Every school district, or parent, has designed some whacky way to make learning work during the Covid crisis. “Well, if they can do it, I can, too. I’m going back to school,” I said to myself one morning as I bounded out of bed. (Bounded isn’t the right word here, but at least I got my feet on the floor.)
A Pupil Again
Over the next few hours, I designed my “curriculum” for home schooling. I had a flashback to the 40s, when my school supplies included a Big Chief tablet, fountain pen, round-nosed scissors, a Pink Pearl eraser, and a book bag. It would be easier this time; I was well supplied.
My At-Home Classes
Each day now, I set my alarm for 7:30, so I won’t be “late for school.” I begin my daily schedule with P.E., that includes stretches and weight lifting, (I do miss wearing a one-piece blue gym suit with my name crudely hand-stitched over the pocket.) Having worked up a sweat, I head for the shower in my home “locker room.”
My next class is Home Economics, where I sit next to my friend, Fridge, a really cool guy. With his help, I put together a healthy breakfast of yogurt, bananas, blueberries, and peaches topped with a bit of granola. All gets washed down with organic green tea.
In another moment of deja vu, I recall my high school Home Ec class. I learned to darn socks, a skill I’ve never had need of. Today, for some reason, socks disappear before they get a hole in the toe.
No Time for Reminiscing
Gathering up my papers and pencil, I hurry down the hallway to my next class: English. In this class I write a lot on a food blog. My writing isn’t improving all that much, but I have fun posting food photos and testing recipes.
I remain in the same room for my History class. I pull up The Great Courses on my computer, where I’m taking several classes: one on the Life of Benjamin Franklin, another on the Civil War. And more recently, a class on Cathedrals, which I wish I had taken before traveling round Europe.
I frequently doze off in history class, which, as I recall, I’ve done in the past.
When the “lunch bell” rings in my head, I make my way down the uncrowded hallway to my “condo cafeteria,” where the menu is “
mystery meat” and a Diet Coke tossed salad and a can of La Croix sparkling water.
Following lunch is Recess. That might mean a carefree ride on my stationary bike, or playing a game of Spelling Bee on my New York Times app.
Aggh! Next is a “required” class: Economics. I hate this one. I’m not sure I’ll get a passing grade. It involves checkbooks, bank statements, Instacart orders, and on line purchases. None of which I’m good at—except the on line stuff. I’m getting a lot more adept at that.
The Non-Civility of Civics
I end my day with a “evening class” in Civics with three thought-provoking teachers: Joy Reid, Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow. But too often the affairs of the day seem like a re-run of the Twilight Zone or Tales from the Crypt. Too much sensory overload. I may have to drop this course.
Sadly, I’ve already had to drop “Marching Band,” fearing my stomping and kazoo playing might get me expelled from the condo association.
After my last class of the day, I’m off to bed. But, drats, first I have to do my “homework,” that I’ve been putting off. I start by picking up the debris from the coffee table, getting the dishes in the dishwasher, and running a load of wash.
As I turn off the light, I dream of my upcoming “field trip” to the farm, where I will see cows and horses and deer and drink well water and hunt mushrooms.
Don’t Ask to See My Report Card
As to “extracurricular activities,” I’ve become a “cheer leader” for my daughter’s Pickle Ball team. And, I’ve invited myself to this year’s “Virtual Prom.” Hmm. . . what to wear. . . . Even so, this semester is getting pretty monotonous.
I’m already looking forward to “spring break.”