There has been an abundant amount of chaos so far in 2020. The second week in March I was supposed to be enjoying a trip with my husband to Puerto Rico. Instead, after less than 24 hours of landing at the airport, they closed the beaches and went on lockdown. Needless to say, we left a day later and were back at home in quarantine in no time.
If my spring break trip didn't go as planned, that's nothing compared to teaching. The fourth quarter was a mess. Plain and simple. I teach gifted Language Arts at Sarasota Middle School, and in our program, we 'loop' with our kids. This means that last school year I was given a group of 6th graders. I then followed them to 7th grade, and now in August they will be with me one last time for 8th grade. When my current group of kids graduates, I go back to 6th! This system was a saving grace. My students had spent nearly two entire years with me and knew exactly what I expected of them. I also made it clear that we couldn't slack off because we needed to be sure we were ready for next year, our 8th grade time together. I had also switched to using OneNote Notebook for classrooms, and the students were able to continue to do their work online. While those positives were wonderful, the negatives were sucking my soul out like an angry dementor. I was in the middle of teaching a Holocaust novel when we left for break and had to finish our WWII unit via Zoom. Teaching about that particular topic and trying to convey all of the immense feelings that accompany it was nearly impossible. All of my amazing group projects and activities were thrown unceremoniously out the window. Our vocabulary lessons were bone dry, and we canceled the grammar studies entirely, which hurt my writer's pride immensely.
Writing during COVID just didn't happen. I finished Ask Me Anything last summer and spent some time in the fall working on Crow's Nest. Life became busy during winter, and just when I was planning on dusting off my computer, BAM. Life turned upside down. I don't think I'm the only one who feels like their living in a dystopian novel. COVID, BLM protests, killer bees, dust clouds, and I don't even remember what else. If I had started working on Crow's Nest again during quarantine, my middle-grade mystery novel would have turned into a Stephen King novel. Yeesh.
Yet, here I am. Writing my first blog post, updating my author website, and ready to take on the world! Or, at least stick my head out of the front door and see if it's still there.