I slept until 6.18. No idea if my alarm went off or not, I didn’t sense anything. I use my Fitbit as an alarm and it vibrates. Usually that is enough to wake me up. I also use the smart alarm setting which wakes you within a certain window of time according to your sleep patterns. For the past few days I didn’t get anything.
I got up right away again which resulted in me not scanning the news first thing and in managing to meditate and write morning pages. There was not enough time for fiction writing yet again. And yes, I am perfectly aware that this is a story I tell myself and that I did lots of other things all day. Some of them I could have skipped in favor or writing. I did continue reading and knitting, at least:
All of us are still rather tense but I get the feeling that we’re starting to settle in with the new patterns. I even got most of the weekly cleaning done while my husband was out running. I still need to clean the washbasins and toilets later today.
I picked up takeout for the first time in ages. I’m actually worried about the local restaurants. We debated getting our food delivered to minimize contact but in the end decided against it. I wore a face mask and gloves for the first time and it did feel a little weird. I used the mask that I keep with my dyeing supplies. Everybody at the restaurant was very mindful of keeping the appropriate distance and there was cling film put up as a barrier between the staff and the guests.
The food was delicious:
Apparently I was very hungry. Not only did I forget to take a picture of my spring rolls before eating the first one, I also completely forgot to take a picture of the main course. Fried noodles with chicken for me, fried duck with Thai sauce for my husband and some vegetarian sushi for the boy. Getting the takeout also reminded us why we stopped doing this on a regular basis. First, it is somewhat expensive and second, everything comes wrapped in plastic and the curry and noodles you get in styrofoam containers that are partly melted from the hot food. We used to prefer eating at the restaurant instead. Not right now, though.
I did the dishes, struggled to prepare the lessons for the afternoon (and failed) and then started a long afternoon of video chat after video chat. Had to restart often. But most student had adequate equipment and internet connection. I am so grateful for the chance to continue teaching, even if the conditions are not perfect. It’s also interesting how much I value the social connections to my students. I tend to think of myself as a fierce introvert but I was rather happy and relieved to see all the familiar faces.
Singing lessons remain the most challenging of all. Both for me and the students. But we are still making music. And nobody really played music all week. Real life was rather distracting. I did start teaching all of my students the „Wings of a Dove“ song and it felt like they really appreciated it. It’s also interesting how much less I am singing and playing the piano right now because I can’t make music together with my students. When I taught that song using call and response I felt myself for the first time in weeks because I really got to sing again.
Yesterday marked the day I came full circle on a week of teaching online, it was all first times on FaceTime and Skype until the last student of the week. She was the one that started the batch of online lessons a week ago.
My husband and I are still working out the kinks. And one of the new things is that we get a lot more homework. Usually, our method of teaching means that we often decide on the spot. Start a new song, search for something, my husband often will sit down right there and transcribe something the student wants to learn but all of that is not possible over the internet. So every teaching day requires more prep work and after each day I am left with a list of things I need to do. Emails to send, links to share, it’s quite a bit of work.
Still, we both very much agree that it is a great blessing to continue working under the circumstances.
After teaching I met with the boy. For the second day in a row he was working on his German essay. And every time I met him he had a question, was unsure about how to say something. He had to analyze an Eichendorff poem and kept asking me for my opinion. Seems I have gotten better at this sort of thing since I last had to do it for school. The funny thing was when he started the whole essay with what he deemed unnecessary florid sentences and over the top artsiness and both my husband and I had to tell him that that was what the average German teacher would consider just right. Probably. My kind of writing never passed muster in school either. I was pretty delighted at some figures of speech that were essentially the boy and found that he has indeed inherited a rather dry sense of humor. No idea where he might have gotten that.
Still, he could be persuaded to leave essay writing for dinner and watching the last episode of the first season of ‚Star Trek:Picard‘. We both found it rather enjoyable. The end was not unexpected but very satisfying and we had a nice discussion about the general premise of the episode. (We don’t really agree, by the way, but the whole premise is highly hypothetical, so no way to be sure.)
Then there was more essay-writing which meant that I was sitting there, scrolling through Instagram while answering the boy’s questions until I finally got myself to start writing this post. Until he followed me into the kitchen for more questions about his text.
Turns out I can write a 1,000 word blog post in the time it takes the boy to write the last three paragraphs of a 1,000 word essay.
Somehow I went to bed a little late. Wonder why.
Today there will be running and cleaning the bathrooms and preparing the podcast. Bonus points if I actually manage to record the episode and record another one tomorrow to publish next Friday but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Recording singing warm-ups for my students would also be fantastic but I don’t see that happening.
And in the evening we are having plans to watch „The Martian“. And eat chocolate truffles. Priorities. So important.