What a difference a year makes! I’ve said this often, but when I look back over the past 12 months, it couldn’t be more apt.
In August of 2020, almost this same week, I had been banished from school for a 10-day quarantine thanks to our youngest daughter contracting COVID-19. She and a group of her besties had gone to a belated graduation party with no masks, and then on to a restaurant where they shared straws (I’m shaking my head as I type. What dummies!). I hadn’t even met all of my students at that point because we were on an alternating block, hybrid, whackadoodle schedule that had me periodically questioning my commitment to teaching.
In August of 2020, my father was still with us. He was in the final stages of cancer, confined to a hospital bed in the den of the house I’d grown up in, feisty and curmudgeonly, but slowly losing the fight. I spent more hours with Dad last summer than I had since I’d been a teenager, soaking up as much of him as I could.
In August of 2020, we as a nation were holding our collective breath as the presidential election campaigns began to intensify and the calls for social justice continued to increase. The unknown direction of both kept me awake many a night.
But in August of 2021, my classroom is once again filled with energy and excitement and real live human beings; Dad is no longer suffering and has become quite the guardian angel; and the nation, though far from healed, feels less on the brink. What a difference a year makes.