Have you ever tried to catch your breath while running full speed? Pretty difficult, unless you have somehow mastered it.
I kept running a sprint and honestly, each one kept taking my breath away until I couldn’t breathe anymore. Luckily, my exhaustion and fatigue stemmed from a constant state of hustle and not a cops foot on my neck. These sprints literally felt as if I couldn’t keep up with anything. Assignments kept falling behind, teaching continued to make my head hurt every time Zoom opened. I wanted to sleep every day and not have any type of human contact. I was not displaying symptoms of COVID, but I kept feeling like there were so many things stacked against me and my to-do list kept growing longer and longer.
So I did what I do best (according to my Pattern app): I ignore everything and do what I want to do. You might be thinking “wait what?” How did you do that? Simple, ignored the rules and came up with my own. See, my life centers around routine, but my “normal” routine wasn’t working. I actually experienced more time that what I actually thought I had. While you might be thinking “this chick basically does not do her job”, I actually became more productive or more aware about the things I wanted and needed to do.
For instance, the Zoom headaches. There is currently no way around Zoom. I made the decision to not minimize my Zoom screen during all meetings that I do not have any direct input or direction in. So for PLCs, I lead a couple. I also actively manage those, so I keep Zoom maximized. However, during staff meetings, I minimize my Zoom screen to only have the pop up window, lower the sound on my computer and do non-strenuous tasks like grading and loading lectures to Canvas. Some people would have issues with that, but honestly, tough titty. I do what I can to perform well at work.
Next, I actually just started leaving right when I contractually can. School ends at 4:15 for teachers. My last live Zoom class ends at 4:11 on Fridays. Normally, lecture only uses 20 out of the 52 minutes, but the Zoom call remains open for students to ask questions. After I finish recording the live lecture and have no more questions, I end the meeting for all, allowing the Zoom to convert, then reopen the Zoom to allow reentry and pack my stuff up while nobody is there. That way I can immediately leave and not have to do all the cleaning and packing later. It works for me.
That serves as minor insight to how COVID-19’s impact has disseminated in different ways. While I’m still partially struggling in grad school right now, I feel good that 1) my professors have provided much needed extensions for major assignments 2) my kids still think I’m dope so that’s a plus in virtual teaching 3) I don’t feel the urge to be a hermit, although I am choosing to do that.
Please take a moment for yourself. Nobody thought about a virus impacting majority of 2020, same way that no one expected the 1921 Influenza. You’re doing the best you can. If you got it all handled, great for you. If you asked for some help, I am extremely proud of you. If you’re drinking Sangria and having dance parties in the middle of your apartment like me, enjoy the moment. You deserve it.