Lets zoom.

Ok folks, let’s do a quick check in. If you are feeling good, give me a thumbs up, if you are feeling blue, give me a thumbs down, if you are unsure, just carry on with whatever keeps you going. With remote working/learning, these check ins seem to be the norm, although I am not sure what they do with the data. I don’t think I have ever been rewarded for my thumbs up or allowed any concession for my thumbs down.

At our end we are fully immersed in the deep depths of knowledge, a.k.a the virtual academy for kindergarteners. Before school started, I thought this could be easily managed. I mean I have dealt with managing deadlines, special co-workers, leading a team, getting the work done etc.. how hard can basic elementary schooling be? I mean ABCs and 123s. I have always been someone who liked to try new experiences, take on different challenges, work on new projects and maybe even try a new career path, however, after almost two weeks of virtual schooling, I have realized teaching may not be the best option for me.

Our biggest achievement so far has been to mute and unmute online classroom meetings. It is a double edged sword. Now my child unmutes herself at random and insists on spilling the family secrets to her class of 20 students sitting alongside their 20 parents. For example –

Teacher: So kids, we describe the weather in different ways. Sunny, Cloudy, Windy…

My child: Mrs. A…

Teacher: Yes, dear?

My child: My ammamma and my mother fought six months back over a movie and they refused to share a bracelet.

Teacher: Uhh..

By then I wrestle over the mouse and hit mute.

Then come the various lessons. By the third attempt for each subject, we have some form of legible admission, lot of tears and steely resolve to conquer. After giving my husband some constructive feedback on his knowledge transfer process with regards to lower case alphabets, we have finally got into the groove of things.

The entire exercise is such a humbling experience.

Everyday I lose a little of my arrogance when I try to teach my small kid. My daughter wakes up every day with wide eyed excitement to learn something new. Almost every day frustration sets in, but her enthusiasm doesn’t fade. She persists, just like all others her age, who have coped so well under these unfamiliar circumstances. Covid has hit all of us hard, but the most resilient have been our children. Our generation learnt to work on computers much later in life, but our tiny tots are already mastering use of technology within weeks of online learning.

I am filled with gratitude towards teachers everywhere, imparting knowledge to children of all ages. It is not easy to engage kids everyday and teach them something new with enthusiasm, optimism and encouragement. And on top of that, to do so in a completely different format, via a medium that is so unfamiliar to many. I wish there was more appreciation for the teaching community. From my part I will make every effort to value them more, and I hope you do too.

Be my Quarantine..

Guess who’s back.. back again? The prodigal daughter returns after a not so brief hiatus. I apologize for my absence my dear followers, all six of you! But here we are in the middle of a pandemic, introspecting and hopefully back on track.

A lot has happened in the past one year. I got back to school to study something new, changed my career stream, got a handle on my cooking and now I drive beyond my 2-mile radius. Back to college appears to be my favorite accomplishment. One of my former supervisors had told me, there is a big difference to the approach of studying when one pays for their own education versus when parents pay your fees. Truer words have not been spoken. I had never sat in the first bench throughout my academic life, until this year. I have to do full paisa vasool! I enjoy the new subjects, newer environment and younger company. It reminds me of the fun times I had with my friends when we were in our 20s. With the progress in technology, classes all over the country became remote effortlessly, thanks to Corona.

Speaking of Corona, looks like people all over the world have been sent to their rooms for their terrible behavior. One would think Earth is like a harrowed mother, who has had it with her terrible kids. Rotten children who have no regard for mom’s sanity and welfare and no amount of gentle prodding and good sense seems to drive the message home. You would think the wildfires and earthquakes would get them to pay attention, but no.. not the dheet humans. Hence, the drastic situation we are in – quarantine, social distancing, self isolation.

I have to admit though, quarantine and staying at home, is growing on me. I am getting used to sleeping in, lolling around in my pajamas, showering at ungodly hours and enjoying the comfort of my home with my family. Appreciating home-cooked food everyday, sitting down and eating as a family, no wastage of food or other resources, watching movies, keeping ourselves engaged with what we have, connecting with friends and family more regularly, and being more mindful of our actions. I’m beginning to get concerned on how will we function when things get back to normal? I mean this has got to be the easiest way for most of us to stay safe and contribute. Those who are on the front line and also providing us with essential services don’t have that luxury. The least, we can do is not be a nuisance to someone else who is working selflessly for someone else. Gardening can wait (it was snowing yesterday, who in their right mind wants to grow plants in this weather), holidaying can wait, barbecue parties can wait and behen, make up is not an essential item (all the more you should stay at home and let only family admire your natural beauty). My husband is having his own version of Simon Snoot’s Whiskers situation going on, but do you hear me complaining?

We have only hit a pause button; enjoy the break before the hustle bustle resumes. Stay safe friends, take delight in the time spent with your loved ones and appreciate all the small blessings in life.