Yesterday was a strange, long & kind of surreal day.
It was a teaching day in Angers that was actually in Angers (first time since late October / early November). After only 3-hours sleep the night before, it started out not so pretty, but when I look back, at least #3GoodThings helped redeem the day (more really, but I’ll quickly highlight 3)…
First off, let me just say that, as a country, we’re in this weird place right now. We’re not on lockdown but still, most university-level students are learning from home. Starting this week, they’ve re-opened campuses for 1st year students only (who are suffering for lack of a proper first year experience), but only half-classes (students alternate weekly between in-class, and at-home attendance via computer). Soon, schools will give 2nd and 3rd year students the opportunity to return as well… on a strictly voluntary basis.
So yesterday, I taught two classes of 9 students in the morning (the other half participated from home) and, in the afternoon, I sat in a classroom, at the school, by myself, teaching entire classes of 2nd year students, who were all at home, via Teams. I was alone up there.
Still though… there were at least #3GoodThings to come out of the day.
- Seeing SOME Students: Even though I didn’t get to see all my students face to face, I got to see some and it felt good to reconnect with them, even if ever so limited.
- Dancing Grapevines: As I was coming into Montreuil-Bellay, on my way home, something caught my eye. I looked quickly and then, at the round about, I came back and parked along the side of the road so I could get a picture. Part of the vineyard was flooded from recent rain and the sky was reflecting in the very still surface of the water. Standing vines reflected perfectly inverted silhouettes of themselves. Such movement… almost like an elvin mass, awaking at dusk to celebrate the night away. So beautiful.
- Wild Boar avoidance: My driving both began and ended in the dark and on the way home, after darkness had begun to fall again, I was surprised by a wild boar that came out onto the road just in front of me. The Lord spared me and I avoided it. While it’s not like hitting a deer or a moose back home, they can do nasty damage to the front end if you make contact, so I was glad to have just had my rear brakes replaced.
By the time I got home, there was hot soup waiting as Liz & the boys had just gotten in as well, from an orthodontics appointment (while there’s no lockdown, there is a 6:00pm curfew, so we all had to have our official justifications, in case we were questioned).
While your other activities are limited, read about the antics of teenagers on/around the Moncton-Buctouche Railway in the early 1920s.
As a former teacher (26 years, elementary) I can only imagine what it must be like to teach to an empty classroom! Online has to be a supreme challenge as well. So kudos for pressing on, overcoming the obstacles, and all with an attitude of gratitude in place!
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