Social distancing – I don’t know whether to make a joke, stir up dissent, or just exaggerate obtuse oblivion.
Regardless of whatever response I choose to enact, social distancing is a shitty thingy that has been thrust upon society by the ruling parties and we must follow.
I don’t really mind, I like being separated from others. Then I’m much more free to do my own thing without worrying about how I’m perceived.
You see, without routine, I am free.
And what do the free do? Things… maybe.
The things: Anything. Nothing. Everything. Something.
You teach tertiary, I teach secondary. Oh man, I know this feeling, and I am afraid I’m more like the students you describe because I have no self discipline. They have no self discipline.
They, like me, depend on their environment to determine their behaviour. Physical space influences their head space, and thereby guiding them in terms of what they can/should/must/need do.
It’s not as easy as just doing the thing, because there’s that niggling voice at the back of their minds that say “why should I?” It’s not necessarily a rebellious or defiant thing, just one about motivation. I have no intrinsic motivation. I struggle to complete shit that I WANT to do, let alone the shit I am supposed to do…Comment on Annema
The Annemal communicated her frustration. I get it. I get where she was coming from. But alas, as with that thing that I do, I couldn’t help but relate to the very thing she was complaining about….
Of course there are things that we should be doing because it is our responsibility to do so, and in most cases, it’s not that hard to even do. A non-issue of difficulty.
I’m very much someone who defines their behaviour and disposition by the environment I find myself in. I don’t like working from home because I know I’ll just be super lazy and procrastinate. But I’m working from home and feel a bunch of anxiety over “what the hell am I doing?”
I see what is around me, and so my mind is here where I am, concerned over the immediate things I see that should be attended to. Like housework. Like my relationship. Like my quest for my self…
All this shit that has gone down due to COVID-19 has really been a fucking nightmare. I’m not so concerned about the economy, nor about not having to see people (I like this excuse of having to squirrel myself far and away from the scope of the material world). But I see the impact it is having on the youth of our world… I see their world falling away, and their own inner distress behind their mask of indifference.
No one cares. Nothing matters. So why should they care about doing some minor (or major) shitty thing that they don’t give a shit about?
Responsibilities? Obligations? Honour? Opportunities? Requirements?
Fuck that. Fuck everything, apparently. Not literal fucking, just… figurative.
Kids have been dropping out of school. Some have gotten jobs, some have just out-right moved away and disconnected their phones. And these aren’t just the “bad kids” or “burn-outs” or typical types.
Generally good kids are disillusioned and despondent.
I made the above graphic in 2018. A way to talk about my underlings and by their faces and names, you could know them and their characters a bit better than I could describe them.
I want to draw your attention to Blohan and Millsy.
2019, Blohan was elected vice captain of the school. He’s rough around the edges but with a heart of gold. 2020 he went “missing”. He was eventually able to be contacted (he’d decided to go get a job. fuck school. what was the point of it all anyway?) and I don’t know if he’s going to come back. He might or might not.
Millsy, the brains behind all sorts of glorious and borderline-conniving schemes… I don’t know what happened, but I know that he changed. He lost his spark and fell apart. Out of the clouds of heaven and into the dust of the earth. OH SHIT, NO HE’S NOT DEAD. LOL No, I don’t mean it like that. He’s just… exiled himself. Here in name but not spirit.
Shit, I just want to hug my boys. But that’s weird and very much seen as some sordid thing. Which is a shame, I just want my kids (they’re still my kids, even though they haven’t really been mine for not even 2 years) to know I care about them. I want them to be okay.
And I know they are, because we’re all okay, aren’t we? I mean, there’s nothing seriously bad going on, right? So… that means we’re just fine and everything is ok. Right? Why doesn’t it feel right? There’s still that feeling of… anxiety, unease, longing, confusion, uncertainty, trepidation… I don’t know. I only know it feels UNWHOLE… not complete like a whole, nor is it empty like a hole.
I want to share with you what I wrote on my homeroom’s google classroom, 6th April 2020.
How to ACE everyday
Good morning everyone! It’s the last week of term 1, with Thursday being the last day. I hope everyone has been doing okay in the midst of all this social and political change, it’s important to look after yourself and that includes your mental/emotional self.
If you’re feeling really out of sorts, there are 3 things you should be doing everyday to help feel good about yourself. They can be remembered by the acronym of ACE.
- A – ACHIEVE something, even if it’s something small. Set yourself a goal and actually do it. It could be “I’m going to write 500 words” or “I am going to clean my room” or “I am going to walk the dog.”
- C – CONNECT. This is probably where people are hurting the most – the social isolation. By connecting to those we care about, it helps us to not feel so alone. Email, text message, phone call, skype or whatever – reach out to one of your friends or a family member.
- E – ENTERTAINMENT. Do something for fun. Something that you enjoy. It could be watching something, listening to music, playing a game, doing sport, or creating something.
Take it easy guys! Feel free to contact me if you need anything.
I started this post 10th April, 2020. Published 29th April, 2020… 19 days later…