Around the Farm – One Day at a Time

Posted: September 24, 2020

Raise your hand if you love constant change, living on the edge and a wild sense of chaos.

Anyone?

Well, congratulations then! 2020 is the year for you!

But if you’re like me (raising hand here) and crave routine, stability and a sense of normalcy, I think it’s safe to say this year has its share of challenges.

Here in Indian Creek School District, we spent the summer watching as staff and teachers modified the school procedures, classroom layouts and overall plans for back to school.

We added not only crayons and glue to our (online) shopping carts, but also child-sized masks with unicorns and dinosaurs.

As the big day approached, we had choices to make about what school would look like for our kiddos. And trust me, I’m grateful that we even had a choice.

New terminology like “remote learning” and “hybrid model” became part of our daily conversation and are standard speak among my group of parent friends.

As I write this, my “little” kids in kindergarten and first grade have the opportunity to go into their classrooms every day.

Our high schooler is going to school using a “hybrid” model. She goes to school for two days and learns from home for two days. Two on, two off.

This is in an effort to keep the number of students who are physically at the school in compliance with the state guidelines.

How’s that for a senior year?

After heading back to school in August, we emptied Eleanor’s folder from her backpack at the end of the week. On her first writing assignment as a 1st grader, she wrote that she was “scared” going back to school.

Not because of the virus, but because she didn’t know anyone.

This left us completely baffled. Of course she knew people. She was at that very school last year.

But after some careful consideration of this year’s circumstances, we realized she didn’t have familiar faces to recognize. The familiar faces of last year weren’t there because they were covered.

I bet you’ve encountered this, too.

Have you run into someone at the grocery store and not known who they were? It happens to me all the time.

Heck, my own sister shopped at my farmers market booth and it took me five minutes to realize it was her. In addition to her mask, she was also wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses. I didn’t stand a chance at recognizing the girl I grew up with. Sidenote: I think she’s secretly training to be a spy.

The same applied to our first grader when seeing the same teachers and staff. By day two, she was glad to have “met” so many people at school!

As we head into harvest, which will no doubt be an early one this year, it’s going to require some modification, too.

I think at some point this fall, we’ll be juggling harvesting corn and soybeans right along with facilitating learning at home.

If we’re looking for a bright spot here, I guess that means more family quality time in the combine, along with some serious multitasking for parents.

Hauling grain to the elevator will be different, though we already saw changes to that over the summer.

By the time this article reaches your hands, things will have changed yet again. I’d be willing to bet on it. So for now, we’re staying the course. Tackling things one day at a time. And when something changes, we will undoubtedly think, “Plot twist!”

DEANNE FRIEDERS – WATERMAN FARM WOMAN, MOM, AND COOK


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