Author Gustave Flaubert wrote: The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe. And, with a nod to Lynyrd Skynyrd and his ballad All I Can Do is Write About It, I have decided to share my thoughts about COVID-19 in writing. For me, ideas don’t become mine until I write about them. Clear prose means clear thought and, for me, writing is all about thinking. It solidifies my thoughts and helps me formulate new ones. The ancient Chinese regarded the written word as a transformative force able to move heaven and earth and unite the reader with the source of all things, the Tao. (The Art of Writing, Chou Ping)
Where do I even begin to unite with the source of all things? Living amid a global pandemic, working from home with Jim, wearing masks to go out, leading a school community at a distance, and worrying about adult children and extended family is starting to take a toll. It has been two months since the Kent School Talent Show – our final hurrah before spring break, and the last time students were on our beautiful riverside campus. Our students are missing the breathtaking spring blossoms in the Little School garden, on the cherry and dogwood trees, in the rain garden and Monarch Waystation, and missing the harvesting of the vegetable garden they so painstakingly planted.
Clinical counselor Phyllis Fagell, author of Middle School Matters, joined our community for a Virtual Town Hall last week. She shared an acronym I am adopting. We are all NUTS for a reason. The situation we find ourselves in is a New, Uncertain, Threat, that has vastly changed our Sense of control. In a NUTShell, that sums up how I am feeling and I know many of you share this.
The uncertainty of the situation for schools has me going NUTS. In Maryland, at the moment, schools are expected to be back on their campuses on May 18. Planning many different what-if scenarios is exhausting for my leadership team. We need clarity and time to plan how the final month of school may or may not play out. It surprises me that planning piece-meal is deemed acceptable. I fully recognize how hard it must be to make decisions for an entire state, but significant thought needs to be given now to all schools, all teachers, all students and all parents, to make plans for May and June….and, don’t even get me started on September, or August – that is another story I cannot write yet.
For the time being I am going to remain positive, and continue to write down my thoughts. It is all I can do.