The Coronavirus Diaries; Letters to Students

This blog will be updated each time I reach out to my East Lansing High School students.  We are closed due the coronavirus and we are not allowed to do online instruction.  Instead I gave them three weeks worth of optional assignments that I hope will keep them engaged in our curriculum.  There’s an AP test for most of them coming, and I’m already feeling guilty that my ability to help them prepare is quite limited.  So I will check in with them…maybe even daily…to share some of the stuff they are doing and hoping to encourage all of them to stay busy and not dwell on things they can’t control.

March 18, 2020

It’s day three and I am doing everything I can in my personal life to not allow myself to settle into weeks of bad habits. The TV stays off until 7 pm. I do one project around the house a day that has been gathering dust in my brain for months. (The garage gets tackled today.)

Each morning I sit at my computer with my tea and think about what we would be doing together if we were indeed together. That led me to deciding to record another of my truly infamous History Hot Tub episodes in the next couple of days. I’m going to talk about the moral issues of WWII that tie into some of your readings. I’ll let you know when it’s done and if it goes well, I’ll ask you for suggestions on topics you would like to have me talk about.

If you want to watch the original History Hot Tub episode on Satire during the Enlightenment and Today, you can find it linked here.


March 17, 2020

It’s day two, and I am very happy to see some of you spending some of your time thinking about our class. This morning, as I sat at my desk reading work submitted by some of the AP World students for the WWI poetry project, I felt you could all benefit by seeing what is truly possible when you let yourself go for it. There were many poems submitted. I’ll share some more next week.

They are posted on my blog so I would make sure to never lose them. Thank you to those who submitted work.


March 16, 2020

It’s 7 a.m. on Monday. Normally I would be at my desk, checking the news, rehearsing my plans for the day and getting ready for first bell. After all these years, those last few minutes before first bell still bring a rush of adrenaline because I’m about to spend 6 hours learning something about history, about you, and about me.

Today, I’m sitting at my kitchen table, wearing sweats, on my 3rd cup of tea, with a 4 day growth of beard, and peering into my computer not sure what I am hoping to see.

I was so thrilled when I booted up today to find several of my AP World students had submitted their WWI poetry. (you can all still do this by the way…the Monday deadline seems a touch artificial, no?) I’ll share some in another announcement. There is nothing more encouraging to a teacher than seeing students doing something they don’t have to do, and doing it well…doing it just because their mind took them somewhere new and interesting. I immediately connected those WWI poems to your situation. Over the next several weeks you don’t HAVE to do anything…but you CAN! I’ll leave you to go do that…

Peace to you and your family.

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