and so it begins

Yesterday, the horror came in gusts; one minute, my students and I discussed strategies for locating and vetting ‘accurate’ and ‘useful’ information and resources for our school community, the next, I was dazed by the reality of a totally unprepared individual taking over the presidency of the most powerful nation in the world (not to mention the oppressive policies of the party with which he is aligned and must now rely – despite their acrimony during the campaign). So, where, usually research projects are rote activities or, at best, thought experiments, intellectual exercises, what the kids and I are working on after generating Tuesday’s list is immediately critical. In my body I feel that, because the political situation is, at worst, apocalyptically unknown or, at best, familiarly, grindingly repressive, we must prepare now. I am simultaneously motivated and exhausted.

I have to do groceries, take the car into the shop, break down boxes for recycling, water the plants, do the laundry, shape my eyebrows, make my bed. It is bizarre to do all of those things while ‘they’ are in Washington beginning the change-over. My only solace when I look up from doing the dishes and think, ‘what in the world… is this real?’ is knowing that at least I’m doing some work to prepare. It’s small solace; in the back of my mind I wonder, ‘will it be enough?’

Is this what it will be for the foreseeable future? No, no, it will be far worse…

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