One of my favorite tools, perfect for distance learning. — The road to learning

One of my favorite tools for a long time is Classkick. This is a tool that will work with any device! It works in a web browser or has an app. And it is one of the wonderful Ed-tech tools that is providing their premium features for free right now in this time of school […]

One of my favorite tools, perfect for distance learning. — The road to learning

* COVID-19 faith (#4)

I’m SO grateful that Jesus picked me up as I crashed on the dead end road of my life in 1988. I was shattered and not looking for him, that’s for sure. In fact, I mocked people who loved him. As we face the unknowns of the coronavirus and economy, I am grateful that God hunted me down, hounded me.

My DTW has developed a serious health issue and will need surgery in a couple of weeks, and we are still trusting God and his faithfulness to us. We know we’re not here permanently and we eagerly await seeing Jesus face-to-face. Sometimes I ask him to beam me up, but I know I cannot lengthen or shorten my life. Every day has been written by him.

So what are we doing? Praying and trusting God. Plus, my dearest teaching widower and I have been binge-watching Containment, a 2016 series we’d never heard of. The show is about a deadly engineered virus; we’re only halfway through so I can’t spoil anything. It only has one season, so we might be in the minority of folks watching. They use the expression, “social distance,” which I thought was unique to 2020. Not many people in 2016 knew so much about the structure of coronaviruses, what PPE stands for, and what N95 has to do with masks. Oh yeah, I never knew that toilet paper would be such a commodity.

Stay safe!

* COVID-19 hunkering (#3)

What a difference a week makes! This is Day 6 of the president’s 15 stay-at-home protocol. I’ve been walking through neighborhoods, moving aside as many families hike the trails near our house.

The majority of folks are careful about keeping their distance, but I was unhappy to see a very small playground full of about 20 kiddos and parents. Yes, it was nice to hear laughter but even if those folks have no symptoms, they can be shedding the virus. Since most folks are fine if they contract this coronavirus, I’m not so much worried about them as I am the increasing spread of this virus.

Many folks are supporting our community of workers and small businesses who are greatly affected by the shut-downs and restrictions. One local business that has brought thousands of laughs and songs to our community is Balloons And Tunes. When we first moved to North Carolina, I was delighted when they showed up to celebrate special occasions. I’ve used them multiple times for math manipulatives, such as collections of miniature pigs and globes. Since no one is celebrating widely right now, a member of one neighborhood purchased balloons for EVERY house! What a delight to walk through a neighborhood festooned with balloons!

Stay safe!

* COVID-19 remote learning (#2)

I recently attended a fantastic webinar on remote learning, presented by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (this link goes to their COVID-19 page). It was the first in a series to support teachers in providing the BEST online learning we can. One of the terrific presenters was Joanna Schimizzi (@Mrs._Schimizzi), a teacher in North Carolina’s public virtual schools!

I’ve found helpful reviews of online teaching resources at Common Sense.org, including Kaizena, an add-on to Google docs which allows teachers to include videos, recorded comments, and other cool features. Of course, Google Hangouts is a free, easy-to-use app for connecting, especially in small groups. Zoom is a terrific video and online classroom resource, with abundant support available for those new to remote learning.

In the midst of current fears and uncertainty about the coronavirus, we did have a fun time a couple of weeks ago with our movie small group. One friend had a mask purchased during the H1N1 scare. We can’t meet right now but look forward to more fun times ahead!

Stay safe!

* Covid-19 (#1)

Boy, was I missing the ‘real world.’ About a week ago, I went to the store to get some copy paper. While there, I remembered that we are low on dish washing liquid. I really need to start making shopping lists.

This is what I saw. And photographed. Many folks are using a LOT of dish washing liquid!

I was (almost) speechless, so I looked at other nearby aisles.

No toilet paper or paper towels.
And no bleach?

Did something happen while I was away? Yes, I knew all about the coronavirus. (I just added that word to my online dictionary.) But seriously? I stood there, taking these photos and chatting with other customers who had been looking for TP.

I am not downplaying the impact of Covid-19 on people like me and my husband (old folks with health issues). But let’s not panic here. In fact, let’s treat all germs as relatively equal if you have a compromised immune system. I have already caught a couple of plain-Jane viruses circulating in the schools. Being sneezed and coughed on is no joking matter and I’m thinking of chastising the people who cough into their hands. I’m not able to see my medically fragile kiddo because I’m sick with a non-coronavirus. And as much as I want to see him, I’m not going to pass this one along.

* I’m HOW old???

When I was four years old, I thought 14 was so OLD! I adored a neighboring teen who was kind enough to teach me how to wash dishes. That might not seem very special, and I prefer the dishwasher today, but she was patient and sweet to me, something I didn’t experience at home.

I always loved my ‘old’ teachers. One day, I was talking about how old my third grade teacher looked. I remarked that her skin was so browned and lined because of all the kids who had been talking to her; I assumed their ‘hot air’ burned her face. (My face burned when my mother repeated that anecdote to her!)

As I approached my 30th birthday, I struggled through each day. Seriously depressed, I had this belief that I would die at 30. I certainly tried to make that a reality. But my dearest teaching widower was patient, loving, and praying for me, and at 38, I met Jesus and was set free from depression. My life was forever changed, as was my view of aging.

A couple of years ago, my extremely talented sister and brother-in-law surprised me with a birthday cake. And there I was, a youngster on top of it, with real icing on my face!

Today I am 70 years old! I still think I’m relatively young, perhaps just past middle age?

* Color your world

Tourmaline is back with her Color Your World blogging challenge! I MIGHT be able to pull this off because it’s only one color a week. I’m three weeks late, so here are my catch-up photos:

The first week was ferns. These beauties, from the Sunshine State, are a closeup of the image below.
The second week: forest green. Florida’s forests are so lush!
Last, but not least: fuchsia! And doesn’t she look lovely as she discovers her feet!

* The Sunshine State (4)

After such a terrific time with relatives in Florida, it was hard to leave. I walked the Orlando airport to get my fitbit steps, exposing myself to folks hacking and sneezing into their hands. Yikes, folks. Use your arm!

I did see a coterie of stunning women, all in a line, heading for service as flight attendants. If my dearest teaching widower had not been working on his paper, seated in a galaxy far away, he’d have told me to put my phone down. But I couldn’t resist.

On the flight home, a passenger next to us coughed into the air unceasingly. Our front yard was filled with dozens of flags and spray paint, like someone planned to excavate every buried pipe and cable. Our house ‘smart thermostats’ had reverted to 49 degrees, which was a real shock to our systems (and I got very grumpy). I caught a nasty bug and was bedridden. When I graduated to the couch, I tripped over my computer cord and fell really hard, smashing a dish and landing on two body parts that had already survived surgery: my knee and shoulder.

BUT, the trip was fabulous and we can’t wait to return!

* The Sunshine State (3)

My dearest teaching widower (DTW) and I were really spoiled on our Florida trip. Our Sunshine relatives made this such a memorable time.

The Sun Rail was a delight! A three-story light rail with great views and touristy places to visit. It’s too bad that our local (North Carolina) light rail plan was such a dud. The GoTriangle organization spent $190 million and still needed $237 million plus a change of heart from Duke University/Carolina Railroad. The project was abandoned last May. Ah, well.

It only cost $3 for us to ride. I refuse to say whether my DTW and I paid the senior fares.