This was my first day of preschool photo - I think my look says it all.
School is going back to session (I hope you were singing to the tune of Notorious B.I.G. as you read the title of this blog post), and the nerves are palpable. Basically this is a new school year for all of us - students, teachers, and even parents, and it is School 2.0. Despite what everyone claims, there is no 100% right answer or wrong answer about going back to school - distance learning vs. in-person vs. homeschooling.
It all comes down to everyone's risk tolerance levels. You have to respect the families with both parents as essential workers who need to send their kids to school, and you have to respect the parents that will keep their kids at home until there is a vaccine. You have to respect the teachers and educators who are going back to the classroom and putting their own health at risk, and you have to respect the teachers who are leading distance learning but have to manage their own kids at home. 100% no right answers.
All we can do, in my opinion, is to try and respect one another's decisions by listening, learning, and doing our best to compromise. That might look like trying to teach our kids to keep masks on their face all day if that is the request of the teacher (insert "adults in public places" here). That might look like patiently waiting across the aisle for the next register before putting your groceries on the conveyer belt. That might look like putting on gloves so that you can hold hands with your granddaughter (#truestory).
There was a single pebble on the sidewalk on my first trip to Japan. The elderly man in front of me bent down to pick it up and moved it off to the side where it belonged. That simple act has stuck with me because he went out of his way to show respect: to his environment, to the people who might walk on the path later, to his own morals of caring beyond himself.
Thank you to the generous dancers this past Saturday who donated for Stacy Hering Astor's birthday, in honor of her friend, Angelika Williams, who is battling cancer. We raised $3327 to help Angelika and her family with medical costs!!! AMAZING.
Thank you to all of you who have been sending in testimonials and photos for me to use on my new website. Reading your words and your experiences truly make all of this worth it. All of it. And if any of you would like to add your testimony, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org - more is wonderful!
Finally, thank you to all the teachers out there who have probably spent the summer a little differently prepping for the new year. You are NOT babysitters and we APPRECIATE you! As an added challenge in addition to distance learning, I hope that anti-racism will be included into the curriculum. Thank you to Kim Pipkin who (literally) just sent me this link for all sorts of multi-cultural children's books: coloursofus.com - parents you might want to check it out too!
What words did you see and how did they speak to you?
I saw Connection, Change, and Self-Care.
Connection is... staying in touch through blogging, Zoom meetings, social media, emails, and small family social bubble time. Connection is the breath and the glue that is absolutely necessary in my life and is what keeps me sane.
Change is... my current process of revamping a Stop Drop And Dance 2.0 website that will hopefully launch by the beginning of September. I am SO excited because it will give monthly members the option of on-demand classes (including recordings of all our live classes so that you can take it anytime of the day!). STAY TUNED!!!
Self care is... what I am giving myself next week (August 17-24). Since March when we first went into quarantine, I immediately started teaching online 4-10 classes every single week. I've since cut down my load and found a better balance, but I decided we needed a family vacation before my girls start school. We are taking a road trip to San Diego after this Saturday's class (August 15th) to hang out at the beach and swim in warmer water. Also... coming back to the title of this blog... we're going going, back back, to UCSD - the school where my husband and I first met!
I hope to see you THIS week - Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday 9:30am #StopDropAndDance or Wed 9:30am HIIT Cardio Strength on Zoom.
A final video to share for entertainment purposes: This is how I summarize 2020's expectations versus its reality: