In which I guess it’s spring now

This little guy comes up al by his lonesome every year right around this time, in the little patch of what used to be vines and is now a weedy hellscape right outside our front door. You can see that nothing around it is really alive yet, and none of the trees are budding (well, barely, maybe, a couple of them) and the grass is still basically dead. So this little flower– which, again, is all by itself and wasn’t planted there on purpose– is really the earliest sign of impending spring that we get.

Other than the weather, of course. It’s been gorgeous all week. Walks have been taken. This is a weird week around here; it’s the last week of the quarter, and I always try to reserve at least a couple of in-class days at the end of the quarter for my kids to turn in late work and improve their grades. There are no penalties at all for late work this school year– have I talked about this? Surely I have– because I have no real control over these kids’ time. I have heard far too many students tell me that they missed class because they were babysitting or their parents needed them to go somewhere or just whatever to be penalizing kids for late work right now. Go ahead, turn a quarter’s worth of work in in the last three days of the quarter. If you manage to get good grades on everything under those circumstances I don’t see a reason to penalize you for your timing. Screw it.

Anyway, point is I’m not doing a lot at work this week other than answering questions as they come up, which keeps me busy in some classes and means that I might as well be invisible in others; there’s no directed instruction going on right now, and there won’t be any until Monday. Friday is a teacher record day, which will be even less of a thing than usual. I typically regard TRDs as days off even though I go to work, and in fact I’m planning on heading into the building for a bit on Friday to do some stuff in my room. I have less of a grading load than usual because everything being online has made grading obscenely easy this year, especially with a couple of tricks I just learned about how Google Forms operates that have streamlined things even further.

I am, right now, tentatively planning on returning to work after Spring Break. I’ll need a letter from my doctor, which hopefully won’t be super complicated to acquire; it turns out that if your doctor writes a letter saying you shouldn’t be working during a global pandemic, HR wants another letter from your doctor saying my bad, never mind before they let you wander back into their buildings. My second shot is scheduled for the 25th, and Spring Break is the first week of April, so by the time that’s over I’ll be well past any side effects and all that delicious, delicious immunity will have kicked in.

I’ll have the flu in three days, I guarantee it. My immune system is shit under the best of circumstances, and what with having been home for a year I’m expecting to get the hell kicked out of me even if I don’t come down with Covid. Maybe continuing to be masked up will prevent it. Hopefully so; we’ll see. I haven’t been sick since I spent the entirety of last March sick; at this point it will probably qualify as a nice change of pace.

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Luther M. Siler

The author of SKYLIGHTS, THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES and several other books.