Kia ora whanau
When I left the school on Monday 23 March after “Alert Level 4 and Lockdown” was announced and Matua Jamie and I just said goodbye to our students, I took some photos of the empty classroom. Our goodbye song “Reach For The Stars” still lingered in the air as I stared at the flicked over crosses on the attendance board, admittedly with a sense of uncertainty and sadness. And we were so close to moving into the new building, too! Instead, we’re now all exploring our smaller spaces in home-isolation.
In my family bubble of 6 – with hubby, 3 kids and a dog – the garden and sunshine is something I especially appreciated at the beginning. We put up a volley-ball net between our gate posts and a makeshift netball hoop. After two weeks, we are still not tired of taking turns between games and players. Additionally, cheering on the others while sitting on a bean bag under the large fig tree (drink, book and phone close by) really brings up a holiday feel.
Our Bernese Mountain Dog enjoys the steady company. In the first week, we kept walking at Big O’, one of her favourite local beaches to run around but it’s hard to explain social distancing to a 9-month old puppy so we stay around Blackpool. I miss swimming but feel very fortunate and grateful what the neighbourhood offers.
Our children Merlin, Quincy and Lea, built up routines of remote school work, enriched by hands-on/applied maths with sand, sticks and rocks. Then again, I appreciate the possibilities on their devices. Yummy baking, playing good old board games together, strumming the ukuleles a bit more often, crafting and painting (even “awheel”) and turning soccer games around (1 player – 11 balls) has been a delight. May it last – especially as I’ll need more time in my home-office for online-teaching.
The weirdest experience amidst condensed family time was that our oldest daughter had to be in self-isolation after she came back from a shortened school exchange in my home country Switzerland. Luckily, we have a studio in the backyard but we were surely happy to finally open the glass doors between us. A souvenir from Venice (“commedia dell’ arte” black plague mask) which I brought home from our trip together in February is particularly meaningful. We both did a coronavirus test when overseas which was negative as my students and colleagues already know. I find myself not only still digesting travel memories but a lot right here right now.
In this regard, I hope you all “enjoy the journey inside and stay positive!”
I look forward to seeing the bright faces of our 59 students in Room 12 soon. I added a photo of my fabulous teaching team so you don’t forget us. 😉 And one from our new 5/6 class room. We’re getting there, no worries!
Bobi Lauper Tisch
This article is due to expire on or before 8:53am on Friday April 10th, 2020