Dear friends, family, students, and other loved ones,
Hello! How are you hanging in there? I’m here if you need to talk.
“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”
– Some food for thought from William James (1842-1910), one of the first Americans to champion the discipline of psychology.
My students are taking an exam right now, on our E-Learning system. Took me quite a few hours to convert it, but now it’ll self-grade and those grades will go to the gradebook automatically, so there’s that. Just took a peek, and the majority of them are doing well.
Some of us are scared right now, and that’s ok. You don’t have to be fearless. In fact, I don’t WANT you to be fearless. As I tell my students, as human beings we’re wired up for fear (anatomy lesson: there’s a little gland in your brain called the amygdala, and it’s the center of the “fight or flight” instinct). Fear is necessary, it keeps us safe. IT’S OK TO BE SCARED.
If you were fearless, you wouldn’t have a “danger filter,” and you’d run reckless. We don’t want that.
Courage, on the other hand, means that you feel the fear, but carry on anyway. You realize that your animal instincts are at work, and you take a more critical look at the situation. You realize the odds are really in your favor, and if you are careful, you’re likely to be fine. You also realize you have limited control over the situation, so you control what you can, and leave the rest to God / fate / the universe.
The lack of routine right now is disorienting, and I feel a bit bored and a bit frantic at the same time. But I think this lack of normalcy is a good opportunity to reflect on what’s really important to us, because parts of our daily lives have been stripped away. It takes courage to look inside ourselves and reevaluate life, but this may be a perfect time. What really matters most to you? What can you do differently in the future?
Every time I sit down in the recliner, I seem to nod off. These past few days, I’m exhausted, which is strange, but I think it’s more mental than physical. I often have to evict the furry one from the big chair, though. She knows all the comfy places.
I miss you all! One day, my classroom will be full again.