The unexpected yet beautiful home schooling/home activism experiment
Wednesday 8th April.
Everyone is in good spirits today. Bernat left the house in the afternoon to go to the office, then shopping. He needed to upload a video for a client and because at home it would take 15 hours, and at the office it takes 3 minutes. What? Yes, that is true. He pays for a special service at the office, but I think that really reflects on our crappy set up. (Actually the client is a cannabis company, is that an essential service these days? Not a very healthy one)
So this home-schooling thing is going to go on a long time. The schools have sent out info saying they expect to start the new course normally in September, and that they would like to get people together, for emotional health reasons, before the end of term, but really all they know is that we’re not going back to school soon. This is our life now, the only certainties are about how in the short term we are NOT able to do things, and the idea of when we WILL be able to do things is never mentioned. Kira is definitely not leaving the house for at least 18 days. Maranya Festival is definitely not making any decision about date changes for at least two weeks. The school will definitely not be opening soon. In the UK they play it another way; they tell you things WILL be happening, but it’s a lie. Then they just change it. There’s a very very big emphasis on staying positive and the BBC is regurgitating the “on message” lines they are given by .. who? It’s like they have to mention the words “front-line”, “nurses”, “British song”, “keep your spirits up” a hundred times a day. They throw out some horrific numbers in a monotone, then tell us all to be happy. “We want to call out to Janice, a nurse on the front line who has a day off today, enjoy your day off Janice!” Erm, I very much doubt that Janice will enjoy her day off, just like everyone who can see the actual numbers on the WHO website everyday (even if the British media doesn’t mention number of deaths), or anyone who is aware of what is really going on, I’m sure she will spend her day off struggling to process the tragedy, the lack of real support for key workers (getting equipment they need, and people voting against government cuts rather than singing a song) and desperately trying to rest before going back to life with suffering on a massive scale while putting herself at an incredible risk of picking up the virus herself. The reality is that people are going to feel shit, and then they have to figure out how to feel better – finding connections and community with the people around them, with their neighbours and local support groups will be key – not national radio telling them everything is, in fact, fine.
Again, there are parallels with the ecological collapse; you have to find a way to recognise the tragedy and be ok. You have to share bad news sometimes, and yes, maybe we can assume that people know what is going on with COVID-19 because it’s everywhere, and that actually they enjoy being jollied along in a war-time style effort by the good old BBC, but the media is not telling the truth. The British media is unbelievable. For example, when daily deaths in Spain were increasing they reported it every day. When daily deaths in Spain started falling, they didn’t mention it. When daily deaths in the UK are increasing massively they don’t mention it. I’m sure there’s a balance to be found, but isn’t truth anywhere on the agenda? In Spain it may not be much better – I get my info from WHO and whatsapp rather than national press. So where can we look for decent information? In Spain Carne Cruda radio show is great, and always has been, since before they got moved off the national Radio 3 for being too real. And I should check our double-down news in the UK more often.
Here’s a quote from Jem Bendell’s Deep Adaptation paper about hopelessness, and whether it’s best to always look for hope and ” keep your spirits up”
A fourth insight is that “hopelessness” and its related emotions of dismay
and despair are understandably feared but wrongly assumed to be entirely
negative and to be avoided whatever the situation. Alex Steffen warned
that “Despair is never helpful” (2017). However, the range of ancient
wisdom traditions see a significant place for hopelessness and despair.
Contemporary reflections on people’s emotional and even spiritual growth
as a result of their hopelessness and despair align with these ancient ideas.
The loss of a capability, a loved one or a way of life, or the receipt of a
terminal diagnosis have all been reported, or personally experienced, as a
trigger for a new way of perceiving self and world, with hopelessness and
despair being a necessary step in the process (Matousek, 2008). In such
contexts “hope” is not a good thing to maintain, as it depends on what one
is hoping for. When the debate raged about the value of the New York
Magazine article, some commentators picked up on this theme. “In
abandoning hope that one way of life will continue, we open up a space for
alternative hopes,” wrote Tommy Lynch (2017).
Home-schooling 7 : Easter egg cards, reading a page of the book, some educational tv with Dad, tv in the afternoon while Mum had a meeting, grumpiness at switching it off again, a worksheet from school, the worksheets from school are not inspiring, but we nearly got through a whole one – spot the 7 differences. I could only find 6. Little progress on Kira doing things alone, and I wonder, I really wonder, how this is going to affect her. So much time with Mum / Dad. Very little time with Mum and Dad together, and she doesn’t really see any other humans, or animals. The time she spends alone is if she wakes up early and we are asleep, she just lies in the bed next to us and has quiet time.
Home-activism 6 : I had a meeting with XR Youth and will help them find some funding 🙂
Day 15 – Family hospitalisations, drama and cabin fever
Day 16/17 online pub quiz, british media, digital detox, coronavirus test on brother in law doesn’t give the correct result.
Day 18. Lockdown is now normal / meeting a friend / dance party
Day 19 Bernat’s brother tests positive for COVID-19 / rain
Day 20 – Boredom hits hard
Day 21 Desperation, seeds, immunity passports?
Day 22 – We are not “working from home”. There is a crisis and we are trying to work
Day 23-24 Dandelion eating, stats on how long Bernat’s brothers COVID lasted, reflections on how indigenous knowledge will save us.. that kind of thing and more!
Day 25 another Monday. Tears, playlist cheating, connecting to the natural world from your window, and Jessica’s cross border adventure
Day 26 Birdwatching, making maths more interesting, Bo Jo in ICU
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