I am a music educator located in Ephrata PA, so my life was significantly altered when the country went into a state of emergency back in March.  (Gracious! It’s hard to believe we have been living with this new and hopefully temporary normal for that long.) I headed south to be with my family as soon as the schools shut down and have been with them ever since.  

I taught from home until school let out for the summer.  My schedule was a little bit lighter than normal while teaching online, but for the most part, it kept me busy.  Once summer hit, my schedule was very wide open.  I am a goal setter so when I noticed some extra time in my schedule, I set out to fill it with some things I normally struggle to find time for.  This included but was not limited to sifting through websites for classroom music resources, practicing my instruments, spending time outside, reading, sewing a few dresses, and – one of the more fun ones – taking percussion lessons.  If you think percussion is as simple as striking a drum or shaking a bottle filled with rice, you would be correct.  But, it is also as complex as making each of your four limbs play a different rhythm simultaneously while keeping a consistent pulse.  Remember that exercise where you pat your head and rub your belly at the same time? It’s like that only you add a seperate motion for each of your feet as well.  

Instead of the big trips I had planned for this summer, I’m doing small ones here and there to see friends and family.  South Carolina has seen a sudden spike in Covid cases this month, giving me reason to be a bit more thoughtful about my travel plans, however, most of my trips have been able to proceed without too many changes as long as my trusty mask goes with me :).

I feel more ready to get back to my school routine than I have in past years.  I think the fact that I’ve been back in the South since March combined with Oasis being canceled has made the summer feel extra long.  I didn’t realize how much structure and routine Oasis brought to my summer!  Having extra time is certainly not anything to complain about, but suddenly having a lot of it provided an extra awareness of what has been feeding my life with purpose and motivation and how I flounder when those sources are cut off.  Here’s to 2020, the year of awareness.  I hope it results in my developing a more consistent posture of empathy in the years ahead whatever they may hold.

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