Listening/Interpreting… Who’s in sync?

Apr 4, 2020 | 0 comments

“Think, think, think.”

I’m finding that there are people putting the accent on the “wrong syl-lah-ble” (at least from my viewpoint) with regard to the health directives given to us by Governor Inslee.  I guess it’s a personality thing — like seeing the glass half empty or half full.

In the first place, maybe my interpretation of “directive” is stronger than some others who are treating his words more like “suggestions.”  I can see why.  I think he has been much  too “soft” especially with regard to the circumstances appropriate for going outside.  To be fair, the Governor has tried to be firmer since seeing that people are still crowding the streets of our cities and paying little heed to his stay-at-home order.  But… still not firm enough to my way of thinking.

Now, the order has been extended until May 4 with the caveat that it may be even longer.  And still Inslee is careful to say that can Washingtonians can continue to go for walks, runs, and bike rides outside if they maintain a six-foot distance from others.  In my mind, he continues to give the inch that prompts people to take the mile.

How many legs?

For me, Long Beach School’s current “We’re going on a bear hunt” is the perfect (and downright appalling) example of pushing the envelope.  The instructions from the staff to our community’s adults are:  “Place a bear in your window, on your porch or fence or anywhere children can safely see it from a distance.”

And to kids:  “Walk or drive your neighborhoods and count and classify your sightings.  How many bears can you find?  What color are they?  How big, how small?  Are they stuffed or drawn?  Did you spot other stuffed animals in windows, too?”

Bringing Fresh Air Indoors

I appreciate the intent — an educational counting/classification activity that also gets kids out in the fresh air.  It’s the “out” part I object to.  In my mind, now is not the time and the activity is fraught with pitfalls.  Why not have a similar activity inside the house?  Instead of bears, make it legs — table legs, chair legs, legs on toys…  Fresh air is a good thing, but not quite this way and probably not right now.  Not when the risks are so high and people are so likely to relax their attention.

And why don’t the instructions at least include “wear a mask” and “keep a six foot distance from those you meet.”   I’m only glad I’m no longer teaching and don’t have to “own” that activity.   I can only hope that the activity is rescinded before it leads to an outcome none of us want.


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