Our relationship began 6 years ago, when I wanted a way to celebrate my 20th year of teaching. Like most relationships, we started out strong and consistent. I wrote you every day for a month! Hard to believe that, looking back. Gradually, as my kids got older and responsibilities piled on, my posts went weekly, then biweekly, then, sadly, monthly. Now, I have abandoned you since October 2020! We're in a new year, and I haven't even given you a glance. But, let me explain myself.
Maestrateacher, a lot has happened! You already know about this distance teaching thing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Well, guess what? We are STILL in a raging pandemic, we've had at least 2 big surges since Thanksgiving, and daily cases are at an all-time high. Most of the world is experiencing a similar situation (except maybe New Zealand, and parts of the African continent). Thankfully, there are now 2 vaccines that have been approved, and the first group of people is getting it (my sister, as a healthcare worker, was immunized yesterday). But in the meantime, people keep doing dumb ass things and spreading the coronavirus.
A new year started since we spoke last, and boy did it start with a bang. Yesterday, January 6, 2021, thousands of Trump supporters stormed and attacked the Capitol building in DC, infiltrating it, breaking windows, occupying offices, and taking selfies with statues of Reagan and Nixon. I'm being completely serious. This HAPPENED. We were at home, because for the first time in my teaching career, I had the day officially off for Three Kings Day. Unfortunately, after getting an urgent text from a friend in a group chat - Turn on the news! - we did not feel like celebrating anymore. Today, my students stepped up with great questions, concerns, and thoughts about what had happened. One brought up the fact that in last summer's BLM protests, the police reacted VERY differently, with rubber bullets and tear gas, and yesterday, we observed police officers politely escorting the infiltrators down the Capitol steps. No one can try to claim this was a calm protest, as many of the BLM protests were. People in this crowd were scaling walls! With weapons! They brought the Confederate flag INTO the building! As my daughter said, that is actually very un-American.
So, Maestrateacher, how do we keep our heads up in these crazy times? Like I've told you before, my students are resilient and amazing, I love them, and they inspire me every day. They have been doing great despite all the challenges. They keep me going. My own kids also keep me going, I see them, heads down, doing their work, trying their hardest, and they make me want to do better for my students. Family is everything. My parents are also a constant source of inspiration and motivation; you never stop wanting to make them proud, even at 51. And, my dogs. I am sure that thousands of other dogs, like mine, have begrudgingly become therapy dogs.
Maestrateacher - this is NOT a breakup letter. I want to come back to you and make this work. I did consider leaving you, I'm not going to lie; you were becoming a burden. Our yearly subscription payment was due in October and I seriously thought about making that a clean break from you. Then, I realized that I still love you. You make me continue writing, which helps me process everything happening. Maybe I just needed a break. I can't promise to write every week, but I can be here more often. Will you take me back?