Tag Archives: musings

The persistence of memory

301D0BC0-7CCB-466D-8233-1A2364CF0603It took 8 weeks before I finally felt a sense structure in my deconstructed life. 

Did it take everyone else two months to find an element of calm in this new isolated existence? I can’t be the only one who has flailed like a fish out of water, flopping from place to place, can I? 

There was some time last week when I truly felt like I had a grasp on the situation. I was as near as I’ve ever before been to embracing this new isolated existence. It almost felt comfortable. My days had a structure and flow that felt comforting, like I was wrapped in a cocoon of consistency. I was productive.

I recognized my newfound rhythm wasn’t so much the development of my own personal pacing as it was a relinquishing of the schedule I’ve functioned under for my many, many years of living by the academic calendar. I had finally let go and relaxed into the situation. It was kind of like leaning in to a turn when riding my bicycle. Instinctual.

That sense of being in control was short lived. While my natural impulse is to be positive and spin situations into learning opportunities, what we’re experiencing now, individually and collectively, is not something that should be normalized. This pandemic is disruptive to every single segment of the world’s population and will change the way we all live long after the virus is controlled.

I’m at a stage in this crisis where I am, in fact, tired of it. Or maybe overwhelmed is a better word. I’ve read countless stories about Covid-19 and the havoc it wreaks and have reached a point where I can not absorb anymore information about the virus. Not another word.  I’m saturated.

I’m serious. The more I read about the pandemic, the more unreal it feels. I don’t mean in a conspiracy theory way. No, I mean in YA Dystopian Fiction book sort of way. Like, how did this happen? Is this real?

It’s the definition of surreal, Dali come to life.  I can’t help but wonder, years from now, what will persist in our own memories from this time? What would you prefer to forget?

 

 

 

 

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Filed under musings, News, Observations, Schools, Spring, stress, upstate New York

Teach your children. Well…

CC3FC5BE-DC37-4DC1-A4CE-4789DB89607DDuring this prolonged health and economic crisis, there’s been a lot of discussion in our country about education and how these circumstances are impacting students. I’ve read numerous articles and posts and tweets itemizing all the things kids are missing in this new “school” setting, the curriculum, the material, the lessons.

I’m not going to lie, much of our current lives is whacky, including trying to deliver a standards based curriculum to students via chrome books. Education is so much more, though, than Google Classroom and Zoom meetings. The social interactions, the discipline involved with adhering to a schedule, and the knowledge absorbed from the educational setting each contribute to what students learn in any given day.

Instead of bemoaning, though, what today’s students aren’t learning, maybe we should ponder what they are learning during this extended Pause on life. Maybe we shouldn’t worry so much.  I don’t know about you, but there really isn’t much that I learned in middle school, in terms of academics, that continues to be an integral part of my life, check writing skills and how to identify the Big Dipper, aside.

Maybe these kids will learn something different. Like…

The meaning of the word resilience.

That the purpose of government is to to help create a country with infrastructure and to provide support when necessary to that country’s citizens. Not to make a bunch of mostly white, mostly males rich through their relationships with corporations.

The importance of community.

The meaningfulness of helping others – our family, neighbors, and coworkers.

An ability to differentiate between being prepared and hoarding necessary household items.

How to work independently and manage their time.

An understanding that sometimes we need to modify our own behavior to preserve the well being of others.

The interconnectedness of our world.

How to be less wasteful

And more appreciative.

There may not be a grade assigned, but what we teach children now, through our actions and examples, are lessons that have the potential to remain with them for far longer than a marking period.

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Filed under Education, ideas, musings, Observations, Schools

Stream of Covid consciousness

19C45110-9E6B-44D0-A3BD-72BBCBAA6912This crisis is starting to feel like it’s been going on for a long time. The colors of the construction paper window rainbows are fading.

The city without people looks beautiful in a stark sort of way. We live in a pretty place.

Wearing a mask suffocates me, yet another reason medical personnel deserve all of our respect during these horrific times. I can’t imagine wearing one, with a face shield on top, for 14 hours a day.

Can this incredibly challenging situation prompt us to “reset” society?  It would be beyond tragic if things just went back the way they were P.C.

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Isolating without a partner makes one think about what they might want in a potential partner. I imagine isolating with a partner does the same.

It’s really hard to stay on task, something I’m just realizing may not be a situation exclusive to myself.

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I worry about social distancing as the weather gets warmer.

Has a cough ever sounded as scary to you? How many times a day do you wonder if you might have been exposed to the virus?

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My #sixwordstory would have to be: My dog has never been happier.

I’ve taken to putting cash in my pocket when I got out for my daily walk. I call it my “walking around money” and try to find a way to spend it at a local, independent business during my walk.

C5E8033F-0655-4716-997B-F85C442434B0Days seem really long, but the weeks are going by quickly. Losing all of this time with friends and loved ones is something we’ll never be able to recover. I hope we learn to value those shared experiences more than ever once we have them in our lives again.

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Miss. Lilly edition.

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Are you missing fresh flowers from the grocery store or garden? I am.

Things I will miss when the current lock down ends:

  • Long walks with Jeter and the feeling that he finally is getting enough of my attention.
  • Roads with less cars and sidewalks with more people.
  • Eating meals when I’m hungry without regard to time.
  • My comfort with going barefaced. I don’t usually wear very much makeup, but I used to hesitate before leaving the house without mascara. Now I don’t.
  • The Cuomo briefings.

Things I do miss during this state of isolation and social distancing:

  • Massages and pedicures and hair salon services.
  • Not hearing from the Idiot-in-chief aka Donald Trump.
  • Shared experiences like restaurant meals and movies in the theater.
  • Seeing my students.
  • Getting together with my girls. We’re overdue.

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CivMix redux – April edition

73940183-DF45-4E2A-9447-F8CF0FDFB92DI’ve put together a few links to my posts over on CivMix. They’re a reflection of the current Covid situation and express some of my concerns, past times and where I’m finding some comfort. Hope you enjoy them!

http://civmix.com/2020/04/where-are-the-children/

http://civmix.com/2020/04/what-to-watch-during-a-pandemic/

http://civmix.com/2020/04/table-for-one/

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Filed under Albany, Dinner, Eating, favorites, Food, Local, Movies, Observations, Recommendations, Restaurants, Schools, stress, television, upstate New York

C-ing past Corona

0DB47822-785B-4765-87CE-FB02C5144FA6I don’t know about you, but I’m getting more than a little overwhelmed by the constant barrage of CoronaVirus related news. I’m feeling anxious and isolated and sort of cast adrift as I struggle to figure out how to do my job from home.

While I’ve been escaping with live streamed yoga classes, professional Zoom meetings and binge watching Sex and the City, it isn’t enough. For the rest of my waking hours, irregular as they may be, there are two C words beyond Corona that are occupying my time – cooking and cleaning.

Since grocery shopping is such an ordeal these days and we’re encouraged to remain at home, I’ve been trying to cook out of my pantry and my crisper drawer. Last night’s meal nicely capitalized on what I happened to have on hand – broccoli rabe, chickpeas, canned tomatoes and an open container of veggie stock.

Now, if you look at this NYT recipe you might notice that it doesn’t actually call for broccoli rabe, listing kale instead, but this is very much a recipe that one can modify according to whim or ingredients available. My take on it, after reading some of the comments on the NYT website, doubled the chickpeas and used the liquid from the canned tomatoes and veggie stock instead of water. I also tossed in a Parm rind for some added flavor and increased the crushed red pepper by a generous extra pinch.

DB984C4F-F9E3-4D70-BEEA-684206D4BAEDServed with grated cheese, it was a cheap and healthy dinner with the bonus of being delicious.

Cooking the Pasta e Ceci  was easy and satisfying – just like some of the recent home projects I’ve taken on. Since I frequently find myself wandering from room to room in my house, I’ve done a fair amount of organizing and weeding of items that I’m prepared to eliminate from my home. There’s been quite a bit of dusting also and I actually removed the three milk glass sconces from my bathroom light fixture and gave them a good washing. I learned that they are in fact not milk glass. They were just really dusty.

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On the menu for the upcoming week – Asparagus Pork Stir fry, cleaning the ceiling fans, and moderating my news consumption. How about you?

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Maintaining the six foot rule

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Flowers in bunches are beautiful. People, not so much.

Walking these days take some attention. I mean, it always demanded that we have our eyes and ears open, but walking in the midst of a pandemic requires an additional sense  – as in common sense.

As Jeter and I meander our way through the street of Albany, I now have to consciously take of note of people who might cross paths with us and decide how to best evade them. Cross the street? Go wide? Make eye contact? Smile?

It can all feel a little awkward.

As I walked yesterday I considered how the act of being a contemporary pedestrian was forged into the brains and muscle memory of a lot of 80s kids. We were raised on Centipede, Frogger, Pac-Man and Asteroids. We know how to avoid shit that pops up in front of us and gets in our way. Navigating through perils was a part of our childhood.

The sunshine helps and I appreciated the feel of it on my back Saturday afternoon. Put on some warm clothes and get outside while you can. Breathe deep. Take care of yourselves and each other. Six feet away beats six feet under by miles.

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Filed under Albany, beauty, Exercise, friends, Gardens, musings, Observations, Recommendations, sick, Spring, stress, upstate New York