My cats are driving me crazy.
Don’t get me wrong, now that many people are working from home, I love all the posts that encourage people to replace “pet” or “child” with “co-worker.” This is one of the first tweets I saw, but the threads (with over 2500 replies) are hilarious:
‘My co-worker asked for yogurt and is now crying because I gave her yogurt.’ @ShannonDingle
‘My coworker pitched a fit about subtracting 2 from a number because they prefer adding 2. "It makes more sense," they said.’ @wickedsmartface
‘I happened upon my co-worker scooping fistfuls of butter into his mouth.’ @lauramcw
Those are just the tame ones lol.
As for my own co-workers, they follow me around incessantly when I am outside. They don’t really want anything. They have food and water. They don’t want to be petted. They definitely don’t want to be picked up.
Except today, when the Siamese cat decided to come up behind me…jump onto my shoulder…from the ground…when I was standing completely upright…
The claw marks showed she grabbed on mid-shoulder but really dug her hind claws into my lower back.
Oh, did I mention that I’m highly allergic to cats??
What I’ve decided that they want most, is just to be with me.
To paraphrase Dr. Jody Carrington, my co-workers aren’t attention-seeking, they are connection-seeking.
It’s a feeling that I can relate to. I found that I was much more functional this past week now that our new reality settled in a bit more, but it was still hard. I miss being at school, being around the kids, seeing co-workers. (The human ones.)
I missed the connections.
I tried to make a phone call every day, just to hear a real voice on the other end. For those who follow this blog regularly, yes, my son is still home. And yes, he is in the basement a lot. He's just not overly loquacious! I shouldn’t poke fun at him - we had a great week playing games and visiting, but I miss “work” talk. For me, and so many of my colleagues, teaching and learning are our passions. It’s something that we are always trying to read more about, improve on, and do better for our students, and so much of that happens in discussions with each other.
It’s not that it can’t happen anymore. It’s just going to look different.
The week to “pause” was a gift for our physical and mental selves, both for us and for our students. The week(s) ahead now are going to be full of challenges, but are also an opportunity to learn. For all of us.
I have a whole other train of thought on how this pandemic is exacerbating and laying bare the societal divisions and disparate social order that previously existed, and of which most people are in denial about, and that layers of privilege are buffering me from any real degree of suffering at this moment. But because I’m trying to focus on positives for the week ahead, I’m going to come back and think about that later (and because that privilege provides me with the space to do that) I promise you there are more thoughts to come. *Although the government could absolutely be doing something right friggen now about helping our students who are aging out of care in the foster system and being cut off from all supports in the middle of a goddam pandemic.* Like I said, more to come.
In the week ahead, stay safe and stay connected!
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