Friday, June 19, 2020

Where have I been?

It has been a long and eventful 10 months since I last. blogged. I have done some lurking on your blogs, but until today, could not find my blogging mojo. But if this isn't a time for virtual friendships, what is? So, here is a whirlwind tour of the last 10 months:

It was a rough school year. A week before school  began, my dear friends and long-time colleague Jim McCoy died suddenly during cross country practice. The incredibly healthy 61-year old just collapsed and never regained consciousness. Some kind of cardiac event. Denise, another friend and colleague, and I were at the hospital and able to say farewell to him with his family. Jim and I had worked together for a decade. 
Me, Jim, and Denise, at an American Players Shakespeare performance in August  2018.
Needless to say, working without Jim was devastating. I miss him every day. But we carried on. 

One of the times I most missed talking to Jim was when two teens we both know from middle school were accused of murdering a beloved Madison physician and her husband. It's a tragic story. If you want to know more:

Over winter break, Keith, I, and my mom flew to Phoenix to visit Seth and his girlfriend, Clara. Rachel flew in from Miami, so we were all together and it was glorious!
Clara, Seth and Rachel on New Year's Eve.
Clara is going to transfer to a medical school in Chicago, so she and Seth will be closer to us! 

Of course there was knitting. I mastered the (not-so-hard) Latvian Braid for this hat, which was a prize in a membership drive for my teachers' union.

Then came Covid-19. While the workload lessened for some of my colleagues, it skyrocketed for special education. I cannot tell you how tired I am of teaching via Zoom. And who knows how much more of it I have in my future? I need to work at least one more year.

Like everyone, I had to cancel some exciting summer plans. My mom and I had booked a trip to Scandinavia. Even worse, the University of Miami had to cancel graduation so I didn't get to celebrate Rachel being awarded her Ph.D. Nor will I be able to help her get settled this summer in Denver. Still I am very pleased that she has a tenure-track position at the University of Denver in these difficult times.

So, now I'm hanging out a lot with these guys:

I feel lucky. So far everyone I love is healthy. I have a lovely home and yard to shelter in. I have friends and family to talk to. And now I have all of you to check in with!


  1. Great to 'see' you again! I'm so sorry to hear about your colleague. And I can't imagine trying to teach via Zoom to special ed students. But great news about your family! I am very impressed that Rachel got a TT job. Those are particularly hard to come by these days.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss.

    It is so good to see you blogging again. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  3. Welcome back!
    Dave is teaching music via zoom and to say it's a challenge is an understatement. But he keeps reminding himself it's better than not teaching at all!

  4. So wonderful to have you back. Glad you have survived/are surviving the various challenged. I've missed your posts, your sketching and your knitting. Congratulations to Rachel!

  5. Welcome back! It's good to read your words. I can only imagine the work of Special Education via Zoom. What a wonderful family.

  6. Glad to see you are back and healthy. I wondered where you went when I would wander over to your blog. I am so sorry about your friend it must have been difficult when his passing was so sudden. That is great your son will be closer to you. I love you hat such detail and the pattern is wonderful. Cute cats to keep you company during covid. I have often thought teaching would be difficult online hopefully not too much longer for you and things will get back to normal. Have a good weekend :)

  7. Debra, I care about your loss of your colleague and am glad for the years you enjoyed your friendship. I am glad you are surviving Zoom teaching. The tech part of Zoom is challenging to me as is acting as a facilitator in small groups using that platform for communication...I pray for the Lord's blessing on your efforts! Thanks for sharing the good news about your children and thanks for showing us some of your beautiful knitting. I continue to admire your creativity and I am glad you and yours are well and safe!

  8. Welcome back! I really missed your posts especially your sketching ones. They were always an inspiration.
    Your hat is gorgeous. I can't believe you could part with something so pretty.
    Araignee (Google won't let me sign in under my knitting blog anymore-go figure)

  9. So good to hear from you again. I was worried but had no way to contact you since I lost your email address. Congratulations to Rachel: you must be very proud of her.

  10. I have been so worried you have not been blogging and now I completely understand why. So much sadness and yet happy times with family. Congrats to your amazing daughter and your son and girlfriend who will be closer to you. Best wished to you and stay safe.

  11. You have been missed! I was thrilled to see your comment on my blog!
    I'm sorry it was such a hard school year. I had a rough Spring but am back on track again! Beautiful hat!

  12. Oh my goodness - you have really been hit hard this year. I hope the summer months bring some time to unwind. Take care.

  13. So sorry for what you have been going through. But it is lovely to see you back!

  14. I missed you! I'm sorry for your really hard school year. My husband hates Zoom because it never ends. He's retiring mid August.

  15. Deb, we have missed you so!!!! THrilled you are back to share Madison life with us! Love yoU!!!