Thursday, November 19, 2020

Teenagers...

About two weeks ago my bicycle disappeared from my front yard. Bicycles get stolen on Mackinac all the time, but rarely from dead end streets way out of town. So it was odd that it was taken from my yard, and after most of the workers had left for the winter. 

Often, missing bikes get "borrowed." Most of the time the missing bikes turn up. People take them to get home late one night and then abandon them in the bike racks at their employee housing. Which is why I took that picture of my bike last June. It was my "just in case my bike disappears I can put it on the Island Residents' Facebook page asking people to keep an eye out for it" picture.

My husband and a few friends did the housing circuit with no result; the assumption being that my bike was in fact stolen and taken from the island when whoever took it left for the season. I resigned myself to its loss and knew I'd need to pick out a new one in the spring. Just to be safe I filed a police report and the very nice recording officer offered to look for it since I was in quarantine.

A couple of days ago, my husband and I took a walk (masked and with the permission of the Health Department.) We had to stop at my parent's house to check on their snowmobiles - lo and behold what did we see but my missing bike! Apparently my daughter borrowed it, left it at my parent's house and completely forgot. Even asking her to check the bike racks at school to see if it might have been left there didn't jog her memory! To her credit though, as soon as she saw it in our bike rack (complete with her old bike helmet) she admitted her mistake apologized.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Frustrated

I made it seven days. Seven days out of quarantine, five of them at work. And then, someone decided to come to work sick. Sigh.




This person thought, despite having to fill out an online questionnaire each and every morning before coming in to school, that their sore throat, headache and general feeling of crappiness, was "Just a cold." Had they accurately noted their symptoms, they would have gotten this message:



I know because it is the same message you get when you check the box next to "Have you been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid 19?" Which I now have to check; again. And it's so incredibly frustrating. I'm kind of in awe; I mean who thinks going into work with even mild symptoms, in the middle of a global pandemic, is a good idea? Who?

And I tried to remain distant, I really did. In fact, my seat at lunch was eight feet away from the others in the room. (I'm nerdy, I measured.) Safe, I thought, but the health department disagreed. Four members of the staff, one substitute teacher and an entire elementary classroom are now quarantined.

So, I am teaching from home. Again. Praying that my family and I stay healthy. Again. The high point of my day today was my walk to down to the Medical Center, in the rain, for a Covid test. Thankfully, I managed to find a little beauty along the way.


For the record, I support the LMAS District Health Department  100%. I understand that quarantine is an effective strategy to stop the spread of Covid-19, and I'm following their guidelines because I want to keep others safe and healthy. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Halloween 2020: Covid Style


This year I had a mouse and a traveler on the Oregon Trail. (He tells me, he wasn't just any old traveler, he was a specific character from from the musical The Trail to Oregon!)  We decided to go cheap on costumes for 2020 since we weren't sure trick-or-treating would even happen this year. All we bought was my son's vest, which set us back $4.00 at the thrift shop. (I made the mouse costume for a dress-up day or a play at school years ago.) When we finally decided that we could make trick-or-treating happen, the kids didn't care what their costumes were just as long as they could celebrate.



We made sure the kids could go out and collect candy yet remain socially distant. One end for rapping on doors and one end for retrieving sweets, all while staying 6+ feet away. Sadly, we decided to save them just in case they need to be used again next year.



The kids built this contraption so we could safely pass out candy. I dropped handfuls of candy into the top of the tube from up on the porch, and it came out of the worm's mouth and dropped into an awaiting candy bag. (It's supposed to be a sandworm from the movie  Beetlejuice - one of my kids' favorites.) It was a huge hit, especially with the little kids. 


The haul was a little lighter than normal, but that wasn't surprising. Instead of the normal 10 - 12 pounds, each of them brought home around eight pounds (a little more than 3.5 kg.) - still plenty for a smorgasbord of treats while we watched Hocus Pocus. (We watch it every year on Halloween.) 

Look closely at my son's haul... Notice anything interesting? Yup, someone decided to give him a White Claw. We're not sure if it was an accident or a trick, but he willingly turned it over to his dad as soon as he got home. If something like that was ever going to happen, 2020 was the year.
 

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Happy Halloween


I'm not sure what tonight it going to bring. No matter what happens, we're prepared. My husband and the kids built a socially-distanced-candy-delivery-system for passing out treats; and  I made socially-distant-treat-collecting-bags so they kids can get candy safely.

I'm having visions of next year's Halloween special on TV - How The Corona Virus Stole Halloween.  Maybe the virus's heart will grow three sizes and decide to stop infecting people. It could happen; it would be a Halloween miracle...

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Just Plain Weird

 

The last couple of weeks have been odd. Like, really odd. For the past two weeks I've been teaching from home. OK, I know, lots of teachers are teaching from home right now; there's nothing strange about that. But, the kids I've been teaching have been at school.

You read that right, I have been teaching lessons at my dining room table to kids who are present in the school building. Oddly enough, it has worked out well. I'm not sick - just quarantined due to being exposed to Covid-19 - so I'm physically able to work. The school hasn't needed to hire a sub due to my providing daily Zoom lessons and assignments through Google Classroom. (Don't worry - my students have been supervised by an in-person-adult.) Despite how well it's worked, it's by no means a perfect solution and I've been counting the days until I can return to my classroom. (Not that being home has been awful, by any means. You should see my basement, it hasn't been this organized in years.)

The Health Department has given my husband, my daughter and I clearance to return to work and school tomorrow. It's perfect timing. I get to go back to school for the Halloween party! Seeing town is going to be strange, too. I haven't left the house since Friday, October 9th. 

Seems like a long time, doesn't it. The Health Department quarantined my son for two weeks from the onset of his symptoms. The rest of us had to remain at home for two weeks after his last possible infectious day. (Which for us ended up being 21 days.) I'm glad they've been cautious. I would have hated to be the cause of any of my students getting sick. Healthy kids are 100% worth having to teach from home!

Monday, October 12, 2020

Sick

I'm so glad my husband, the kids and I got outside last week. We took a long walk through the woods on one of those perfect sweater-weather fall days. The ground was damp enough to have that earthy-leafy fall smell and there were enough leaves on the ground to crunch beneath our feet as we walked. It was glorious.

I'm glad we got out, because as of Friday, we are in quarantine.

My son has tested positive for Covid-19. Today, he's OK.  He's clearly sick: sore throat, snotty nose, exhausted, not hungry (no fever though.) But he's not in a hospital on a ventilator and for that I am thankful. Now I just need to breathe. Breathe and try to stop worrying about whether or not my husband or daughter are going to get sick.


 
The outpouring of support we've received has been amazing. Every single person I've spoken to in the last three days has offered to help us. I feel so  incredibly lucky to be surrounded by so much love and support!

Friday, October 2, 2020

Sigh

A staff member at school has tested positive for Covid-19, so I'm back to teaching from my dining room table. (Right now that person is asymptomatic, and doing alright.)
 
 I cannot tell you how impressed I am with my students.


They show up on Zoom, every morning at 8:30 on the dot, ready to work on the day's math; they work without me for a while, and then Zoom again later in the day. They've been bright and cherry and have diligently worked on every assignment I've given them. No teacher could ask for better kids - or parents!
 
As of right now, it looks like we'll be Zooming until Wednesday the 14th. Then, hopefully, it's back to school. And just in case you're curious, I always get parent permission before I use student photos on my blog.

** 10/18: Edited to add: Due to staffing issues the administration decided to keep us virtual all this week. As of today, the plan is to return to face-to-face instruction tomorrow. (10/19/20)