I love working with universities, or maybe I’ve been very fortunate in the clients I’ve taken. The various things they need just to open the doors on that first day of class is overwhelming: housing, parking, registration, financial aid, course delivery… there is never an opportunity to be bored. This year I’m working with four great institutions, plus COVID.
Many have made it through their first day by now. The students are finding their rhythms, whether they have opted to attend online or in person. We have been fortunate to avoid any major outbreaks yet. Fingers crossed that we can stay so lucky.
At home, my own kids have started another school year, too. My girl was issued a school chromebook that was too locked down to access the sites her homework required. Our policy so far has been to take a screenshot of the access error and message it to the teacher. That seems to be short-circuiting most of the drama.
With my boy, the school district has offered distance learning for grade school for the first time. We opted in, thinking it would be a great way for him to meet more of his age group in the area. Then they “reminded” us (in quotes, because to remind implies we ever got a first notice) that they could and would take things back to campus whenever they felt like it, and distance learning would no longer be an option. That was a big no for us. They don’t get to decide when we are comfy sending him out, and we will be comfy after a vaccine is available.
So he continues to homeschool. Where we live, there aren’t many guidelines for what is required. We track our hours per subject, and enjoy doing things outside of the book whenever possible. We don’t treat a lack of guidance as a stumbling block; education is important, and we enjoy the freedom to be creative and adaptable. His ten-year-old self still needs help staying motivated and on-task, but I guess that’s to be expected.
We aren’t perfect teachers, and I think that’s a great lesson for our kids. No one is. The goal isn’t to be flawless; it’s to face the unknown and challenge it. To learn and grow and win. To know that the thing blocking us isn’t as big as our power to overcome it.
In the district, their students must ask for help to do anything outside of the predefined path because their devices have been locked down. In homeschool, we can watch a supplemental on YouTube, or read feedback on Quora or Reddit. Seriously: Reddit has some amazing stories from people all over the world in r/AskReddit. Ever wonder what it’s like to live in Singapore? Be a hot air balloon racer? Be displaced by a wildfire? It’s probably on Reddit.
So, that brings things around to us old people. The adults in the house. I don’t talk about my husband much because he has plans to do his own site for his voice acting, and I feel like he should get to control his own narrative.
For me, I’ve been playing my bass, trolling social media too much, and searching for a calm center amidst the countdown to the US elections. This year is a challenge, to be sure.
I’ve been building a site where writers can connect with betareaders, illustrators, cover artists, and so forth. I don’t know what my end goal is for that, or if there even is one. I just saw people calling for help into the twitter void and thought: I can do something. So I’m doing something.
Writing, though. I took the scenic route to get here, because doing the words has left me a bit bruised. Some of it is lack of focus due to the hurricane of crazy going on right now, but I know that isn’t really an excuse. We find time to do the things we want to do.
So I’ve been sitting down to my writing feeling pretty good. I write a bit or edit, then I sleep on it. I wake up. Read with a fresh brain. Grimace. I toss out my “work”, and start over that night, determined to break the cycle. So, that’s been going on for a couple of weeks now. Neat.
Something wicked is going on in my brain’s shadowy places, and I’m not sure if I have to just ride it out or if poking the grey bits will spark a change. I’ll keep doing the latter because the desire to write is still there. I’m really excited about Riley’s next steps, and want to get those out to you yesterday. I don’t have a deadline or a word count goal – I just want to.
So no, I am not the deads. I see where my next steps should be. I’m moving my feet. If I keep finding them in my mouth, then that shall be my starting point. I will do my Level One best to move forward!
Thanks for sticking in there. I’ll try not to let you down.