Sunday, March 22, 2020

Day 10

Today is Day 10 of my quasi-quarantine. I have been making rosaries everyday and would like to make you one...if you are interested! All I ask is that you donate to my favorite seminarian. Here is a picture of what the rosary looks like:

I hand make them out of string. My mom taught me how to make them and she also makes them as well. They are nice gifts and keep me busy during this time. I started a puzzle last night and if it weren't for my brother, I would have put the puzzle back in the box and started a different one already.

Tomorrow we start our online instruction for the students at Denison ISD. I have my assignment posted already and hopefully they all find it to be simple and not time consuming. I think that during this time, we as teachers, need to be considerate of what our students are going through. I know many of my kids are taking care of their siblings, fixing meals during the day, and doing much more than I am throughout the day. I am NOT trying to put more stress on my students and I am definitely trying to make school something that is not a huge thing to stress about. I think that the last thing that my kids need is one more burden to worry about.

"We Didn't Start the Fire"

I actually thought I had a blog titled this already but I ran through my titles and I don't. I remember in high school, my teacher, Coach Felderhoff, had us do a project where we finished "We Didn't Start the Fire". I remember the project because I had such a good time doing it and it helped me understand how the world would always have problems no matter what age people were. I know there is someone out there who has already added the lyrics to the song featuring COVID-19 so I don't plan on writing my own. However, if I were still in Coach Felderhoff's history class, you can bet I would write some killer lyrics for this decade.

Stay hopeful.


Saturday, March 21, 2020

Day 9

I've been in my own personal quarantine for nine days now. I did drive to my parents' to stay with them so I wouldn't be alone for two more weeks. As my brother told me this morning, we are living history that people will write about and remember for years to come. The things I will remember about this time include not being able to go into stores or come into contact with other people, teaching online classes to my students, how to get through multiple hours in a day without becoming completely bored, and I'm sure much more.

The more news I read, the more I think that the effects of COVID-19 will last much longer that anyone originally anticipated. To pass the time, I have made rosaries, colored, wrote cards, and watched plenty of television. I never thought I would be ready to go back to school but I miss the daily routine, the kids, and the challenges of teaching.

I am also ready for warm weather. If the weather was over forty degrees, I think I would be more content with being at home. There is something about warm weather and a hot sun that bring me peace. I am glad to be out of the rain in Denison but am ready for a sunny day--hopefully tomorrow.

One person I am grateful for during this time is my oldest brother, Ryan. He keeps me on my toes during the day. Granted, he's sometimes a pest, but we have a lot of fun together. It would be great if Reidy was here too but he is in Fort Worth working at the bank he runs. My brothers are two people who are always fun to be around. They are always laughing and have a joke for every moment.

Raider, my dog, is just like the rest of us. He paces back and forth down the hallways, takes naps, eats, and comes around for the occasional pet. He is living his best life.

Today, day nine, is eleven days away from the next announcement that the school will make concerning our return or lack there of to our regular schedule.

Until next time,


Thursday, March 19, 2020

Not that it matters

When will we be on lockdown? That's the latest question I keep asking myself--not that it matters.

Today I drove home to be with my family for a little while instead of holding up in my house alone for the next two weeks. The roads were fairly empty and the drive was easy. When I got to Gruver, it was sunny and windy...I swapped out the rain for the sun and wind--I'm okay with that.

This morning our school met, tomorrow morning they will meet again, to develop a plan for our online learning platform. It is weird for me to think that I will spend the next two weeks, and potentially more time, teaching online. Honestly, to me, it feels like one day I was going about my normal daily life, and the next, everything was turned upside down. Going into my own personal lockdown did not seem gradual. I came home from a softball game last Wednesday and Thursday I had decided I was not leaving the house again.

Being home already feels better. It's nice to be in face to face contact with other humans. Granted, I know that I will still have to find things to do and work on my online classes, but this is better than being at my house alone finishing another season of South Park.

If we were in school, we would beginning to read "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. I'm still going to teach the short story online but it's just not the same as being in a live classroom engaging in meaningful discussion. If you haven't read "The Lottery", I highly suggest doing so--it's a very quick read and a great story. Let me know what you think. I can always use suggestions and thoughts for my lessons.



Monday, March 16, 2020

Write About It

Mom said that kids should write about COVID-19 because of the importance it has during this time in our lives. I figured I should write too--not just the kids. 

I have quarantined since Thursday and our school is closed for this week (at minimum). The five days I have been alone in my house seem like forever. I have cleaned, cooked, got donation bags together of clothes, and watched half of the South Park series. Besides watching South Park, all of the other things I have wanted to get done for quite sometime. Currently, I am watching RAW. Because of COVID-19, RAW is being produced live with no crowd. It's pretty fascinating to see the worlds best entertainers keep a show going without a live audience. Now to some of the questions...

Am I afraid of COVID-19?

Yes and no. I am afraid of getting the virus. My immune system is stronger than it has ever been. For those of you that know me know that if I haven't been in the hospital this year then I'm doing great with my breathing. I can't remember the last year that I haven't gotten bronchitis or pneumonia--knock on wood that I don't get sick with either of those OR the coronavirus. Still, getting the virus is a real fear for me. I'm not afraid of school being closed or that I have to stay in my house (though I might go crazy) but don't come near me unless you're washing your hands--and even then I might still tell you to stay away.

How long do I think the effects of COVID-19 will last? 

Short term, until summer. Long term, at least a year. I'm not sure that we will be able to finish out the school year. Dallas canceled school indefinitely today and we are only an hour from Dallas--there is nothing to say that we aren't next. All the college sports for the year have been canceled, the casinos are all closed around our area, and it seems to me that we are headed towards a lockdown. I think the community and local businesses are being fairly proactive in closing or limiting their interactions with patrons to certain hours or drive-thru only. Regardless, I think we all need to be prepared to hold up in our houses for the long haul.

There are plenty more questions I could answer and much more that I could write, but for now...


Sunday, January 5, 2020

The Puzzle

Over Christmas, our family made a goal--to complete the puzzle my brother gave me before I came back to Denison--which meant we had seven days. I don't know how to explain the puzzle other than it is impossible to complete by matching colors--you can only complete it by matching shapes. It is by far the hardest puzzle I have ever completed. I absolutely could not do it on my own. In fact, I was so frustrated with the puzzle that I put it back in the box. When I did that, Mom told me to bring it home and her, my dad, and Ryan would help me do it when I was home. Her and Ryan stayed up until the late hours the last night completing the final masterpiece and gluing it together (I went to bed early as I had to take an exam the next day). The next day my mom bought a frame for the puzzle, Ryan helped me glue it in (he did most of it) and now it's hanging on my wall at home.

I'm not kidding--this puzzle was extremely hard. Since then, I've moved back into my old puzzle ways--Buffalo brand 500 pieces. What was really neat is that Dad said we should do a puzzle every Christmas. I thought that was also a great idea--maybe next year we won't do one that's so difficult.


Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Greatest Gift

I didn't want to keep you waiting too long...

The gift came in and it was a personalized puzzle (I LOVE puzzles). The photo was of our two old dogs who passed away a few years ago--Reggie and Maggie. He was right. It was the best gift ever.

Moving on, I have watched "Silver Linings Playbook" more than once this week. I'm sure I have blogged about it before but if you haven't watched it yet, do. It is one of those movies that can change your life or at least how you perceive life.

This week is the end of the semester and man what a semester it has been. Never did I think that I would be where I am in life right now at the beginning of the school year. I have met new people, been through trying situations, loved deeply, been hurt greatly, and then came out on the other side a different and stronger person.

I'm not one for New Year's Resolutions but maybe this year I do need something. I am really looking forward to 2020. No, I am not wishing my days away but I am just anticipating great things to happen--to be a better version of myself everyday.

I am ready to go home this weekend and visit my family. I am ready for the relaxation and rejuvenation that comes with being with my people. Only one more day...


Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Greatest Game

If you read my last blog, you know that now, for almost a month, I have been gluten-free. Honestly, I didn't realize how good my body could feel. I've lost weight, don't have crazy digestive issues, and generally feel better overall--most days anyways. So yes, eating a gluten-free diet for a gluten-intolerant person is worth it, no matter how hard it may be. 

Moving on, I want to tell you all about the game. During the time when I was really not feeling good, my family was constantly reaching out to do anything for me that might help me feel better. I'm beyond blessed with a great family but what my oldest brother did is beyond what I ever could have imagined as helpful. I open a letter from him one day and he has designed a game for me. If I played the game, and reached 200 points, I would receive "the greatest gift of all time". Now, a few things you should know to preface the rest of the story...

  • My brother and I lived together for two years back when we both lived in Gruver so he knows me very well. 
  • Giving gifts is something we both love to do very much--but not just any gift, the best gift--the kind of gift that makes you go, "Man, this person really thought about me."
  • I'm competitive. I will play almost any game--especially if I can win. 
  • My brother knows that I won't turn down a challenge.
Alright, taking all of that into consideration...I receive a letter from my brother and on the back is a game. Everything in the game was worth a certain amount of points. For instance, I would get fifteen points for meeting someone new, or two points for giving my dog, Raider, a treat. There were all sorts of to-dos on the list--from coloring to getting a snowcone and writing the person who made it a thank you...nothing was out of the question. I didn't have to do everything on the list to get to the 200 points but I would say that 80% of the things were out of my comfort zone. The game pushed me beyond what I thought I could do socially and somedays mentally. It gave me a reason to do something besides sit on the couch at night after dinner or on a Sunday when I got home from Lady's (my grandmother). 

I met new people, went to church, made rosaries, cooked spaghetti, cleaned my kitchen, took Raider for walks, wrote Wikipedia article summaries, and all sorts of other things. 

Did I get the 200 points? Sure. Did I get the gift? Absolutely.

Until next time.