I have been teaching for 24 years in higher education and nothing comes close to describing what the last year has entailed. Of course it is hard to really put it into words – Lockdown, the pandemic, online everything, being apart from people. Even though we are still ‘in it’, with a vaccine being rolled out to millions every day now, there does seem to be light at the end of this lockdown tunnel.
This morning I was preparing something for one of my upcoming classes, and I noticed there was a leftover video from last year’s course. It was one of those ‘pre-class’ vlog bype videos I sometimes do … and for some reason I watched this one. What I saw was a 3 min 43 second reflection on the day lockdown was announced and students were sent home from campus. I filmed this at the start of the following week. I anticipated the lockdown and already told my classes that they could have the option of ‘tuning in’ to class, but that didn’t go to plan. There was an all campus email that came out mid-late morning saying campus would shut at 5pm, and my class was scheduled at 1pm. A few days later, before the first fully online session, I made this:
What really struck me was the reality of it all. The rawness of what I was saying… my son on the sofa as I talked to my students, extra people in the house.
I did not say on the video that one of the two ‘big people’ never lived here. X needed a place to go, and I simply said ‘yes’ and they moved in… for the next three months. No questions asked. Just like that.
- Everyone under one roof.
- Most of the day everyone in one big room.
That room became the office, the playroom, the meeting point not just for me, but for several of us all at once. We learned to navigate and negotiate space in new ways.
One year on.
One year on. I don’t know. What a heck of a year. In some ways it has been the absolute best year ever for me. Yes, I know that will sound wrong – I’ve been more creative than ever. My book came out (yay!). I performed, recorded, filmed, published. My ‘personal pandemic projects’ have been amazing and I could still do my job. For the people whose work ended, or worse yet, they lost family members – I cannot imagine. I know I have been incredibly fortunate.
I also love that some of the ‘crazy’ of the world stopped. You know the phrase – stop the world, I’d like to get off? Certainly for moments, I felt like that actually happened. Now, for me at least, I want to make sure I don’t just jump back onto that same old same old.
Yes, this is a ‘Yes I Can’ moment.