All those feelings I spoke about last week, continue to roll through. After another rough week, I had an additional epiphany Friday night. Not only have our lives have been, rudely, interrupted, without permission, we have also been relegated to the sidelines and forced to watch this particular game take shape, with no means of participating in any of the decisions being made that are directly affecting our lives.
Yes, we understand, acknowledge, and support the multitude of good reasons, on a cerebral level, but that doesn't make it any easier. After all, as humans, we like to be in control, or at least have the illusion of being an active participant in the game.
You and I are isolated in our little bubbles trying to make sense of all the external noise and confusion, while attempting, with some semblance of intelligence, and our hands effectively tied behind our backs, to, not only, plan for the future but to think completely outside the box.
The Governor announced on Friday that New York State schools are closed for the remainder of the academic year. I don't know about you, but I knew it was coming. That fact doesn't make it any easier for anyone. Even though DRC is technically not a school, and we always finish on the Friday before Memorial Day, and, that we would have only had one week to be together again, it still hit hard.
We won't have an in-person celebration for our four seniors, who are moving on to new and exciting adventures, or a party for everyone with a birthday during the summer months. We won't have a first swim (wade) of the season in the Grasse River or a week filled with hikes on the SLU or SUNY Canton trails. We won't dig up the front yard to plant a flower garden, and the backyard art installation will have to wait another year. All of the projects planned and spontaneous, big, and small are on hold. We won't have the face to face conversations about how much each of us has grown, emotionally, and intellectually, this past year. We won't experience our traditional last day hug. We won't have closure. Additionally, we are all left wondering, "what's next?"
This year had already felt like a roller coaster ride from the moment we all walked through the door on September 5th. From a capacity crowd and scrabbling to provide resources and support for those fifteen kids on the waiting list, to opening DRC-East, in Lawrenceville, inventing and initiating the ever-expanding Exploration Station Suite of services, losing a staff member and several student members in January, then gaining a staff person in March, and now our current reality - this year has offered an abundance of drama, and opportunities for learning and growth.
My job, right now, is to take all of those lessons and use them to forge a new path, within our current reality, a task that is eminently easier to write about than to implement while fighting off the indulgence in anger, frustration, anxiety, and deep sadness.
With that being said, I do have glimpses of positive outcomes, hanging out on the periphery. I am confident that, with patience, they will come into sharp focus over the next few weeks, and I will be back in the game, working, within, and through all the externally imposed handicaps.
One project that has moved forward is the DRC Virtual Cooking Class. I recorded the one below and then posted it. The next one will be live because the uploading process using a hotspot takes forever - literally hours and hours.
We are still looking for a name for this series of classes - so far there have been two suggestions: Edible Education: Cooking with Maria and Making Munchies with Maria. If you would like to add a name to the mix, or vote on one of the above, do it here.
During this series, I am focusing on the basics with the underlying message that when you bring a sense of play and experimentation to the kitchen, it is a ton of fun.