In the fall of 2017, I had the privilege to be in an incredible ensemble of THE WEIR by Conor McPherson in Lincoln, Nebraska. I was a full time Language Arts teacher two hours away, and my administration worked with me to make it possible. It meant leaving just after school for a couple weeks to drive two hours to rehearsal, working there for 3-4 hours, then driving back. The week of tech, however, and on some of the performance days, I taught via Zoom.
My students were still congregating in a classroom (most often the library where the librarian could help monitor behavior), but I was a hundred miles away, sitting alone in front of my computer for eight hours a day, teaching class after class of Brady Bunch junior high kids.
In February of 2018, JUST over two years ago, I accepted the job of Executive Artistic Director of Flatwater Shakespeare Company. I was still teaching, so needed to finish out my semester and was doubled up for three months.
But at the end of May 2018, I had a new job in which I work remotely 85% of the time.
So, I’ve been at this whole work-from-home thing for a bit, though I hadn’t Zoomed in a while.
This means that I have had more (virtual) face to face time in the last week than I typically do.
I miss being able to move my “office” into the Art Bar in Hastings to sip the most magical coffee out there. I miss the convenience of going to the store whenever I want, etc, but I do not MISS grocery shopping–let’s be real.
Though I’ve been working remotely for two years, the monkey wrench coronavirus has thrown into the work we’re doing has vastly amped up the work I’m having to do right now, navigating adjustments that need to be made in the uncertain landscape where dominoes keep falling unpredictably.
Some friends have assumed I’m not working as we cannot put on plays at the moment, but I am working oh so much! It’s a heavy work load time, just 100% from home instead of 85%.
With Baby Girl growing, we’re being pretty careful. My husband goes to the store when we need things. We are virtually attending church and generally staying away from people.
Also, as an introvert, I don’t mind the home-with-the-dog time
at all. The dog is LOVING it. Could be a rough transition when we return to more typical schedules for poor Clancy.
For those of you who have been thrown into a crash course of work-from-home and learn-new-technology, I see you. I feel for you.
For the teachers navigating the best ways to make learning happen, I see your efforts.
For the parents navigating the best ways to have your children learn at home, may your patience be abundant. I see your challenges.
For the spiritual leaders navigating new technology to continue to shepherd your people, I applaud you.
We’re all charting new waters.
But North remains True.
We may be not be able to GPS our way for awhile, but we can navigate.
And who might we be on the other side of the storm?
Let’s be better.
We can transform through the alchemy of this challenge.
What path will we choose?