Day 9 for me.

Monday morning has arrived. I made sure that I took time for myself and my family over the weekend, but I spent a lot of time on my school work. Sunday I spent almost all day, more than what I had anticipated, preparing for the next cycle of lessons, making videos, slideshows for online learners, gathering supplies for and organizing some individualized art kits for my learners. Without being able to share what limited supplies we have access to at this time, and no time for sanitation in between classes, it made sense to start trying to provide art kits to my artists. Not only can they use them at school, but if or when we go to virtual learning for all, they can take those supplies home for artmaking.

I am extremely tired. I have had interrupted sleep most nights since the March school closure, and so have my children. My daughter more so than my son. And the dreams from this weekend were so strange and came out of nowhere. I dreamt a lot about snakes. Snakes of all sizes and colors – even a neon pink one. They invaded the spaces where I was – in my home, near my children, in the car. There was this huge yellow snake that was hiding underneath the bench car seats of my friend, and we couldn’t get her two babies and their car seats out of her van because of fear that this snake would attack. Then the snake escaped and preyed upon me everywhere I went in that dream. I hate snakes.

On Sunday I had to make a video to include into my Google Classroom for my remote learners, so they could learn it like my in-person learners were learning it from me in the school. I had to bribe my own children to help me model the movements of the song while I sang it. I bribed them with a special trip to the playground. What they didn’t know was that I was already planning on taking them to the playground. What they don’t know won’t hurt them right?

I made my arrival to school early this morning, so that I had plenty of time to prepare for my day, and to distribute some art materials to the classrooms that were purchased over the weekend. I must take another inventory, so that I can ensure that everyone has some basic drawing materials. I want the artists to at least have that to take home in case we have to go remote at some point.

For the first two 6-day cycles, I kept lessons and material variety simple. For as long as I can remember, I have been consuming content to help me prepare to teach during this pandemic. Much of what I have been reading, watching, and listening to share advice to scale back, simplify lessons, and focus on the artistic process. That’s what I have done, but today I left my classes with a feeling of defeat. Like the pandemic is stripping away the goodness that I have to offer because of restrictions deemed necessary. I hate that feeling.

Everyday I am flooded with emails, and I can’t keep up with them.

I think that I have everything prepped on my cart for next cycle. Fingers crossed.

Hmmm….our remote learner hasn’t joined our meet link to check-in yet. Waiting….  …Okay, artists, let’s get started. Please get into Body Basics and ready for our Artist Mantra. What’s that artists? You heard a sound from the computer? Woo hoo! Welcome to our remote learner. Artists, if you’ll please wait patiently while I check-in with our artist, I would greatly appreciate it. Checking in….    ….complete. Okay, where were we? Yes….please get into Body Basics and ready for our Artist Mantra. What’s that, artist? You need to use the potty? Can you wait for just a few moments? Maybe? Oh, of course. It’s an emergency.

“Are the kids taking home their work today?”

“They are welcome to take their art home, unless you would like to hang it up. It’s up to you. Some other teachers aren’t hanging artwork though, just in case we have to go remote.”

“I know. I had so much planned; work to hang up, but now I can’t. This just isn’t me.”

Two artists: “Oscar’s mom, Oscar’s mom. Look at my art!”

These kinders went to preschool with my son, but now they are in kindergarten at different schools. They seem to can’t remember my name. They’ll get there.

 A friend from high school reached out to me this afternoon. We sang together in choir and ensembles years ago. She sent me some happy vibes during these trying times. Thank you, friend.

My husband finds cooking…hmmm….maybe therapeutic. He is good at cooking, too. I am incredibly thankful for this. As I wrap up this entry, he is preparing a meal of my request. All I have to do is wash the dishes afterward.

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