It’s Day 59.
Today was a day full of big ups and big downs.
We just finished the first ever virtual 5th Grade Promotion Ceremony and it went really well! We made a recorded version first to have in case anything went wrong when we went live and then we went straight into the live version 5 minutes later. Man! News anchors work harder than I thought they did! All that mike on, mike off, speak now, but not now—it’s a challenge! But the difference between doing it without an audience versus with an audience, even our virtual one, was night and day! It’s really amazing how the energy of all the people present can come through a computer screen and reach you like that. Thank you to everyone who came today and a huge thank you to our fabulous 5th graders who were such an inspiration to all of us throughout this whole year and right on into virtual learning. You are powerhouse students and you certainly kept your teachers on their teaching toes! Great work! We are going to miss you so much it hurts. We love you guys!!
That was the big up of the day. The big down of the day came only about an hour before we started rehearsal for the ceremony. We received urgent news from the district that we would have to cancel the Fernbank Caravan tomorrow. Here is the message that the PTA sent out just a bit ago:
Dear Fernbank Parents, Students, and Teachers,
The PTA was just informed by DCSD that we must postpone the Fernbank Caravan scheduled for tomorrow. The District sent a clear directive today that all events that involve staff being on campus, at locations in the community, or traveling throughout neighborhoods should be canceled immediately, including events sponsored by associated organizations. We will reschedule it with the same format and route just as soon as the District lifts this ban.
We are sad about this postponement and promise to reschedule as soon as it is deemed safe and permissible by DeKalb County Schools.
I was really crushed. Adam Francois-Watkins & Dana Borda have been the Caravan Masterminds, so I called them immediately and we worked through our sorrow and frustration to figure out what to do next. We went through all the stages of grief in record time, because we really didn’t have time to do anything else. We came to the place where we realize that the District must have made that decision for good reasons, even if we weren’t privy to them. We could verbalize that we understood that there are always things that we don’t get to know and things that are probably really good reasons for the cancellation. But we also could verbalize that we were really sad and frustrated and hurt and angry. Maybe it was even a little loud. And possibly PG rated (not too much worse, I promise!) But we worked through it.
And it left me thinking, “Why am I so deeply disturbed and upset that they rained on our parade?” and the answer is so clear. We miss each other. Virtual is such a great alternative to not seeing each other at all, but there is a deep, visceral need to see each other in the flesh, alive and well. And we were all going to get to see each other tomorrow, alive and in the flesh. It was going to be a validation and a reassurance that we were indeed all alive and well and that was going to be a deep reassurance that we aren’t going to get now. And that is my real sorrow.
I also had two amazing Principals-for-the-Day who were going to be the Grand Marshals of the Caravan and I am sad for them that they won’t get to do that tomorrow. Elena & Easton—you two will get your chance at being principal someday! We will all have our moment to reconnect and see each other live and in person. And that will truly be a day to celebrate!
But even so, today we still have so much to be grateful for. All these bright, lively faces of our 5th graders celebrating their accomplishments over the last 6 (really 7 with Pre-K) years! Another year of accomplishments for all of our students! Summertime and the promise of lazy days without the shadow of schoolwork to do! And the care and commitment of our Fernbank community—it is kind of beautiful that we are this sad about not getting to see each other because it means we really do care about one another. And that is not going to change, regardless of what comes.
Enjoy your evening & know that some day we will be able to ride in caravans and wave from the sidewalks to one another, but today I wave to you from my little computer and give thanks that you all are part of the Fernbank Nation.
Love & hugs,