Weekend Coffee Share, Shifting the Perspective

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Traveler at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/2021/03/26/5-themes-for-a-fun-week/ . The day is warm, and the coffee is on ice. Agnes Obel croons in the background to increase a calm, cool, collected mood. It has been quite a week.

I am not only dealing with rambunctious kids overwhelmed by the scent of Spring , the encroaching state tests, and my own allergies, but some family stress has given me hard lessons in parenting. You do know that once a parent, you are a parent for life, right? It is so hard to stand back when they are going through a hard time.

You cannot create peace in someone else’s mind. You can only be an example of how you will not let their sparks of agitation burn your calm down.
It is exhausting to think and not react, to feel love even when you feel spit on. It’s also hard to let go as a parent, and to acknowledge the hurt and the love you feel, leaving space for both at the same time. Suffice it to say, I felt disrespected by my adult son (24 going on 12) and told him to save up, he had two months to move out.

He decided he would apply for an apartment right away and try to move out next week. He has his eye on some cheap apartments just down the road. He will have to ride his bike to work, as he has not gotten his own car since the accident that totaled his car and gave him a brain injury three years ago. He does need to experience true independence, so I know I cannot talk him out of it, and part of me does not want to. Yet part of me does, and I am not listening. I start to worry.

Worry is one of my traits and character flaws. It is distracting from real-life tasks. I am working on meditation. Trying not to ponder too much on whether he’ll take his meds as needed and be careful where he goes, eat healthy and live a healthy life, not the partier lifestyle. I could worry on any little thing, so the meditation is pretty necessary for me right now. I have an app called DARE (an app that addresses anxiety), and there are some really helpful meditations or information sessions there. Worrying about the future is a waste of time.

Flashback photo. Many cherished memories!

I am not just a parent. I am a writer, which is mostly consisting of blogging right now, and that’s just where I am at the moment. In looking at my life right now, I have to shift the periscope for another perspective. I am an English teacher of middle schoolers, and I mostly enjoy that. Still, I have to make myself remember the good that I instilled in my son, and believe that all of it will overwhelm the headstrong stubbornness of a young adult. While I have expressed that work can be stressful, I always try to maintain an accepting atmosphere in my classroom and to build relationship, to know them and make them feel part of a community, and that can be so rewarding!

It seems I may fail with some, but others, and even some whole classes, seem to feel the strength of community or at least appreciate my efforts. I believe in them as well. Some are so brilliant! At times I make corny jokes and tell them the teaching platform is just practice for my future live comedy career. 🙂 I can get going and talk fast, I always thought it was anxiety brain but my doctor thinks it could also be an attention deficit. I talk about these things with some of my students. Many of them know what these issues are like. Perhaps I can be a good example of functioning regardless. (So I hope). 🙂

When I relate to my students, I sometimes forget my worries. I get the feeling of being a stepping stone and learning experience in their lives. To let them know I’m glad to see them, I use my imagination and call them my little rays of sunshine, bright shining moonbeams, dragons, or butterflies. (Their choice). Some do not identify as the assigned gender. I have had to learn this; It is 2021 and I’ve been teaching 21 years. Things are different now. I must be mindful of whom I call a boy or a girl. So I’ll say, ‘Boys and girls or NBs (for non-binaries), listen up!’ They approve. I purposely called someone the wrong name who just laughed, then I started adding the wrong name behind his real name, and he just laughs.

Yesterday, I had another student request that I add a syllable to their name! I thought it was sweet, a way I can make someone feel special. There are some really bright kids in some of my classes, but they are all special, just in different ways. So, of course I’ve added a syllable which happens to be what her dad calls her, so she likes it! Now I have more to remember. I’m always trying new things to be sure I challenge the brightest gifted children while using strategies to motivate those at grade-level or just getting there. It’s safe to say, they challenge me as well. I appreciate that; my job is not boring, my life is challenging and motivates me to wake up daily. Those who may misbehave at times also challenge me to always show acceptance, one of the most important things in life.

Not only that, but the Newspaper Club I am sponsoring at school provides an outlet for ideas. It seems to decrease the burnout I could get from FSA test prep and prescribed teaching methods as well as antsy Springtime behavior in middle schoolers.

I feel I have digressed, as I often do. It’s just that, these extra syllables and NB nicknames as well as the bright students are giving me good moments that will become memories during the challenges of my life….as well as lessons learned. It is a wonderful life when you can teach others and keep learning from the experience as well! Maybe it is actually possible I am reaching these students socially and emotionally and building an accepting community. So now let’s shift the periscope again to another perspective that can also be viewed brightly: I have many reasons to be grateful, and raising a son who has been a challenge is just one of them. Maintaining an accepting relationship with him but giving independence shall be another, I am sure.

Smile and think of mad possibilities when you’d rather give up and take a nap.

Thank you for reading my Weekend Coffee Share! Writing is so cathartic for me. I also love poetry, where I can just feel things and be completely metaphorical if I like. Maybe you can tell by my love for butterflies and dragons. 🙂 I can be either, depending on my mood. I am allowed. I hope you have a wonderful week!

#WeekendCoffeeShare. Of Literacy and Creating Community

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, and top o’ the mornin’ to you! I just had my matcha green tea, since yesterday was coffee day. Pull up a chair and grab your favorite beverage. My fluffy canine companion might even make an appearance!

I feel hopeful this morning. The sun is out, and it looks like Spring! We do get those starts and stops with Spring in Jacksonville, Florida. I also slept well last night! I socially distanced by eating at home, intended to watch some Netflix after making a review quiz for my classes and speaking to my boyfriend, but fell asleep before turning on the TV. I didn’t miss much, and I sure need more sleep lately!

A quiet night was a welcome balance after a busy, boisterous week as a middle school English teacher. My observation was this week, there was also a full moon this week, yada, yada, yada. I survived. Did you know this past week was Literacy week? Well, we had a little fun, and it makes working during a pandemic much more bearable.

My coworkers are the best!

I found out late about Literacy week, so I spread the word to my grade and subject co-workers to wear animal print or animal themed clothing on Friday, stating that we’re “Wild about Books, Reading, etc.” I made a little 3D book for some of my grade level cohorts to wear. It was fun telling the kids why we did this and getting a smile or chuckle, especially from the ones who also love reading! One of my new coworkers who has been stressed lately even said that it made work feel a little better today, and I’m so glad! We are creating a community, with each other and with our students.

I know there are some I’m not reaching yet, but I have whole classes that are kind communities. Was it my doing? I hope that it partly was. I’ll definitely give the kids some credit. I’m starting the Newspaper Club this week and so excited! I even bought a newsprint mask from Etsy! I know, I’m such a dork, but let’s make dorkhood cool…Why not?

So, at least I’ll be using my writing talents in some way: to inspire others. Maybe to also create community. It’s all a work in progress.

Interestingly, I forgot to mention the negatives, only that my week was busy. I forgot my moments of anxiety; they rolled right off my back. I feel like I can overcome anything!

Take care my friends, be safe, and have a great week!

Best of the Year! #BOTY2020

     Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Season’s Greetings whatever holiday you celebrate and where!  2020 has been quite a year. I would say my proudest work accomplishment this year as a Middle School English teacher was putting a focus on Socio-Emotional Learning in my classroom by trying to learn what personally motivates my students with various learning abilities from standard, advanced, to gifted learners.  I’m working on building community.  One personal achievement I reached this year was maintaining a connection with my students during COVID lockdown in Florida from March to June.  I would say that it was really rewarding during a time of uncertainty.   

      

Teaching during COVID Lockdown, Spring, 2020.

                       

     This year, I published one book titled Malachi, Ruse Master. It is not specifically sci-fi, but focuses on a character that connects to characters and events in my Detours in Time series.  I really enjoyed writing this one, getting into my character’s head and writing about the struggles of finding your identity when you are a young adult. He works in an unusual job that serves to help him discover many things about himself and his own ethics. If interested, it is on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086VYJYZX

 In 2020, I suffered a frozen shoulder and recieved physical therapy for it. I’d been through PT at the end of 2019 for my back and still use some of the principles and exercises I learned. The shoulder recovered, I’m glad to report. In the process, I read and discovered a lot about how our mindset contributes to pain. Some of it is automatic and takes much work to change, but I am working on the mindset constantly. There are many people who helped me and worked to understand me this year, and I am filled with gratitude. I am trying constantly to extend my circle of gratitude for every little thing someone does for me or every attempt at understanding me. It makes me smile more, which makes people respond more positively to me. It seems to pay off for everyone.

I wore my pearls to honor RBG on voting day, 2020!

COVID anxiety has been a struggle for me, but I’d say it comes and goes, and staying busy or exercising seems to really help.  I struggled with anxiety and was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder even before COVID became a concern for the United States this year, so fortunately, I was already working on the problem before lockdown occurred and cases skyrocketed.  It’s odd to say, but the diagnosis came right on time. I’ve read and studied many books on the subject and took an online CBT course this year.  I feel that knowledge and acceptance of our own flaws are both very important.  One thing I do regret is my lack of focus, which really got worsened from COVID lockdown.  I am able to focus on my work but cannot seem to focus also on writing a book.  Never fear! I have an idea in the works, but it will take longer than my former books.

My social life has suffered probably as much as anyone else’s. I have a writer friend I would invite to the house a few times over the summer for coffee and a chat, distanced, of course. My boyfriend and I maintain contact and even went to socialize with some of his friends outdoors on their patio this summer. I had two Zoom meetings with some of the ‘gals’ from work, one of which carried on into a FB group video chat and included some fun app affects!

At least I have my family, I have an understanding significant other, and I have some longtime, trustworthy friends. My mother has had an extended stay at my brother’s house due to COVID concerns, but I am getting her this week. My 24-year-old son and I have been co-existing gracefully, and he is becoming such a generous soul. I remember his teen years, ugh. He certainly has had his own struggles and still has some effects from them. Still, he is finally growing into the person I’ve been trying to teach him to be in the most important ways: gentle, generous, kind to his family members and not so self-centered.

 My biggest lesson learned this year is that our mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. It immensely helps a person’s mental health to tell someone about what is bothering them. I have a stressful job, and just discussing with my boss some of the things I have to go through to get organized and handle certain situations provided such a relief. My anxiety, especially in the holiday season, hits at unexpected times, and I’ve even explained to some of my classes that I feel claustrophobic if too many of them come up to my desk. It has helped. I also cannot concentrate if two people ask me a question at the same time. In my everyday life, I’ve been practicing not keeping things in and speaking my mind in a calm manner. 

I also asked for help, unashamed, from a good work friend before taking the drive to South Carolina. When asked if she’d ride along with me and maybe take turns driving, she said yes without hesitation, looking forward to time away from ‘mom’ duties. I am so thankful! Having her to talk to on the way up was great and kept me calm when I went 20 minutes past the exit for I-95. We laughed it off and kept on going. When traffic was congested in South Carolina, as usual, I said, “I hate this road,” and she said, “It’s okay, we’ve got this.” It was very helpful, as congested traffic makes me feel boxed in, a result of a car accident I had in 2016. Why am I not over that? Why ask why, just make adjustments as needed.

I know there is a little risk involved there.  So, appropriately, my favorite song of the year has been Caution by The Killers.  Okay, it’s a love song, but I want to love my life and ponder predominantly on the positives, so it works! The beat and the lyrics are so inspiring! 

So, I say, speak your mind, throw caution to the wind! Take a risk.  The worst that could happen is that you may not feel accepted by that person, in which case, they don’t deserve your openness. Talk to someone else, then. You will soon find someone who has felt the way you do at some point in their lives. So, I have learned to own my life, my personality, and not be ashamed to share what it means to be me. I may not be able to travel right now, and life and activities may be COVID limited, but I am still going to grow. 

This Best of the Year tradition was first brought to my attention by my global blogger friend Beaton. You may visit his blog at becomingthemuse.net and his Best of the Year at https://becomingthemuse.net/2020/12/17/what-2020-taught-me/ You are invited to share your own, and use the hashtag, #BOTY2020.

In my tradition, I wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and Best wishes for 2021!

Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Weekend Coffee Share. These Strange Times

The center of my life, lately,  is work.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,  hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. I have my cute canine right by me. Pull up a chair and your favorite morning beverage!

I know it’s a frequent topic, but foremost in my mind right now is work. I mean, I can’t focus enough to really write much. There’s an idea on my laptop with 3, 000 words written, and I’m just taking my time. Sitting at the computer for too long bugs my back. It’s okay, I’ve accepted that I just need to be more active right now.

Consider that, from March to June 1st, I was on lockdown,  teaching from home, at the computer most of the day. I was so afraid when told we had to go back to in-person school,  but now I see it was the best for me. I see how it benefits the students as well.

Lately,  COVID cases are really rising,  and I personally know someone who has COVID. It makes you think about things. Of course,  I’m careful, but still…the COVID anxiety is real. All of this makes me wish I could hug my students.  Some of them are really special, and with all that’s going on, I just want to be a positive for others.

Of course, there are times I’m just so tired or times I’m really nervous,  full of anxious worry. But this attempt at positivity is helping that; sometimes it works to replace that anxious mental energy.

In these strange times, it makes me want to be sure my last words to anyone are kind words, or at the very least, to leave the impression to this person that I accept them fully.

I am trying not to suffer in boredom or feel trapped. Exercise, focus on work, and trying to meditate, these things are helping.

I made a big deal over a student who designed her own mask. I’ve written on a few of my plain white masks, because to me, they are just a blank slate. Added to that, is the fact I can’t wear beautiful silk masks anymore. They hamper my breathing, they make me feel hot, and heaven forbid there’s a hot flash! The cotton masks are more comfortable. Permanent marker stays on them after a washing and won’t smell so toxic afterward.

At any rate, this student wore a really colorful mask one day, and I asked her to do one for me. She uses gel pen, dark colors, then washed it and they turned to pastel. I love the effect, and she was so pleased when I gushed about it. Truth is, it really made me feel special, too, and I’m grateful for that feeling!

These odd times may be hindering our activities and goals, but we can still connect with people. Despite being unable to hug or give high-fives, I believe this is possible.

Please don’t think I’ve got it all figured out. I’m still in training to be the person I want to be.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and thank you for stopping by my corner of the world!

What It’s Like to Vote. #2020

Wearing my pearls in honor of RBG!
We voted, and we honor RBG! Educators teaching young minds to think for themselves.

What it’s like to vote in 2020:

Request your absentee ballot. Receive said ballot; study the amendments within it to make an informed decision. Decide, then fill out your ballot. Send it in early. Track it online until its receipt is confirmed. Encourage and tell all of your friends and family to vote. Yet, avoid politics at the dinner table or family gatherings; your mother does not share your political views and does not want to hear them. Plus, you’ll get an earful of hers until she says, “We shouldn’t even be talking about this. We won’t change each other’s minds.” True. Avoid political talk for the rest of dinner and love your family anyway.

Or……

What it’s like to vote in 2020:

Get dressed, put on your mask (and maybe gloves) then go to the polls! Tell your friends to go to the polls and post on social media to remind them. Rejoice! For there was once a day that women could not vote. You have female ancestors who had to stay home with kids, clean house, and cook while their men voted, but they couldn’t vote. Nope. Or, they finally were able to vote but their husbands told them who to vote for. Enjoy your time at the polls. You may have political opponents eyeing you, or you may be standing in line singing, Kumbaya! Everyone smiling at each other and not talking politics. Making their best decision, casting their vote in gratitude for this freedom, this right. Not thinking about what happens if their candidate loses.

This is why I wore pink. I am proud to be a woman today when looking at how far we have come. Pink to me used to mean precious and delicate. Now, it means power. This is also why I wore pearls, because RBG fought for so many women’s rights and civil rights, and I honor any woman who fought, and fights, for the rights of others with her words, her pen, and her actions.

My friend at work also wore pearls, and one of her students as well! We were so proud. What happens now? We put change into effect in our world regardless of who sits in the White House. We keep voting when we can, but we show up everyday to make a difference in this world in the way we speak and relate to each other and the way we communicate to our bright minds of the future. We are unstoppable.

Weekend Coffee Share. Acceptance, part 536

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com. Grab your favorite beverage and grab a chair so we can chat! I’m havng a Medium roast with vanilla creamer myself.

I survived another teaching week in the time of COVID. I’ve been taking the mask off more as I sit behind my desk shield, distanced, just so the students can hear me. It’s so important to be heard clearly in order to teach and for them to appreciate me as human, just like them, and important to me for them to know I’m willing to bring humor and enjoyment to difficult situations or learning goals.

Yesterday, it got through to them. A few kids laughed with me. I gave another the elbow-bump-hug when it seemed he needed it. It’s not a real hug, but I told him, remember the COVID distance rules. Relating to them in this distanced time and teaching with a mask on is challenging and sometimes I feel like my efforts suck….but yesterday, I felt like I succeeded. Funny how scared I was to be teaching amongst middle schoolers and the germs they can pass, but now I am concerned about how the experience is affecting them. We have to accept this situation we’re in, but I don’t want them to feel alone, scared to laugh, or even scared to talk.

Facebook almost gave me some tears this morning:

These sentiments still ring true, as my son has worked steadily as a mechanic for a year. “You will find your own way and I will admire you for that. Thank you, Facebook memories .

Ah, Facebook memories. Let’s not forget what we’ve come through or what has shaped us. I learned so much about acceptance as a parent. Yes, “You will find your own way and I will admire you for it.”

Way back when…. circa 2088. ❤

I’ve struggled this week with my digestive issue, something I was diagnosed with in 2009. I ate so little for lunch last Saturday that I pigged out on Mexican food Saturday night. It was fun and tasty, but I suffered for a week. I feel like Icarus who flew too close to the sun. Except I can get back to my healthy diet and not suffer now. I’ll save my gusto for ax-throwing and the rock-climbing gym, both 4 month goals for me. I’m still faithfully doing regular workouts for my arms and shoulder in addition to the cardio three times weekly. I have goals, and I’ll get there!

Today is a hair dresser day, so I can hopefully enjoy easily styling again for a few months. You may notice above that the hair has gotten unruly. I don’t go with a tame look, but it does need to be easier to fix in the morning. I haven’t finished my workouts for the day, but I will after my appointment! Thanks for joining me for this coffee chat, and have a great week!

Weekend Coffee Share, 8/30. Weird World.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. I know I’m posting this late, and I’m drinking green tea, not coffee, but you may have whatever you like! I envy those who can drink coffee throughout the day.

Unfortunately, I can only have one cup in the morning, and some days, like today, I only have macha tea. I figure it’s best for my nerves, as I already have slight sciatica acting up and tension in my left hip. I hate relying on Advil and a muscle relaxer. I need to get back to meditation and more regular hot baths. I’ve just been busy lately.  Fortunately, I am getting a massage later!

Back to school has required me to adjust my schedule and still fit in the arm/shoulder exercises with cardio 3-4 times weekly. I still take time to read but have a hard time sitting down to write when the sciatica gets worse if I sit too much. My current read is awesome, about finding my feminine spirituality away from the patriarchal church. I’m inspired by it!

You’re sure to hear more from me on toppling the patriarchy.  If you are a woman or a man who feels there’s no problem, maybe there is not for you. Haven’t you seen news reports of college guys who only get months of probation for rape?  Don’t you know a woman who has beat herself up because she couldn’t make her marriage work or change her husband with her loving ways?  Or because her religion made her feel like a Jezebel if she thought of leaving.  Let me tell you, the patriarchy was strongly ingrained into my dad’s head, and it came out in his words and attitude when he was frequently drunk as I grew up as a child.  It was strongly ingrained into my husband’s head too, and yes, even in mine as I was raised to accept this from a man and mistook his jealousy for love and accepted the possessive nature of his relationship with me…..until I couldn’t any more.  My childhood church taught me how I should be as a wife and a woman; it was unhealthy.  The main thread was SHAME.  So I have plenty to say.  This book and writing on this topic is so cathartic for me.  You can, if you’re so inclined, read my recent post on the topic here:  Lies Women (and Girls) are Told

Thus, in the meantime, I’m keeping my PPE on, avoiding germs, avoiding news of the COVID-19 numbers but staying safe, and trying to make students smile in this weird, weird world.

I still have plenty to say, and the mask won’t stop me.

Weekend Coffee Share, 7/04/20. Liberty and Justice for all!

Happy 4th of July, and welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share!  It has been so hot here in Northeast Florida.  Grab your favorite beverage; I’ve got the AC on high!

This week has been relaxing, yet challenging. I started off with a physical therapy appointment, then had a relaxing coffee get together with a writer friend at my house.  The physical therapy IS, at times, challenging.  More on that later. The coffee was mostly relaxing; we talk about where we are in our current works in progress and what our plans may be. I talk a lot about my shoulder because it has slowed down my writing and my time at the computer. We talked about our loved ones: her grandson and my son.  We can talk for hours! I rarely do stuff like this anymore.  Don’t worry, we were at a good social distance in my house, and I played some good jazz in the background. 🙂

I am making progress with the shoulder. With the guidance of my physical therapist, I am now able to place my hand on my hip.  He encouraged me to move my right hand and arm behind my back, something which I have not done in a very long time and would not have on my own. To think, I used to be able, just 3 or 4 years ago, to reach both hands behind my back in the prayer hands position.  Not any more.  But I’m gradually working through the pain.  I often come back from physical therapy ready for a nap. That is okay! My hard work is paying off! I will get my mobility and capabilities back. I have goals: axe throwing for one.  I may or may not be kidding. We shall see!  I also plan to be able to do more upper body yoga moves, without having to modify so much.  I do have an appt. with an orthopedic surgeon on 7/21.  My hope is that I don’t need surgery that badly.  I will be working hard on my mobility until then!

Of course, COVID-19 gives me a little anxiety and on days it really bugs me, I feel so obsessive-compulsive.  It’s not every day, though. I do still get hot flashes at times, and one day, that led me to take my temperature five times until it finally appeared to be lower.  What is going on with me?  There were no other symptoms.  What doesn’t help, is that our governor is bound and determined that kids will physically be in school to start the year in August.  At my least check, we had 166,000 COVID cases in Florida.  My city and county evidently had a big rise in cases yesterday.  I wish I could go to the beach this weekend, but I probably won’t. I do plan to go Georgia with my boyfriend and see his dad.  I plan to be careful and not catch COVID. I don’t think it is prudent or careful to have all these kids in school. Yet, the district has spent money on plastic dividers.  I guess they’re not even considering us being online for a while.  WHATEVER! I’ll get through it. My friend suggested wearing scrubs, which wash easily, instead of our good clothes. That may be a plan.

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I hope all is well with you all.  We can survive this.  We can even thrive in our own ways. Though I am not writing as much, I am journaling daily to help myself mentally not just deal with, but overcome the pain.  I bought sidewalk chalk and drew little pictures outside my front door.  I plan to do more of this, as well as making a miniature living room out of playdough. 🙂  

white and red flag

Photo by Aaron Schwartz on Pexels.com

If you’d like to learn more about my books; the first two in the Detours in Time series are just .99 in Kindle format through Sunday.  Click here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0711ZW6XF (Detours in Time), or  Book 2 (Undercurrents in Time) at  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DCCQS3N .

Have a great week, and a happy, safe Independence Day!  I feel us gradually moving closer to “Justice for all.” May the tides keep turning that way, and may we hold true to our promises as a nation. 

 

 

Weekend Coffee Share, Greetings from My Little Corner

 

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Morning, Day 14 of Social Distance Haiku by Pamela Schloesser Canepa, (c)2020

Morning birds sing out

Mankind has taken a pause

Breathing and waiting.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali.

It’s a beautiful morning, and it’s poetry month, so I thought I’d share a haiku reflecting some thoughts on nature (and mankind’s place in it).  I took a nice walk twice around the block in 83 degree weather this morning, sun shining and nature in all of its glory.  There were a good number of people out, most on their own.  A man with his child in a stroller waved at me.  A boy on a bike was riding me way but then turned around in a circle.  Good move, I thought.  Socially distance yourself.  A woman was walking my way, talking on the phone.  She seemed oblivious to me.  So I moved to the sidewalk on the other side of the road.   Still, it was nice to be out in this wonderful day.

I feel a little cut off from this community, since I have been trying to get a grip on the online teaching requirements and methods our county is using.  Still, I have to tell you, it has been overall positive for me! The students are so polite online, and I’ve received several e-mails from parents expressing appreciation.  I wrote a post on Medium here, this is a link which does not require membership:

A Day in the Life: Teaching in the Coronavirus Era 

I am learning a whole lot from this experience, and while we owe the doctors and nurses of our world a debt of gratitude, I am pleased to feel as if I have a purpose in this whole situation.  It is good for my mind.  I am also trying to exercise regularly; I take yoga or pilates online a few times a week. The outdoor walks are also helpful, providing my Vitamin D and a feeling of well-being.  Hearing the news does not help.  I only turn on Netflix and try not to look at any news reports more than once a day.  The stress and anxiety do not help me sleep, you know.  I started The Witcher earlier as I love to watch Henry Cavill, and my son and I sometimes watch Money Heist together, though he is way ahead of me!

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, and I will be viewing my church service online.  Maybe I will wear a dress, just to get a sense of normalcy.  When I have to go to the store this week, I will wear a mask and gloves.  The mask was bought for me last year when the flu virus seemed bad; I work in a germ factory being a middle school teacher, but there has not ever been a germ like this.

My manuscript, Malachi, should be ready for release in 2-3 weeks.  My formatter got it formatted, and I need to check those files and get the paperback cover done.  It’s happening!!! I am excited.  We all need something to read right now.  Please stay tuned….

MalachiFacebookPostWIPSpring is here!

Malachi is a college drop-out who just lucked out and fell into an unusual job, once that promises excitement, a good rate of pay, and the chance to put his acting skills to work.  Will Malachi do anything for a dollar?

I am still sort of working on the description and bi-lines for this book.  Malachi is sneaky, a great actor, and really good at lying.  He also needs a good meal.  The book is somewhat of a young adult/new adult book, appropriate for those 16 and up.  Malachi gets a chance to find out who he really is.

I hope you all have a great weekend with family or loved ones, practicing your social distancing and staying away and safe from coronavirus.

 

 

Weekend Coffee Share, A New Routine

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclecti Ali.  I’ve got to say, my coffee is sooo good today!  Maybe I am just feeling a sense of gratitude, trying to make the best of strange times.  I am beset with a lot of changes, as most of you probably are, too.

I’m a 6th grade teacher switching to online teaching to keep with the times and the state protocols. I’ve done my best to find the positives. Here is an intro video I did in the spirit of optimism:

https://youtu.be/5lLWXmpEMt8

(Yes, I know, I touch my face too much, especially when I’m feeling warm, a not-so-strange phenomenon for a woman my age :)).

So, here are five things you can do with online learning (or teaching) that you could not have done in a classroom:

1. Clip your toenails during a lesson

2. Wear sunglasses and a hoodie while completing (or grading) assignments (Good for students or teachers)

3. Raid the refrigerator for snacks as you wait for a student to give an answer

4. Pet your dog or cat, or your pet snake for what it’s worth….

5. Wear pajama pants. Really, no one will know!

I am going to enjoy the dog access the most!  (He has appreciated me being home more).  Seriously, though, I have been missing seeing my students.  I have posted to my Class Dojo a few times this last week as we had a week added to our Spring Break.  Well, now we have three more weeks off of school (at least), and Monday we will be starting online learning.  Schools in some states are out for the rest of the school year, and state testing is canceled here in Florida.  So, I am looking forward to communicating with my students and their parents.  I just have to go easy on my arm and the mouse-clicking.  I will say, yesterday after my home workout for the arm and shoulder, it felt better, despite being on a long conference call and setting up my classes online.  There is hope!

Nature is buzzing around us, even though we are avoiding many things.  A lot of parks are closed; nature is unbothered.  Birds chirp when I wake to silence, as no cars are starting up this morning.  I read that pollution has reduced drastically in China, and Venice canals are much cleaner.  Yes, we can be a parasite on this Earth.  I won’t go doom and gloom, okay.  I love the sound of birds in the morning!  My dog is happy, and I will take him for a walk later.  The sun has been shining constantly.  We will be fine!  I had some down evenings of worry and despair, but that was five days ago.  My church book group had a Zoom meeting for our discussion Thursday and will have an online service Sunday, so I’m feeling more connected.  Maybe now that I have more purpose and will be teaching my kids again, I feel better.  I can make other people feel better, since I’ve been actively seeking to learn what I can to calm my anxiety. Instead of feeling alone, we should all take this time to reflect and learn to unplug.

relax-569318_1280 Pixabay photo.

I loaded an app for meditation called Insight Timer.  I really like it so far! The Curable app for chronic pain and Mind-Body issues also has great meditations.  I signed up for an online course on Mindfulness which will yield a certificate when done through New Skills Academy online.  There is a lot about meditation in there.  I am exercising with things I learned in physical therapy and also logging in to see virtual yoga and abs classes through my yoga studio which is closed currently.  All of this is keeping me healthy; heck, it is keeping me going!  We have many ways to stay connected.  Let’s practice them!

I have also finished editing my manuscript for the Malachi novel, which is focused on a young adult man taking an unusual job to make ends meet.  This job forces him to face his own ideas of right and wrong.  There is now formatting and a final proofing.  Maybe it will be out in a month? I will let you know!  Here is a preview of the cover:

MALACHI.RUSEMASTER.eBOOK

Malachi, Ruse Master is a young adult novel with hints of sci-fi, as it intersects with characters and some events in the Detours in Time series.  People of all ages should enjoy it, as it can take you back to your own identity struggles and clamoring for independence as a youth.  There is plenty of action and adventure, too. I will follow it with a novel devoted to Ellie, whom we have already seen as a child, a teen, and an old, demented woman.  She will intersect with Malachi in this novel and then have her own story in a novel to come out in 1-2 years.  Time is not linear, you know!

If you have read Detours in Time, you should read the follow-up, Undercurrents in Time, in which Malachi is first introduced. I have reduced it to .99 for the remainder of the month.  Find it here:    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DCCQS3N

Stay well, my friends.  Do the things you love or find new things to love doing.  Read books.  Ask your writer friends about their books.  Write a book!  Exercise indoors or in your backyard.  Stop and breathe the fresh air, and find a reason to laugh, with your family, with your dog, yourself, with your friends online.  We will survive!

 

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