Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Isolation

When Arizona shut down after spring break, people went crazy.  We were having lovely walks outside every day, but there were lots of people who wouldn't leave their houses.  People started hoarding toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizer, rice, pasta, oatmeal, dry beans, flour, yeast-- this is not a comprehensive list of things I couldn't find in stores anymore.  I don't know what people were thinking. Clearly, being stuck at home, we should all have been hoarding snacks, but it would be months before toilet paper could be found in the stores again.  Toilet paper, and everyone's preoccupation with it, became a hilarious symbol of COVID-19.  
We enjoyed having more time for morning walks before cousin school/ online classes.  You can tell we live in a serious 'hood because our wash graffiti says "RIP Kobe."
I had to go grocery shopping, so I dressed for it.  Cases in Arizona were increasing very slowly, but there was so little information available, and access to testing was extremely limited, so we were taking every precaution.  The kids stayed safely home, and I made my weekly contact with the world at the grocery store.  Wearing a mask in public took a lot of getting used to. I feel weird talking to people when my mouth is covered.
Eloise and Sammy dressed up for virtual crazy sock day at the elementary school. It's fun for them that their feet are almost the same size.
This is what first grade class looks like in isolation.  They don't get together for lessons like this, of course, because that would be a wasted effort with seven year olds, but they are very excited to see each other.  Mrs. Lane sent an email each week letting us know what to do to prepare for a game or activity in the first grade zoom meeting.  Third grade zoom meetings were a lot of fun, too. Ms. Duncan collected baby pictures for a game of guess who, which was very entertaining.  Eloise and Annie kept exclaiming over how cute the babies were, and then pointing out that those boys are NOT cute anymore. 
Part of our isolation morning routine through May was a morning walk/ bike ride/ scooter trip.  We have lots of great multi use trails to choose from in our neighborhood. 
This bridge at Sammy's preschool made a good midpoint on our walk, just over half a mile from home. 
Each of the specialist teachers chose some students to keep in contact with, so all of the kids were getting communication from at least two teachers.  B got a recipe for soda bread from Mrs. Spear, the librarian, so we had to try it out.  He also got seeds and nature scavenger hunts from his gardening club teacher.
We tried to take advantage of all of the good weather before it got unbearably hot. 
The kids are loving beatsaber on VR.  Eloise loves songs from "The Greatest Showman."  She is pretty good.
One day we went on an alphabet scavenger hunt. It was starting to get too hot.  We didn't make it through the entire alphabet before we got hot and had to go home. 
The PTA asked for pictures from the kids for a teacher appreciation week video. 


We had really great teachers this year.  It meant a lot that they kept reaching out, even if it was Ms. Rabuck having a zoom meeting with just Jared so he could teach her how to use the technology. 
I was devastated to learn that Mrs. Lane is retiring this year.  She was amazing for B this year, and completely irreplaceable. 
Being a student at home meant that my finals all had to be taken at home.  My classes ended at the end of April, and I started finals.  I tried to get up early so I could get them done and still help out at home school.  There was much less pressure around finals than there is in a typical semester, since all of the classes had become pass/fail.  This was good and bad.  I wanted to work hard and do well, but with much less pressure and so much going on at home, I ran into a psychological barrier to studying.  I passed all of my classes, so finals were okay, I guess.  We don't get our test scores, so a pass is pretty meaningless as feedback. 
Grandma and Grandpa put up their pool at the beginning of April.  Pandemic means that the city pools are not open this summer, so we got a lot of time in at the grandparents' pool. 
It didn't take long for these kids to get organized.  When they are in this pool, they are playing house, or castle, or holding elections to be queen (there have been many campaign speeches full of promises).  So many dramas are enacted in this pool. 
Some of them are even real.  B has been stung by bees twice in the pool.  Overall, though, isolating with cousins is not the worst thing in the world, even if they do sometimes need a break from each other. 

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