Une perpective différente.
Je me suis assise, et j’ai commencé à contempler une page blanche, me demandant si cela pouvait être une bonne idée d'écrire quoi que ce soit. J’ai choisi ma langue natale, cela me paressant plus approprié pour tenter de partager quelques pensées pouvant me submerger mon esprit de temps à autre.
I sat down, and I started staring at a blank page, wondering to myself if it would be a good idea to even write anything. I chose my native tongue, which seemed more appropriate for me to use while trying to share some thoughts submerging me from time to time.
Plusieurs fois, j’ai lu des messages d’encouragement, des suggestions pour se changer les idées, et souvent cette question me hante “mais comprennent-ils réellement ce que certains peuvent ressentir?”. Cette situation frappe chacun d'une manière différente … J’ai quitté ma terre natale il y a de ça plusieurs années, plus de huit ans pour être précise, n’y retournant qu’une seule fois depuis mon départ. La plupart de mes pensées me rappellent que je suis loin de ceux que j’aime. Cette période de l’année prend un goût totalement différent en règle générale, mais cette fois, un sentiment inconnu m’envahit. Une solitude forcée en cette période pousse à une réflexion dont je ne connais la limite. L’être humain, par défaut, tend à ne jamais se contenter. Je me souviens des fois où j’ai souhaité une solitude, m’isoler, prendre du recule. Aujourd’hui, je me rends compte de l’importance de chaque instant, de l’importance de trouver ce brin de gratitude que l'on soit seul, que notre espace personnel soit envahi par notre famille, ou encore qu’un ainé dans la famille nous ordonne de faire ceci ou cela.
I read encouraging messages, ideas to take our minds off of things, multiple times and often one question haunts me "but do they truly understand what some might feel?". This situation strikes everyone differently. I left my homeland years ago, more than eight to be precise, and went back home only once since my move. Most of my thoughts remind me I am far from my loved ones. This time of the year always tastes different, but this time, an unknown feeling has invaded me. An imposed solitude during this time pushes to a reflection that seems to have no limits. The human being, by default, tends to never feel settled. I remember the days I wished for some alone time, to isolate myself, to take a step back. Today, I realize the gift in each moment, the importance of finding this strand of gratefulness rather when alone, when our space is invading by our family, or when an elder in the family orders us around.
Voyez-vous, quand tout le monde en ligne conseille de trouver des activités qu’on aime pour se changer les idées, je pense immédiatement à la cuisine. J’adore cuisiner, faire de la patisserie, et même de la boulangerie. Par contre, mon plaisir n’est pas de goûter ce que j’ai fait, mon plaisir réside dans ce sourire dont j’observe la naissance sur le visage d'une personne que j’aime, dans ces conversations que nous partageons autour d'un plat fraîchement préparé. Sans cela, cette activité que j'aime tant perd un sens qui m'est si cher. Quand vient 20h et que je commence à me demander ce que je vais bien pouvoir faire à manger, la question s’évanouie vite… “qui va sourire” me demandé-je. Quelqu’un qui m’est cher me rappelle souvent, et indirectement, qu’un sourire est important, nos sourires à tous le sont !
When everyone online advises finding activities we love to take our mind off, I immediately think of cooking. I love cooking and baking (pâtisserie is more about baking cakes for example, when boulangerie in more about bread to sum it up). However, my happiness does not lie in tasting what I've made, but rather in the smile slowly coming to life on the face of the ones I love, in those conversations we share around a fresh homecooked meal. Without it, this beloved activity of mine loses a deeper meaning that makes it so valuable to me. When 8 pm comes, and I start wondering what I will cook, the question fades quickly... "who will smile" do I ask myself. Someone who is precious to me often, indirectly, reminds me how important is a smile, that all our smiles are precious.
Certains rêvent de solitude, d’être laissé tranquille… Rappelez-vous que l’être humain n’est pas fait pour être un être solitaire, et ne l’a jamais été. Par contre, apprendre à communiquer ainsi qu’à écouter aide à trouver une balance autrement parfois inexistante. Il fut un temps où j’étais persuadée que mes proches ne me comprenaient pas, voulaient simplement que je me conduise comme ils le souhaitaient, et aujourd’hui, j’aimerais pouvoir ouvrir la porte, conduire quelques heures pour pouvoir leur déposer des courses, ou bien leur préparer un bon repas qu’ils n’auraient qu’à réchauffer et je souris rien qu’à imaginer leurs critiques.
Some dream of solitude, to be left alone. Remind yourself that human beings are not made to be lone wolves. However, in learning how to communicate effectively and how to listen, one might find a balance otherwise inexistent. There was a time where I firmly believed my loved ones could not grasp me, that they wished I only behaved a specific way. Today, I see myself wishing I could drive up a few hours to drop some groceries or a homemade meal, and I smile thinking of their eventual critics.
En ce mois si important pour bon nombre de personnes, particulièrement dans une situation de pandémie, n’est-il pas primordial de regarder les moins fortunés et de s’efforcer d’être reconnaissant de ce que l’on a?
During an incredibly important month for so many around the globe, especially during a pandemic, is it not essential to look at the less fortunate and to feel grateful for all we have?
It’s okay to be sad, angry, or frustrated. I feel myself exhibiting all of these emotions, plus guilt. Why should I feel any of this when I am safe in my home with everything I love?
It’s important to know we don’t control our feelings. We especially don’t control our feelings while going through trauma, and to be honest, a pandemic occurring within our lifetime is traumatic.You aren’t expected to know how to act or feel when you are consumed by the consistent Coronavirus coverage that’s basically being thrown at your doorstep every day.
Some of us don’t understand and feel powerless. I don’t know about any of you, but I hate feeling powerless and that all I can do is sit at home and wait. Then comes the guilt. I feel guilty because I have not much to complain about, yet I do. I am guilty because I have ample amounts of things that I want to try, but I become easily overwhelmed and don’t get to them. I am guilty because I have my health, but I am thinking about the things this virus is doing to stop me from continuing plans I looked forward to. This is okay though. You can feel these things. It’s necessary because honestly we are all grieving.
Beyond all negativity, Coronavirus has taught me so many positive lessons. It’s taught me to stop comparing myself to others. Frankly, there’s no room right now for another negative thought to plague my mind. I’ve learned that we should all be proud of ourselves for our small but mighty accomplishments. We should quit feeling guilty for things you have wanted to do but still haven’t. Being in isolation has taught me mindfulness and to enjoy the little day to day activities that quarantine has finally allowed like board games, singing more, and tie dye. I am spending more time with my husband, dog, cats, plants, video chatting with everyone I can't see in person, and I have enjoyed every moment of it. My last lesson, don’t be afraid to try new things. For me, it’s the mandolin and yoga. Do something that makes your soul happy and don't feel guilty for the things you can't get to.
Let yourself have all of these emotions. You aren’t wrong for them, but always remember, you are loved, you are wanted, and you are important.
The past three weeks have been a literal nightmare. Our worlds have been completely turned upside down and I have been forced to appreciate everything I took for granted such as: seeing my students and colleagues, eating dinner at my favorite restaurant, going outside, or seeing a movie. They are now all distant memories. Every day feels like a post apocalyptic film stuck on a loop. I pick up the remote and hope that the news will tell me, “It’s all over!” Very much like Phil Connors, in Groundhog Day, I am waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel and a stop to the quarantine that we are experiencing. As I have spiraled into a void of despair, I have overlooked the positivity and greatness of so many during the pandemic. While I am safely inside with my family binging the latest “must-see” TV or Netflix show, our healthcare professionals, first responders, grocery clerks, and mail carriers are fighting the good fight every day and regular people are doing amazing things for others. In any terrible situation, the most important thing is perspective and positivity. So as I opened this post with a bit of hyperbole, I think the most important thing is to recognize those who are spreading positivity and helping me gain a bit of perspective.
The first story of positivity that moved me was posted by a nurse in New Jersey. This man stood outside the emergency room with a sign thanking the nurses for saving his wife’s life. He knocked on the window of the ER to show the nurses the sign he made for them. The nurse asked him if she could snap a photo and he said, “yes” as he was crying. This man’s one gesture made the nurse feel like she was exactly where she needed to be and risking herself for others was worth it.
Now, there is much to say about Math teachers….they are smart, very strict, they don’t smile at all, and they also give a ton of homework. But, some heroes don’t wear capes and when a young girl in South Dakota was struggling with her math homework, what did her teacher do? What any teacher would do and go out of his or her way to help their student. When the student emailed her teacher for help, he delivered in a big way. He set up his classroom on her front porch and taught her math through her window. How awesome is that?
John Krasinski of "The Office" and "Jack Ryan" launched a YouTube show called “Some Good News”. On the show, he does just that, he shares good news and amazing things people are doing around the world. On yesterday’s episode he not only made a 9-year-old’s dream come true but also mine! Aubrey was supposed to go see the Broadway hit, Hamilton for her birthday but due to the quarantine, the show was canceled. Aubrey was devastated to miss her favorite show and I could only imagine how she felt. Mr. Krasinski decided to send Aubrey tickets to New York City to see Hamilton when this is all over, but this is all about the amazing things people are doing during this pandemic so of course - The entire original cast of Hamilton Zoom bombed her chat with Krasinski and sang the opening song especially for her birthday. I am sure this is a birthday she will never forget!
So during this unprecedented time in our lives we need to sometimes think and reflect. This is a time to realize how beautiful humanity can be when we come together and work together. There are so many stories of people doing remarkable things. So, if you are feeling down or depressed, look for some positivity, or create some. The time is now and making someone else smile will make you feel good too. So I challenge you students and adults, how can we do something positive for someone else while quarantined? Let me know and share your positivity with me and our community.
I am a person who is full of flaws. I do not say this to depreciate or that I do not value myself, I just know what about me needs a little more love and help. If I have taught you then you know because I am very transparent about my battles with mental health. I have depression and anxiety and all of this news is sort of freaking me out. I have a son, he's about one and a half and I can't let him see it. He has no idea what is going on, he just knows he gets a few more hugs from his mom now that she's home all of the time and I wanted to have that mindset as well. I wanted to take those flaws and find a place of growth for me during this forced "vacation". I took some time and I thought about what really makes me happy, what makes me feel good after doing it. I realized that I loved reading but that I didn't always have the time, I loved being in nature, and I loved creating. After all of that self-reflection I realized it was worthless for me to sit and panic so I decided to make the most of this quarantine.
I started with cooking. I am not a good cook, I could burn water if you gave me an opportunity but since having my son I try very hard to make healthy meals for him. When I am sad I tend to eat a lot of chocolate or something salty. To combat my strong love of french fries I got a subscription to a company called Imperfect Produce, which has turned into Imperfect Food. Their mission is to fight against food waste by giving cheaper produce that tends to be ugly. It's a lot of fun, really, getting a package with ugly carrots is a highlight I have every two weeks. This subscription FORCES me to try new things, to make new things. I genuinely believe that the best way to fight against sadness is to create. I got a bunch of avocados, yes I am a millennial but I do not enjoy avocados, which I understand is sacrilegious. I started looking up recipes and I found one that would satiate my need for chocolate but still give me some use out of this "super food". It worked, it was delicious and I felt like I accomplished something.
I'm not saying you have to learn how to cook, but I am suggesting that you self-reflect and find what makes you happy and then try to do that thing. I have limited myself to three things a day that I have to accomplish. The three things that I choose don't have to be HUGE, some of them are just reading a book to my son, having a dance party for fifteen minutes, or calling a family member to check in. We are all in this together, and you cannot help others if you are not taking care of yourself. We have never encountered a situation like this before, and that can be scary but you are not alone, we are all growing through this together. Creating has not magically cured me, I still worry, but I know that in order to be the best version of myself I have to make an effort and give myself realistic and fun goals. So if you read all of this and you need a take-away, ask yourself, what kind thing have you done for yourself today?
All of my love,
The Absence of School - D. Sudan
One thing is for certain, when we left school for our spring break early this March, we thought we would be back in just a few days. We walked out the door saying "have a good break!" We left with smiles on our faces. Finally we would have a few days free from homework, assignments and tests. We were happy for the break from friendship drama. We said "message me" to our friends. We weren't overly concerned about the lunch left in our lockers because we would be back in just a few days.
Then Corona-virus, Covid-19, and other scary words started to hit the news media. We heard about an illness in other countries and thought, that's a long way away from here. We maybe initially thought, what's all the worry over? Why is there all of this concern over the flu? People get sick from influenza every year. We'll be fine. We had no idea, and still have a lot of uncertainty over how this will impact our school for the remainder of the year. We think of things such as will I get to see my friends soon, will I understand my lessons during on-line schooling, and I just want life to go back to the way it was before we went on break. If working toward becoming an IB School has taught us anything, it's that we are very interconnected as a world and no longer worlds apart. What impacts one part of the world can have impact on where we live as well.
We heard spring break was being extended. To all of us, initially, this may have been exciting news. A few more days off from school! Then another week and another week was added and this simply wasn't fun anymore. Now, we may have started to have different thoughts toward school. We may have started to realize the importance of friends, teachers, school and an education. We may have spent time thinking, when I go back to school, I will have a greater respect for the process because I now know overnight, everything can change, because of a global pandemic virus! We've read about this in Sci-Fi books or stories of an apocalypse. Never in our wildest imagination did we think this could actually be happening in real life! We wake up thinking, how is this happening, when will it be over and am I or someone I know and care for going to get sick?
I want to reassure you that we will all be okay together. We can communicate, stay in touch virtually and still be Manara Leadership in ways we never thought possible! We will emerge from all of this as better learners, more technologically advanced and become better online communicators. We will become a support for one another throughout this entire process until the day when we are back in school together!
Your teachers and I have created this blog so we can hear from you and you can hear from one another during our days apart. We will be picking different topics and posting them here. We encourage Manara students, parents and staff and community to reply. Please know that what you post here is read by the public, so refrain from using any comments that are inappropriate.
My question to you in this first blog post is how are you doing? What do you miss about school the most? What concerns do you have? What comments do you have about the absence of school in your life and how it has impacted you. This question is for teachers, students, parents, and community. We'd love to hear from you!