Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Coronavirus, Remote Education, and Dancing 

Day Twenty Three thru ThirtyTwo April 13-22 Monday - Wednesday

Wednesday April 22 2020 (Earth Day)

WOW! I can’t believe it has been 10 days since I last posted. My original plan was to post every day, kinda like a journal, so that my experience would be chronicled and not forgotten.

To tell you the truth, I haven’t felt much like writing anything down as I feel like I am living in a nightmare. As a dancer, and a physical learner, being chained to my computer for 8 – 12 hours a day is the absolute worst. No matter how much Zooming, Canvas Conferencing, Google Meetups, Face Time, Live Facebook classes, Webinars, Microsft Teams, and creating videos (which is one of the things I look forward to because I get to actually move) it is just not the same as being there in person.

I am used to being with my students from 6-10 hours a day. During that time I am constantly in motion and after that time I go to my own class or to the gym. This sitting at the computer and trying to figure out how I am going to get other people to move is truly absurd and nightmarish. That said, I am still doing what I can to make this on line learning experience the very best for my students from Pre-K to Senior Citizens. So at least I can make some sense of the nightmare.

Of course I am in more than one nightmare. There is the nightmare of going out and having to shop for groceries and deal with the public. What do I wear, am I far enough away from others, if there and any others around, do I really want to take a bus, a train, oh I’ll just walk the 40 +blocks to see my doctor. I need the exercise. There’s Senior shopping at 7 in the morning, after which I always pass by the crowded food line at the shelter around the corner from Whole Foods. And then there is the sound of sirens, that suddenly break the very eerie silence only to replace it with the eerier sound of a siren whizzing by and then fading into the background and then silence again. This from the city that never sleeps.

The one highlight of the day comes at 7pm when, whoever is still in the neighborhood, open their windows and applaud for our essential workers (who are in a nightmare all of their own) for three minutes usually accompanied with a song about heroes, which I try to provide every night.

And finally, the political nightmare, of a federal government that is playing catchup because it suffers from any real leadership under one of the most incompetent President’s we have had in my lifetime.

I am grateful that our state Governors have more sense than the President and seem to be trying to guide us away from the abyss, because somedays, it feels like we are right on the edge and someone is about to push us over.

Before I sign off, for who knows how long this time, I received this article from someone who was a student at Staten Island Academy just before I taught there. He is a filmmaker now and he recently published this article online.

It is an especially interesting and timely read as we celebrate Earth Day in the year of the 
Coronavirus. Click here to read it: Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting

On that note I am signing off for the night.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Strong, Stay Home and Keep Dancing
Peace Out!
The Dancing Jedi

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