Tidbit # 10-Interruptions and Dashed Hopes

January 8, 2022

I don’t want to write another post about Covid — living through covid, the disappointments thanks to Covid, the educational and psychological fallout in the wake of Covid; there is more than ample written material out there to speak to our collective Covid traumas, only a few of which we’re even starting to name and recognize. Is there more to say? Undoubtedly; we’re not through it yet. What I can’t help but say something about, however, are the many levels of interruptions and dashed hopes that we as teachers, parents, partners, individuals continue to have to deflect or gracefully accept, deftly work around, and stoically — quietly bemoan. Finding the ‘flow’ again after nearly 2 years of no flow has proven very difficult.

And yet, there has been this stubborn resolve to establish new patterns, new relationships, new pathways to connection, creativity, learning, being — an obsession with reaching for the ‘silver-lining-glasses’ such that we are not consumed by these pools of dashed hopes and piles of interruptions. Has that made us all more appreciative? Eh, perhaps some of us. Has it somehow increased our capacity to ‘look on the bright side’? Perhaps. What is clear is that we seem to be desperately in search of some brighter side, wherever it may be. I should preface my next statement by saying that this desperate search occurs along a narrow and slippery path that almost as often tips towards shorter or longer moments of despair. But the past couple of years have been filled with practice runs, so our ability to tip to the brighter side has, I’d venture to say, become more fine-tuned — at least, kids’ ability to do so.

As a teacher, I’m finding the constant recalibrations, rescheduled meetings, project and discussion plans scrapped to be an unwelcome test of my ability to creatively present the same material over a shrinking time period. Still, this forces teachers, like parents, to strip any given moment down to what matters most. So, perhaps what we’re slowly being forced to learn is just that: what really matters about class content, the schooling experience, social interactions, interpersonal relations, work-to-be-completed, the precious hours of each day? I won’t say every day is a “win,” but I have revisited my needs as a person; I have revisited my output as a parent, and I have revisited the modeling I do as a teacher. Somewhere, there’s a balance between stoicism and gentleness — the balance exists. There are so many pockets of remarkable grace and unexpected acts of loving kindness; I am noticing them, appreciating them; are you?  

Julianna Tauschinger-Dempsey, Gifted Mother of Three Wildly Gifted Children, Educator @ Scholars Academy for the Gifted & Artistically Elite & Empowerer of Gifted Youth & Their Parents