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!