 8 & 9 year-olds singing Christmas carols is serenading family members on the main floor. My daughter may be initiating a solo spot singing in her own stylized version of “All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth.” In the kitchen I can hear the sound of crayons dropping to the floor and breaking and scissors cutting, while my kindergarten son is draped in his furry red dragon blanket that he would not otherwise be able to wear in his actual classroom. My husband just began his lunch, first taking our poodle for a walk to the post office before grabbing a bite to eat.

This year Christmas brings with it several new circumstances as we prepare to celebrate and seek time to recharge for the upcoming New Year:

For the first time in a long time, I am not counting down the days or minutes until that dismissal bell which releases everyone to Christmas break. I am looking forward to distancing myself from my laptop, planning for the upcoming lesson cycles, and treasuring my time with loved ones in good health.

We’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to isolate ourselves from others in the 2 weeks leading up to Christmas, affording us the chance to see family we don’t often visit.

Most of my Christmas shopping was completed online, then wrapped at the beginning of December.

I’ve had a closer look into my children’s school day. My heart goes out to all of the teachers who field random questions and requests out of patience and kindness.

I’ll be joining my first ever Zoom Christmas Party this week.

My husband and I recorded a song together for our church’s first-ever virtual Christmas Eve service. He posted it to social media. We both dressed in red festive clothing and staged ourselves in front of the lit tree. What nobody knew was that we positioned the camera view just right, so that my long black compression stockings with white hearts and my fuzzy slippers were out of sight. We also somehow avoided the view of our Standard Poodle, Miles, who prominently sat staring at us the entire performance.

This year, unlike many others report, I feel the Christmas spirit more so than years past. I wonder if this feeling is brought on by being home, surrounded by Christmas decorations, but also invited into my young artists’ homes and personal lives, where the anticipation of Christmas is magical in comparison from the former group of secondary artists to which I have grown accustomed. My schedule, as well as my family’s agenda, has slowed. We have more time together. Regardless of the reason, I am thankful for this time.