This question was on my calendar of daily affirmations and Bible verses. I look forward to reading what the following day’s words of wisdom will bring me.
It’s funny, though, because as I sit here at my desk, writing, I wonder to myself: Am I writing this for me or for everybody?
The reason I’m thinking about this question is that not a lot of people read my blog. While I would love to have a larger audience, I believe that what I have to say doesn’t really matter to a lot of people.
But what does matter to people?
Apparently, the lives of others do not matter to some people in the world. Most Americans are going nuts because they have to wear a mask! And, wearing a mask infringes on their rights! These people care about a piece a cloth covering their face and mouth infringing on their rights?
Hmmm. It hasn’t caused any less freedom when I wear my mask to the stores. But, if you want to talk about infringing on the rights of people – no. I won’t go there.
I recently received my DNA results from Ancestry DNA. I was excited to see where I came from. Of course, the first three countries came from the continent of Africa: Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo & Southern Bantu Peoples; Benin & Togo. I also knew about the 3% from Ireland and Scotland because my dad’s grandmother was the product of rape from the white slavemaster, Jonas Touchstone (an Irishman), and her African slave mother, Linda Touchstone. My great-grandmother was named Emily Touchstone. My dad had told me that she was very short, and she had a deep scar on her forehead from when she spoke back to her “dad,” and he hit her. But, what really surprised me in my DNA results was 9% of England, Wales, & Northwestern Europe, and 3% Sweden!
It goes to show you that I have a story. My dark skin tells one story, but my genes have another account.
During this time of quarantine and racial unrest, I’ve been talking with friends about what has been occurring in the world. My friends and family are quite disgusted with everything! We try to resolve issues locally as well as globally, but our voices only range from one cell phone to the other. I have found myself getting into debates online with people who want to type in all caps and then call me foul names because I don’t agree with them. I must admit, it bothers me. I get offline, and there have been times that I cry, and I talk to God. When Senator John Lewis died, and it was posted on social media, a person responded, “Good.” My heart sank.
I have some personal battles in my life that I am going through. I have struggles that are surrounding me as a teacher – my livelihood. In less than a week, I will turn 55 years old, and this year has been a roller coaster – it still is a rollercoaster mixed in with the Teacups, the Matterhorn, Space Mountain, and a Merry-Go-Round!
Some parents want to send their children to school despite the surge in coronavirus cases. Officials are claiming that schools are safe – but Arizona’s governor has not opened gyms, bars, pools, etc. The reason why schools are seemingly harmless is that we have not been in school since March. I watched a video of how the Superintendent in Massachusetts demonstrated with officials how distancing looked in a school bus and in a classroom. There’s not much distancing unless you only have five students on a bus and class!
I am among the throngs of teachers who are apprehensive about going back into the classroom. While we love our job, it is somewhat frightening to think about coming back with the COVID-19 cases still increasing in some of our cities! People do not understand that we have seen our classes almost diminish when flu season hits! Children are walking germs! Kleenex stocks jump when the end of September and the beginning of October hits! I ran out of tissue boxes before my Expo markers run dry!
But what worries me more is my compromised health. I have asthma and diabetes. I am at high risk for COVID-19. I took a COVID test, which was negative, but that’s because I don’t go out much. If I go to the store, I mask up, but lately, I’ve ordered groceries from Walmart, and I pick up my prescriptions from Walgreens drive-thru. I keep myself safe. Now, the school year is beginning. We are holding our staff meetings online, and for the first few weeks, we will have online learning; however, after Arizona’s Executive Order of no school opening until August 17th, I will be back in my classroom.
I posted this once on Facebook that we had to prepare ourselves for an active shooter in the school, now we have to prepare for a silent assassin – COVID-19. Schools are not safe! Schools haven’t been safe for a long time! And, sadly, teachers are not paid enough for this! Sometimes I think that we are not essential to government officials. We are indispensable workers – if we get sick, oh well! This was another Facebook fight: a teacher had mentioned how she was at-risk for Coronavirus, and a parent wrote, “well, you shouldn’t be a teacher!”
Where is all this hostility coming from?
So, whoever is reading this blog, thank you for “listening.” I haven’t written in a long time, and I apologize if this was long-winded and slightly boring, but I felt the need to write. I am not going to quit teaching, and I am not going to stop believing in God because of the rampant hate and the overwhelming deaths and sickness facing this world. I survived an auto accident that could have killed a friend and me – so I do believe that miracles happen.
I have to believe it.
You might ask, “If not now, when?”
I don’t know. Maybe when you start believing too, because I need to tell you that if you don’t start believing now, the devastation will continue.