One year later (updated)

One year has passed since COVID-19 took over my world, shut down my school, and threw everything up in the air. What a year it has been!

School closed for Covid on March 17th and didn’t reopen again until fall.  BUT, we did reopen in the fall, unlike many other schools. During the course of this corona-crazy year a lot has happened!

  • Eve turned thirteen. No more kids in the house, just teenagers! We had to cancel our awesome girls’ trip to Quebec and celebrate in quarantine instead. Not quite the same. :/
  • We planted hostas, a white rose bush, and a cherry tree. The neighborhood is looking a little nicer these days.
  • I dyed my hair purple! (I should do that again soon)
  • Alan and I separated (NOT covid related!)
  • We (teachers) organized a car parade around town to wave to all our quarantined kiddos. It was way more fun than I even thought it would be. Then later in the summer we did a drive-by retirement celebration for two amazing teachers.
  • I checked out 120+ Chromebooks and 444 books in two days. Plus a bunch more books through Covid-safe home deliveries.
  • Lex turned 15 and had a cool Minecraft party.
  • We went to a Black Lives Matter rally and did some anti-racism reading. It’s good to have a summer reading list!
  • We took a summer trip to Franklin and did some hiking with the Kirkwood girls.
  • Lex got his permit and started driving!!
  • We spent our summer watching numbers (infection rates, deaths, closures), checking what’s open and what’s not, figuring out masking and distancing requirements, and talking about racism.
  • We had an AMAZING family vacation/anniversary/birthday celebration on Lake Champlain. Hopefully the beginning of a new family tradition.
  • Returned to school IN A PANDEMIC! Masks, thermometers, tick tweezers, social distancing, plastic barriers, sanitizer, hand washing, the list goes on and on.
  • I was named the Teacher of the Year for DBS!! The award ceremony was virtual this year, but here’s what the program said:

    Tessa Johnson is the Dothan Brook School’s Employee of the Year. When DBS closed in mid-March, Tessa was tasked with guiding the technical aspects of this transition. She helped teachers create Google Classrooms, provided opportunities for kids to go home with an armful of books (444 books were checked out in 2 days!), and created guiding documents for parents. Over the closure, she spent countless hours online with families solving tech issues. When personal devices were not working, she delivered Chromebooks directly to families. At a town hall forum parents gave Tessa many accolades saying that they could not have done online learning without her. She also took the time to create videos for the students, build an enrichment classroom, and maintain resources on the district website. She must be a superhero, because I cannot imagine how a mere mortal would do all of this.

  • I had my fourth Subglottic Stenosis Balloon Dilation (throat procedure). This time it was in Boston and involves follow up steroid injections — through my neck! I’m going back on Thursday to get another round of neck injections.
  • Lex got his wisdom teeth out and we discovered a weird “hole” in Eve’s jaw. The dental surgeon figured it out and she’s fine.
  • We got a frog. Actually we got two, but one buried itself after a few weeks. :(  The other is alive and well. Eve takes it out to play once or twice a day. Out of the tank, not outside! :)
  • I took in two foster kids. It has been a HUGE learning experience! One kiddo is still with us, the other has moved to a new foster home.
  • We had quarantined holidays all year.
  • We got a new couch.

Wow, for a year in quarantine we really did a lot! The house is down one adult and up one kid. Two three pets still happy and relatively healthy. I feel super fortunate that we all came through the year safe, healthy, and employed.

I’m scheduled to get my Covid vaccine this Saturday, which feels like an appropriate way to mark the one year anniversary since COVID-19 took over my world, shut down my school, and threw everything up in the air.

I walked in to the library earlier this week and was struck by the sun shining on the globes in the dark room. It just reminds me that the Earth keeps turning, regardless of what’s going on in our world.

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