Flattening the Anxiety
Photo Credit: Siouxsie Wiles and Toby Morris
This is our students’ 9/11. Their JFK Assassination. Their Uphill-Both-Ways-in-the-Snow walks to school. This is their “I-Remember-When…,” the story they’ll be telling and retelling the next generation.
This is also a breeding ground for anxiety. And the instant access to the news–complete with its statistics, daily briefings, and predictions–probably doesn’t help.
So, as we all do our best to flatten the curve, educators are doing their best to flatten student anxiety as well.
While keeping their own anxiety in check.
And connecting with their students in real-time.
And creating meaningful, non-busywork assignments.
And providing feedback on what students have submitted.
And reaching out to those who haven’t engaged with their class.
And helping their own children with their school work.
And keeping their cupboards stocked when the supermarket shelves might not be.
And… And… And…
Teaching 100+ students–while trying to just survive the current “unprecedented time”–is a lot.
So, to add some levity to this otherwise heavy time (especially now that many of us have loved ones who are sick), my students answer a Quarantine Question of the Week. (I answer it, too.) And their willingness to play along–and their sense of humor–has I think helped us both. Below are some of the Greatest Hits from these last few weeks.
WEEK 1: MY QUARANTINE IN SIX WORDS
Describe your Quarantine in exactly 6 words. No more. No less. No explaining.
(inspired by Jimmy Fallon’s Hashtag Challenge)
- My 600 Pound Life–Quarantine Edition.
- Sleep, Learn Anywhere, workout, and repeat.
- Have to check my email again.
- Never thought I would miss school.
- Every day is Saturday, minus the fun.
- Walking from couch to fridge = challenge.
- Overused television, underused legs, inescapable family.
- Schedule? Funny. I’m slowly becoming nocturnal.
- Homework stress greater than Covid stress.
WEEK 2: LOTTERY LOOT
What’s the first thing you’d buy if you won the lottery?
- I’d pay off my parent’s house–and buy myself a nice car.
- I’d purchase a ball python and its tank requirements.
- I would pay for my college tuition and put enough in the bank for both of my siblings.
- I’d install a full wall of bookshelves.
- I’d purchase two plane tickets to Sacramento, California.
- I’d buy a giant bean bag chair the size of a bed.
- The first thing I’d invest in (besides college) is a studio where I can create stories.
WEEK 3: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.
If you could quarantine anywhere else, where would it be?
- At Winona Ryder’s house (minus Winona Ryder)
- Anywhere warm! It would have to have A/C, as I melt very easily. Definitely need a private pool and a personal chef. If I’m in quarantine, might as well be stuck living lavish.
- In Maui, sitting on the beach with a tropical (non-alcoholic) drink in my hand
- In a Barnes ‘n Noble all by myself with maybe a couple of Starbucks employees. That way I could have tons of books, music, Starbucks, and other sources of entertainment.
- Any large city. I don’t care if it’s a cramped apartment building. It would be nice to have people living close by I could just talk to through a window or balcony.
- In a rock climbing facility, as long as I could get some decent food
- In a modest mansion in the Sud de France countryside. My friends and I are there so that we can play D&D and ride horses and read and talk all day. The entire collection of all the words of Ray Bradbury, George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, and Franz Kafka is in the house. With some comedy in there for when we’re done reading about death.
- In all honesty, I wouldn’t want to be quarantined anywhere else. I love my home, and I have all my family and pets with me to keep my company.
WEEK 4: “QUIET ON THE SET!”
Congratulations! Your life is going to be made into a movie. Who would you want to play you?
- I’d want Saoirse Ronan to play me, and be my best friend.
- Blake Lively
- The Rock
- Millie Bobby Brown
- Sophie Grace Brownlee
- Mila Kunis
- Tom Holland
- Reese Witherspoon
- Dylan O’Brien
- Amy Poehler
And quite possibly the best response…
- Based off of Buzzfeed’s “We Know Who Your Celebrity Doppelganger is Based on These 7 Questions” Quiz, I look like Timothée Chalamet. So, I guess he would play me. Buzzfeed doesn’t lie. Am I right? (Note: This is a female who looks nothing like Timothée Chalamet.)