Thursday Tidbits

Posted on September 24, 2020 under Thursday Tidbits with no comments yet


Fuzzy picture. Teacher in a haze.


Going back to school in the old days was really quite simple. If you were a student, your parents bought you a package of Hilroys, a few pencils, and an eraser. There was no such thing as backpacks. We carried our books and scribblers under our arms. When it rained, we put them in a bag. If you were well off, throw in a pencil sharpener for good measure. If you were a teacher, you planned lessons. Discipline wasn’t an issue. It all seemed so simple.

I am an elementary school teacher. I am 69. These are not the good old days. Nothing is simple. I am getting to witness the plight of teachers and school administrators as they attempt to keep themselves and students safe in a Covid world. With no disrespect to veterans, it feels like we are preparing for war.

After overcoming several hurdles including the aftermath of a major school renovation and the breakdown of all three school photocopiers, our school is fully operational. The Covid protocols are quite stringent. It just seems so weird to see everyone walking around the school with masks on. While this is a mild inconvenience, it does put some extra strain on students who have hearing impairments who rely on visual cues. English (and French) are second languages for these children. I believe we will receive masks that are see through to assist these students. We also use a wireless microphone to be better heard.

Because the world has gone utterly mad, we also have to plan for lockdowns. Can someone tell me what in the hell happened in the last 40 years while I was asleep in a cave? Are we as a society so screwed up that in addition to teaching young people the three RRR’s, we also have to prepare them for the possibility of someone entering the school with a gun to cause harm?

“Can it be that it was all so simple then,

Or has time rewritten every line.”

The Way We Were – Barbara Streisand

In recent years (decades) it seems that teachers have become a convenient whipping boy for all that ails society, but I can tell you from firsthand accounts, that teaching 40 years ago bears little resemblance to 2020. I am not asking people to hold a pity party, but just be well informed. This is very difficult work. I suspect many of you who tried to home school your children during the school shutdown have a glimpse into the life of a teacher. In related news, the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission reported record sales in the last two quarters!

A few cases of Covid have popped up in our region. Stay tuned.

I have been thinking about a class project. I am not a philatelist but the dearth of stamps at our local post office (they haven’t had any in days) has forced me to use desperate measures. Now some of you likely haven’t purchased a stamp in eons and I suspect that they are on the endangered species list. However, from time to time, a stamp is a necessity especially if you’re trying to pay your phone bill. Please, Len. Don’t go there again. I won’t. Oh you’re damn right I will. Three more phone calls this week and still no resolution to my problem.

Ok. So, here’s the deal. I need a stamp. Actually, several might come in handy, so I am asking each of my faithful readers to mail me a stamp. I know what you must be thinking. “The poor guy has been wandering around the tundra too long and has lost touch with reality.” I now dub this initiative “The Great Stamp…ede”. Please send a stamp, along with a short note and let me know if you might like to become a pen pal to one of my students. I can then have them write you a letter and use your stamp to mail it. Now, how clever is that?! Here’s my address: Len MacDonald. c/o Arsaniq School; C.P. 160, Kangiqsujuaq, Quebec; J0M 1K0.

I received a message from someone I haven’t seen or heard from in a few decades. He suggested that I was suffering from Arcticitis, a word apparently coined by Farley Mowatt. Thanks, P.P. The north is sinking its teeth into me as Maggie said it might.

Have a great weekend.



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Highland Hearing Clinic

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