Skip to content

Dispatches from Room D127, Day 19

2020 October 3
by Mike Vial

Room D127 exhaled its anxious breathe, after the final bell rang during the 19th day of pandemic teaching.

I was unable to find that catharsis, that release of stress after work. My nerves were shot—I felt nauseated after dinner. As I read Ginny books and poems before bed, I got the tummy troubles, like a dragon who likes tacos, but hates spicy salsa. I had to stop reading to Ginny, and I got sick in the bathroom.

One would assume I would have rested after my kids were down for the night, but my mind was racing. I had been awake for 18 hours, but I couldn’t sleep. So I commented and graded on my students’ work.

That’s right. I worked for another 88 minutes Friday night.

Silly? No. I don’t want to work when my kids want to spend time with me on Saturday and Sunday.

And Natalie works from 5-6:45 every morning before trying to work and help Ginny with online kindergarten at the same time, so I’m not complaining. But I have so much work to do to prepare week five, another impossible teaching experience of online and physical class at the same time.

But I can handle the work. It’s the unknowns about health and safety that is wearing me thin.

Consider history: The virus had an invisible seat in the room in 1919, and President Wilson most likely contracted H1N1 during WWI peace negotiations in Paris. Day 19, my Greek myth class discussed the Pandora’s box myth. Even though the story reveals how pestilence came to the world, the last thing to depart from the open chest is hope.

Keep hope alive, friends and family. D127 hopes we can do this right before winter complicates things.

But this morning? I’m just breathing. (And cuddling with Ginny, as we finish that Junie B. Jones book we stopped reading last night.)

Comments are closed.