March 30, 2020
Tameka Battle, Recreational Therapy, Health Science
Tonight I returned home from Urgent Care with my son, Eric, who had cut his finger on a can in the garbage. Six stitches later, anxiety-filled and exhausted, I want to share my thoughts about our home life during the COVID19 crisis. I’m trying to manage the many moving pieces of my life while struggling to fully understand the magnitude of what is happening to us. I’m focused on staying healthy but, at the same time, coping with the loss of close friends, juggling home schooling, meetings, and my students’ concerns about graduating or finishing the semester has been truly difficult. Like all of us, I am trying to navigate this new way of being for our family, my students, and myself.
I am learning acceptance, too: I am learning to accept my athletic fourteen-year-old son’s non-stop football, basketball, and gymnastic rumbles in his room, to accept that our nine-year old Jordan will request more iPad screen time, and to accept the needs of a nineteen-year-old daughter for loud music, television, and phone conversations all at the same time (oh, the joys of three Gen Z children!).
I am learning to accept that I will not read the books set aside for weekends, and that now may not be the time to immerse myself in my mandala coloring books. For now, acceptance may mean putting aside these familiar pleasures and facing this new life with peace in myself, and commitment to guiding my students and my family through these uncertain times. Who knows? When classes are over for the day and the children are asleep at night? Maybe there will be time to finish up coding data for my doctoral research study? But again, who knows?
I want to end by acknowledging how informative our Language across the Curriculum seminar has been to my practice and pedagogy as an educator of adult learners. I learned and reflected not only on my own language development and style, but on the ways my students acquire and practice their languages. I am grateful to our seminar leaders, and to my dear colleague Michele Piso Manoukian for nudging me to reflect on my own personal vulnerabilities and emotions as I transition and adjust to a “new online world.” Living on the edge of the anxiety of what’s next to come is what I now refer to as my “new life.”