Six weeks ago today was Friday, March 13th. I know this without looking at a calendar because it was the last day of face to face teaching that I did and will do for the 2019-2020 school year.
It’s also the day from which I measure my experience of this Pandemic Period as it’s the day that the severity of our situation with COVID-19 became engagingly real for me.
I was thinking about this today when I saw this touching article in today’s NYT:
The article and the photo highlighted readers’ photos and stories about doing things a month and a half or two months ago which feel alien today.
For example, does this photo, taken on the NYC subway back in January make you cringe?
It should make you cringe, because to do this right now would be stupid at best and fatal at worst.
Does it make you feel nostalgic too? It may someday, because a moment of this closeness with other (especially strangers on the subway) may never feel comfortable and/or safe again.
The photo in the article which touched me the most was this one:
The photo was taken on Friday, March 13th and it shows high school seniors doing what they do best- hanging out and chilling with friends.
The young woman who submitted this to the Times reflected:
I’m incredibly grateful we had this day to grieve the ending of our senior year together.
One of the most difficult parts of quarantine recently has been coming to terms with the fact that our transition out of high school will not be marked by the usual traditions of prom and graduation.
The school is working on finding alternatives, but they will likely feel less satisfying.https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/24/world/coronavirus-before-pandemic-memories.html
I feel the same sadness for the seniors at the school where I teach. None of them were in my class this year – I teach only freshmen and sophomores – but I know many of them as I had them in class two or three years ago.
Forever, the Class of 2020 of both high school and college will always be remembered as “The Class Without…”
I wish I’d taken a photo of each of my classes on that Friday the 13th of March.
Although we had the students clean out their locker, the hope at that time was that we’d be back together in school two weeks later – on the Monday of Holy Week.
I checked my photo gallery and I did find this short video that I shot as the sun was setting on that fateful Friday the 13th:
I know that it’s not that exciting. It is significant though as it shows my daughter practicing the “maneuverability” which is the 2nd part of the driver’s road test she’d take the following day.
As it turns out, although she passed the road test, she failed this maneuverability test.
They scheduled her to retake it a week later, but by then the DMV offices in the state were shuttered.
So, she’s been stuck at home, one short test away from getting her driver’s license. And Ohio hasn’t stated when the DMV’s will reopen for driver’s testing.
And I found this photo of my house, taken on the morning of Saturday the 14th as I was leaving with my daughter to take her driver’s test.