Wow! What a year 2020 was, and 2021 is shaping up to be an interesting year of change. Of course, COVID brought so many changes to us, and to educators for so many reasons. One of the coolest things that I have seen is the way teachers have stepped up to the plate and have accepted the changes with such grace. I am sometimes amazed at how the general public can criticize teachers for "not wanting to go to work" or for "not doing their job", when these same people may not even have kids of their own or know anything about what it is like to be in the field of education. It raises my hackles, I'll admit, as it simply shows ignorance. "Do you have any idea what teachers are having to do in this virtual 'baptism by fire' time??", I want to yell. But, in truth, it wouldn't do any good, as I won't convince people who don't know the truth. And, instead, why don't I spend my efforts helping educators do what they do best? It is such a pleasure to work with teachers on getting more comfortable with online learning. We spend time exploring digital tools, talking about the challenges and solutions, and discussing how these changes have likely altered the landscape of education forever. I feel so grateful to be a part of that world, working with several universities and teaching workshops all over the country as well.
Now, our own big change is a move to Texas. We have lived in Tucson for the last 8 years, and we had truly begun putting down roots here, including Dave's retirement (a.k.a. known as "golfing"), a wonderful church community, volunteering, fostering for a Labrador Retriever rescue organization, and so much more. While we have loved it so very much, we felt like it would be a great time for a change. I'm hopefully going to be teaching a bit more at Trinity University (my alma mater for my Bachelor's degree), in addition to continuing to mentor doctoral students, teaching at online universities, and teaching virtual workshops on increasing student engagement, etc. Dave and I bought a piece of land in the hill country of Texas about 14 years ago, and we always said we would build on it "one day". Apparently, that "one day" has come and we are going to build a home on that land. While we are super excited, we also know that change is going to be hard. It will be made a bit easier living in close proximity to my aging dad, my (almost 3 year old) niece and her whole family, and my best friend from high school, among many other friends and family. And Dave will surely find a golf course or two on which he can play several days a week, while our own two Labs will enjoy being able to spread out on some acreage around our new home.
What does change mean to you? How do you adapt to it? I am looking forward to hearing your responses!
Dave has a long history of making fun of me. Some things that seem to make so much sense to him escape my reasoning. While sports are a big part of his life, I not only don't do so well with most of them, my care factor isn't truly present, either. I would like to point out to all of my professional colleagues that my faux pas (yes, I had to check, and faux pas is actually singular and plural, and I, unfortunately mean it in the plural form) have not yet extended to my professional work.
Dave's history of laughing at me started only a few years into our marriage, when we were flying somewhere, and I looked out the window to see a plane flying pretty close to us. "Shouldn't we be farther away from that airplane over there? It seems dangerously close." Dave looked then smirked at me, "That is the wing of our own airplane. You're safe, sweetie", and he patted my shoulder.
Compound that with my lack of understanding of how, as Dave calls it, "water can run uphill". When we would drain the hot tub that was on the second floor porch of our house in Florida, the water would come from a hose that was down at the lowest point in the hot tub and go up then back down to drain out on the grass below. I never quite got the "physics hang" of how the water could get up and out of the hot tub. Dave sometimes still mutters, "We should have dated longer."
While most people are looking forward to watching the Superbowl for the football, I typically read or do work for an upcoming workshop while the game is on, looking forward only to the commercials and Superbowl food. Hey, at least I know that there are quarters versus innings in this game. I just don't really care.
I figure everyone has a superpower and everyone has their own kryptonite. In fact, I started playing a "game" with friends and family this past year. When gathered together, I would suggest we play Superpower. One person is in the Superpower chair in a circle, table or group. Everyone else, in turn, says what they believe that person's Superpower is. For example, Ryan is the most loyal and dedicated dad and wife to his beautiful family. Dave is "Mr. Justice and Fairness". Cid has dear friends in likely every state and country in the world because she is so friendly and fun-loving. Robin has the capacity to stay calm in the face of situations in which most others would panic. I challenge and encourage you to try this out with a group of family and friends. I assure you that everyone in the group will not soon forget the experience.
I can remember the names of my workshop participants after seeing/hearing their names one or two times. Dave can remember the phone number we had in the first house we owned in Dallas. And truly as patient as Dave is to try to remind me to "turn-turn" with my torso when swinging the golf club when I still am swinging mostly with my arms, I can only say, "I hear the words you are saying to me; my body just doesn't seem to understand them." And all Dave can do is shake his head. I believe my real Superpower exists in being able to laugh at myself, though. When Dave gave me a set of golf lessons, I thought, "This will be great!" I was soon out on the driving range with the female golf pro from our golf club. To say she lacked a sense of humor would be generous. At one point, she told me to get out my pitching wedge. I looked in my golf bag and couldn't find anything that would indicate it might be a pitching wedge. I finally gave in, pulling out a club asking, "I can't find it. Would it be this E club?" The look of disdain on her face will not soon be forgotten, as she reached over, turned the club and said, "It's a W----W for wedge". I promptly burst out laughing (that IS funny, after all), and she promptly...did not.
So, I will be here as moral support for Dave this evening as we watch the Superbowl...or maybe I'm here more as comic relief.