So many school children will begin a new year via Zoom and other platforms. No hugs, no high fives, and no notes passed around the classroom. The teachers will be in charge as usual and parents will need to monitor for the most part.
I taught all levels including graduate students and I cannot imagine what this beginning of the school year will be like for youngsters just starting their education. My 5 year-old granddaughter will not be able to use her brand new unicorn design soup thermos for a while. That made her sad.
She received a basket full of workbooks, handouts, and curriculum guidelines and schedules. She was also lucky to receive an HP laptop for her to use during the virtual classroom meetings. As a grandparent I was so looking forward to walking her to school, taking her picture in front of the classroom door and waiting for her to get back to fill me in on all the details about her first day. I had to put on a happy face for her and try not to show my disappointment. But I suppose that for all kindergarteners this may be a way of school life for a while. It may be the new normal and we the grandparents will have to deal with it. (I hope not.)
I remember my mother narrating my first day of school. She told me I walked right in and did not even look back to say goodbye. Her eyes would always tear up a little because for her I had started a whole new experience without her by my side. In comparison my daughter has accepted this new way of learning. She did a great job at home schooling towards the end of last school term. But it was pre-school and most moms are the teachers at that point.
My granddaughter will wear her new dress and use her new pencils and crayons. But she will not put her new jacket and Frozen themed lunch box in the cubby hole labeled with her name. These little things may seem trivial within the bigger scheme of things but to me they made that first day so special. I remember my daughter’s first day. She rode the school bus labeled the red rabbit. We followed the bus in our car and watched as she got off with the help of the bus aide. She came back home so excited because she made a friend named Maya. The teacher pinned a note on her sweater that said, “We all had a beautiful day”.
I hope COVID-19 will fade away soon and that the infections and deaths will diminish significantly. All we can do is continue to be vigilant of the signs of COVID-19. We must continue to follow the guidelines and know that we are not home free yet.
I want to wish all children a wonderful school year be it in-person, or on-line or both. Most of all I wish for them to remain healthy along with their parents, teachers and school personnel. God bless you and God bless America.
Some Quotes to Ponder
“You’re off to great to great places. Today is your first day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!
“Wisdom begins in wonder.” -Socrates
“My number one goal at the end of the first day is not that they know the rules and consequences. It’s that they’re excited to be part of the class. That they run home to their parents and say, “Oh my gosh. I have the best teacher. I have this awesome class. It’s going to be great.” -Unknown
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
“The words above, thought to be the motto, are chiseled in gray granite over the entrance to the New York City Post Office on 8th Avenue and come from Book 8, Paragraph 98, of The Persian Wars by Herodotus.”
This is the motto or slogan and indeed the promise from the United States Postal Servicethat I counted on for so many years. During summer vacations I counted on their promise to deliver promptly the letters I’d write to my friends who went away to camp or to stay with their grandparents. I would be away part of the summer to visit my grandmother. I’d wait by the door for the mail carrier, (then called postman) to bring me letters from my dad who could not take off from work to be with us. Later, I’d wait for letters from my friends serving abroad during the Vietnam war. I couldn’t wait to get the pictures they would take especially of the celebrities showcased in the Bob Hope tours with the USO. Then, there was waiting for the acceptance letters from the dream college I had applied to. And of course, (I have kept them all until now) there were the love letters my husband would write to me with an occasional poem dedicated to me or to our love.
I am sure all of you can relate to these moments that were made possible because we had a reliable source. Namely the postal service. We could count on the promise that no matter what the mail would arrive. Of course, there were delays at times and return to sender mail even though you had written the correct address on the envelope. We have all had some of those experiences.
There has been so much to digest these days and nothing is as important as the devastation caused by this deadly and highly contagious virus that has invaded our country. But the possible threat proposed against our postal system is something we have to stop. Our democracy depends on our postal service. I do not understand how we can allow defunding or privatization of this precious service. The essential workers of this institution have been diligent to get us our medicines and other goods during the stay home mandate.
I remember one of my teachers introducing us to pen pal writing. I had a few pen pals that continued writing to me way beyond the elementary school years. The teacher wrote the postal service slogan on the board. She told us how important it was to have a postal service and explained the many ways that it helped people to stay connected.
I continue to write letters . Yes, I to friends and family even though it has kind of become a lost art and old fashion. I use email and text messaging but there is nothing like writing to a letter to a friend or family member and receiving one from them as well. My grand daughter started writing me letters during the pandemic. These letters made my day. They are my greatest treasure. She enclosed drawings and would tell us how much she missed us.
I know that this may sound over sentimental but a promise is a promise is what I believe firmly. The following is another inscription that sums it all:
Messenger of Sympathy and Love Servant of Parted Friends Consoler of the Lonely Bond of the Scattered Family Enlarger of the Common Life Carrier of News and Knowledge Instrument of Trade and Industry Promoter of Mutual Acquaintance Of Peace and of Goodwill Among Men and Nations.
Please do your part in helping to save our postal service. No matter what your political affiliation or philosophy, I am sure that you will want to think about what the threats being made implicate. Remember many people now rely on the postal service to survive. We must protect the legendary promise that was made to all of us, we the people. All it takes is a postcard or letter to your senator or congressman or woman to insist that they do something to fund the USPS.
The USPS traces its roots to 1775 during the Second Continental Congress, when Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general. … It was elevated to a cabinet-level department in 1872, and was transformed by the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 into the United States Postal Service as an independent agency.
In 1774, the British fired Franklin from his postmaster job because of his revolutionary activities. However, the following year, he was appointed postmaster general of the United Colonies by the Continental Congress. Franklin held the job until late in 1776, when he was sent to France as a diplomat. He left a vastly improved mail system, with routes from Florida to Maine and regular service between the colonies and Britain.
President George Washington appointed Samuel Osgood, a former Massachusetts congressman, as the first postmaster general of the American nation under the new U.S. constitution in 1789. At the time, there were approximately 75 post offices in the country.
I decided to look up information about the so called “Spanish Pandemic”. My mother was born in December of 1918. Therefore she was barely a month old when people all around the world were dying. It did not originate in Spain as the name suggests.
“Wartime censors in the UK, Germany, the United States and France, anxious not to lower morale, played down the numbers of victims. But there were no restrictions on reporting the figures for Spain, which had taken no part in the war. So the belief grew that seemingly badly hit Spain was the epicentre of the disease.”
Then I looked up the latest information from sources like the CDC, NHI, and the CDC. These are the data based and research based organizations that help to advise the authorities about the precautions that need to be taken and how the spread of a virus, flu or illness.
This is why we should all listen to the appropriate authorities.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is an acronym or an abbreviation as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.
“Research indicates that children and adolescents are just as likely to become infected as any other age group and can spread the disease.” – WHO
“The 1918 pandemic came in three waves. During the first, in the early part of the year, deaths were relatively low. The second wave, which began in August, was much more serious, the virus having mutated to a considerably aggressive form and October was the deadliest month of the whole pandemic.”
So if right now our country is averaging 1000 deaths per day. We have 165,000 deaths thus far. If this trend continues, we can potentially end up with another 65.000 deaths by the time the election comes around.
For the record, I am truly concerned. However, we can make a difference right now. My mother used to say not to leave for tomorrow what you can do today. She also told me she was a strong woman because she lived through a pandemic, a horrible hurricane, an earthquake, the depression and was widowed twice. I do not think I want to have to go through all of that to be strong. God bless her soul. I wonder what she would advise me now. One thing is for sure she would advise me to stay informed and take every precaution. She would have done anything to keep us safe. She would not have listened to any nonsense and would make sure she said something when she heard it.
There are 82 days to check out the records. Facts are what we need to hear. The truth is what needs to be spoken.
While it is important to remain informed about the politics that are so vital right now, it is essential that you know the sources of the information distributed. Critical thinking is very important. We are told that many things on social media are sometimes deceptive. We have become very familiar with terms like “alternative facts” and “fake news”. How do we know for sure that what is being said is the truth? Well, for one thing we should listen to all sides of the issue. Learn how reliable those sources are and then Question, Question, Question!
Listening attentively and mindfully to what is being said takes patience and effort. What are the buzz words that are constantly repeated? Why are they being repeated? Who is doing the repeating? Check out the legitimate fact checkers.
Regarding COVID-19, it is easy to get confused and feel that some information is conflicting. Ask you own personal primary care practitioners what they believe about safety measures, how you may be at risk and what is the smart thing to do to keep your family safe. Take it personal.
Share facts with other people. Pass on the latest information with others in your immediate community. Remember it does take a village to get the results we want, No one person can do it alone. No one!
Maya Angelou said it best in her lyric poem, “Alone”. “The tone is of deep feeling or emotional reflection on the author’s part. The poem deals with togetherness by placing emphasis on being alone; quite an irony. It is a lyrical “thinking out loud”, a reflection on what it is to be a human and ‘out here’ in the big wide world.” There is no need to be alone, We are in this together. Believe it.
Create a checklist of what you know are the facts. Once you know what you know, share it. Discuss it with others. We need to ask ourselves what are the most important precautions we can take for your family. Create a plan of action and be ready for anything. Leave everything to the imagination. We have been conditioned to listening to only the sound bytes; we need to be more comprehensive in seeking the truth. Definitely expect the worse so that you are prepared for the worse. But stay positive at the same time because preparedness usually results in success.
What do you know? Share it in the comments below. Stay safe! God bless America!
More children are being tested everyday and more are testing positive for the COVID 19 virus. If you think about it, we would act diligently if children started suffering at any level from any other disease or virus. Of course the jury is still out as to the exact effect the virus will have on otherwise healthy children. Teenagers are getting the virus. We all know now that you may not exhibit any symptoms. We simply have to do what makes sense.
I hate to become an annoyance but all we need to do is abide by the guidelines and accept that anyone can be infected. I might be. You might be and not know it. But you can infect others. It all boils down to an old adage which says, “Love thy neighbor”. Check out the CDC Listen to the scientists and the medical community. Ultimately it is about using common sense for the common good. Stay safe America!
Many times I use puppets or dolls to get a point across to my grandchildren. I made this clip for my granddaughters. I made the rag doll.
I made a commitment to speak up everyday or so until 0 days in November. I only think about children and especially my grandchildren.
I believe that we all need to learn to breathe intently and mindfully in order to free ourselves from pain and anxiety and to reach calmness. During this time of social distancing, isolation and for some of us deep sorrow, it is imperative to keep the faith and to maintain our immune system stronger than ever. Below is a link to a video on how to take deep cleansing breaths by Dr. Andrew Weil. I have passed on this video to many of my family members and friends. A fun way to keep connected is to use the Zoom app and do the exercises with a group of friends. Teach your children how to do the breathing exercises. Please let me know about your experiences. In the meantime, stay safe.
Today, tomorrow and for as long as we will need to deal with the Corona Virus crisis, I plan to do some mindful breathing. Every morning before I get out of bed I breathe deeply, purposefully and with a positive mind.
Panic and worry begets more worry and more tension. This affects our entire system. We need to stop paying too much attention to the increments in the numbers of newly discovered cases and pay more attention to our breathing. We need to take deep cleansing breaths and use meditation as a tool to help us relax through it all.
I am what you may call a natural worry wart but lately I have been focusing more on my breathing and talking myself into calmness. High levels of anxiety can cause our autoimmune system to collapse at a time when we need our immunity to be at its peak performance levels.
I am not saying it is an easy task. I am not a medical professional to tell you this is a cure. I can only tell you that practicing mindfulness and taking charge of my anxious thoughts has worked for me.
I have been painting more and writing more. I have called friends I have not spoken too in a while to help them cope with the craziness. I listen to my collection of oldies but goodies.
My granddaughters are now forced to be at home because schools have closed. We have been told not to visit for now which breaks my heart. So, I have been using Skype and Facetime to communicate with them. I have recorded myself reading stories and send them via email or text. This keeps me busy and it is a way to connect to the girls. I believe that we can always find something good within a difficult situation. This is a time to catch up with family; make the phone call, write a letter or video tape a message. Family should come first.
Oh, and did I tell you I “breeeaaattthhhe” So my friends on WordPress and fellow bloggers I hope you are all well and healthy. I urge you to follow the stipulated guidelines and common sense practices to keep healthy but every time you get a chance please BREATHE! Happy breathing!