Link roundup 5/29

About teaching children life skills.

On cultural memory — or lack thereof — of the flu pandemic of 1918.

A reopened restaurant in Germany gives patrons hats with pool noodlesto help with social distancing.

As places reopen, here is an NPR article that rates infection risk of various activities, from haircuts to restaurants to camping.

Things white people can do for racial justice.  A great list with a variety of things to do and steps to take. 

On white women, black people, and power.

31 Children’s books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance.

An article from 2017 for white people desiring to be allies.

Live updates on the George Floyd case, protests, and more from the Minneapolis area.

 

 

 

Odds & ends

It’s been two weeks since I took my final exam for Anatomy & Physiology II. Since it’s a two-part, yearlong course, it’s a little strange to be done with it. Part me goes: yay! Another part of me goes: I want more biology! I want to learn more!

That said, it’s also been nice to have some down time before summer session starts.

Some things I have been doing lately:

Making fruit infusion teas. I boil water in the electric tea kettle, put several tea bags in a jar/container, and then put frozen or fresh fruit in it. After letting the tea cool down a little, I put it in the refrigerator and later drink it as an iced tea. The result: a fruity version of the tea of my choice.

Baking in general. This isn’t especially special or unique, as baking bread, cookies or whatever is definitely a trend in these quarantine times. I’ve done several quick breads, such as lemon and chocolate (not together, separately). Since yeast is scarce in stores here right now, my mother-in-law sent us some and I’ve made several loafs of regular bread. I’m perfecting — or at least getting better — at creating a loaf that is the size and consistency I want.

Poetry dates. My love and I have done this twice now. We pick up a few poetry books from our shelf and take turns reading each other poetry. It’s fun and sweet and a great way to spend a small block of time, especially in the evening.

Posting some items on Etsy. I haven’t done this in a long time, aside from renewing my oracle card listing. I’ve been doing a little bit of organizing and sorting through my jewelry and art inventory. I’ve been creating listings that include a piece of jewelry, a print, a sticker, and a few other surprise items, all at a reduced price. It’s sort of a grab bag/”choose your own adventure” type of thing. Check them out here if you’re curious or interested.

jewelry and art set
Recently sold jewelry and art set. Each set includes one piece of jewelry, a print, stickers, and more (like cards from the first proof of my oracle cards)!

Doing art for the sake of doing art. Creating things to sell has definitely encouraged me to intentionally make art over the past few years, but that has lost some of its charm for me. Just creating and seeing what emerges is a totally different experience for me. It’s much more about the process than the final product.

Some things I need to continually remind myself about:

Drink more water. I know that I’ve upped my caffeinated tea intake quite a bit. Sometimes it’s about consistently feeling tired/draggy. Sometimes it’s meant as a mood boost, and sometimes it’s both. As usual, I do generally stop drinking anything caffeinated before 3:00 p.m. so it doesn’t affect my sleep. And I’ve been feeling better since I’ve been reminding myself to drink water along with my tea or any other beverage.

That it’s okay not to feel okay all the time. That’s true at any given time, and it’s especially true in the middle of a pandemic. I am prone to periods of feeling down; it comes and goes in waves. It helps to breathe through it rather than fighting it or trying to analyze it.

That any productivity is good. And that there’s value in doing nothing or not much too.

That spending too much time on social media and reading people’s comments (whether on social media or articles, etc.) is not good for my mental health. I often feel heavy after I’ve been scrolling for a while. I’ve been limiting my time on Facebook over the past week and it’s been helping my mood overall.

Speaking of mental health, it’s now been six years since I checked myself into a hospital for suicidal ideation. It’s a great reminder of how far I’ve come in that time and how much I appreciate the life I’ve created.

 

Thoughts, reflections, update.

In terms of being and staying at home due to COVID-19, I have to say it’s a great time to an introvert. While I do miss doing things in person, namely my supplemental instruction sessions and my anatomy & physiology class, being alone or just hanging out with my spouse feels good and natural to me. I have far fewer times of just needing space and downtime because, well, I have a lot.

That being said, I do miss seeing friends and family, too. I am sad that I didn’t get to see my longest-term friend (who lives across town) before all this. I disappointed that I didn’t get to go to Albuquerque for spring break (which is now!) to see my dad and friends. And so it goes. I see some video calls in my future.

As far as sensory processing issues go, as always, it’s mixed. On one hand, there’s less external stimulation. Life is generally quieter, there are fewer places to go, etc. On the other hand, all the change and upending of my routines has been challenging for my nervous system. This was especially true in the week where everything changed from in-person to online, where I couldn’t anticipate what would change next from day to day and I often felt overwhelmed and overstimulated. Days often feel long, like several days are packed into one; and at the same time, it’s amazing to me to realize it’s been three weeks since my classes went remote (it feels like both a short and long time). Now that I’m on spring break, I’m letting down somewhat, too, which has led to more exhaustion and emotional release.

Here’s a great article on how emergency remote learning is not the same as planned online learning. The current switch to remote learning takes classes that were in-person to virtual and was incredibly abrupt. I, for example, am taking a biology class with a lab. While the professors are doing the best they can, the lab especially translates less well to an online format because it completely changes the hands-on element. I’m now watching videos of a professor pointing out structures on anatomical models and projecting histology slides. He’s doing a great job and making it as entertaining as possible, and it’s really not the same at all. Plus, some of the more experimental parts of lab have to be taken out altogether because his time to film these demonstrations is limited and it’s much different to watch an experiment than actually perform it. Still, I’m glad to still be getting to learn as much of the material as I can.

As I said, I’m leading my supplemental instruction (SI) sessions online. Here’s some more information about supplemental instruction in case you’re curious. As an SI leader, I sit in on a class I’ve taken before (and done well in) and then create activities based on the material. This semester, I’m doing Anatomy & Physiology I; last semester I did Introduction to Life Sciences. I’m more of a peer support activity leader than a tutor; I ask far more questions than I answer. It’s much, much different to conduct sessions online. In person, I’m able to respond to students’ nonverbal cues or see when they’ve completed an activity. Online, I have no such ability to do that. On the live conference platform, there’s still the ability for students to draw out processes and mark on the presentation, but it’s not the same as handing a student a marker and having them draw or write something on the board. On the plus side, I’ve getting to learn new software and have regular meetings with other SI leaders and coordinators, and that’s been nice.

Some things I am grateful for:

  • That I completed a dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) program and have a wonderful therapist. I have an arsenal of coping skills that come in handy when working with fear, anxiety, or lack of acceptance. Acceptance is often a challenge for me, but practicing it now comes in handy. I can think things like: “I don’t want things to be like this,” and there’s not much else to do about it (unless I want to expend a bunch of energy) except accept what’s happening.
  • That I have a wonderful spouse that I adore and I’m incredibly compatible with and that we enjoy both spending time together and doing our separate activities quietly around each other. I’m especially grateful that he’s working from home now.
  • Getting to see music concerts online for free or inexpensively! Some have been on Facebook; others have been on another platform. The Shut In & Sing festival has a great assortment of folk and Americana singer-songwriters and groups. Many of these musicians don’t come and perform in Las Vegas, so it’s been wonderful to see and hear them. Also, here’s a link to NPR’s running list (that’s regularly updated!) to online music shows of many genres.
  • Doing more Nia. As a Nia teacher, I get NiaTV as part of my annual membership package, but it’s now doing 30 days free for anyone if you want to get a sampling of Nia while you’re stuck at home. It has full-hour active workouts as well as shorter ones and some Moving to Heal routines that are either standing or in a chair. I find doing Nia incredibly calming and invigorating at the same time. For me, Nia is as much a tool (or perhaps more so) to regulate my nervous system as it is to stay physically active. Doing Nia daily during this time has definitely helped soothe my anxiety. I’ve also been taking a few virtual classes with Nia teachers around the country, and that’s been a great way to both dance and feel connected.
  • The hummingbird that is currently nesting on the plant hook on our porch. I don’t know if it’s the same bird as last year (I’d have to know her specific markings for that). It’s nice to have this visitor, this sweet reminder of spring. The nest has been there since we moved in nearly two years ago, so she mainly made a few additions and changes and settled right in.

So things for me right now are mixed. Definitely some highlights and some upheaval as well. I don’t really expect anything different, though; life as I (and we) know it has been upended. I’m doing my best to stay healthy, both physically and mentally, and take each moment as it comes.

Link roundup 3/28

A reflection on these changing times: That discomfort you’re feeling is grief.

A syllabus: Duke University’s list of books for self- and community care in uncertain times.

Shut In and Sing: A folk and Americana online music festival. Performances several nights a week! Pay what you can! The general website, StageIt, has a variety of other shows too.

Broadway dancers are teaching at-home workouts based on Broadway musicals.

Starting April 2nd, the National Theatre in London is going to stream a play every Thursday, which will be available for one week.

James Dyson designed a ventilator and his company (which generally makes vacuums and air dryers) is planning on making 15,000 ventilators.

The Colorado Symphony performs Ode to Joy, each musician playing from their own home.

Several companies are switching their focus on manufacturing needed supplies to healthcare workers and more. Some examples here. The fashion industry is stepping forward to make more face masks.

On the making and effectiveness of handmade face masks. Instructions, patterns, and more from Jo Ann fabrics.

From the New York Times: F.A.Q. on Stimulus Checks, Unemployment and the Coronavirus Plan. A hub for help for various financial resources, with links on everything from how to apply for unemployment benefits to help for renters and people with mortgages.

Link roundup 3/20

Netflix Party: a Chrome extension that allows you and your family and friends to watch movies together.

Speaking of Netflix, Netflix announces fund to support film and television workers during this time.

A list of live virtual concerts to watch during the coronavirus shutdown.

The zoo in Cleveland is offering free online biology courses for children.

An Italian restaurant in Los Angeles is offering free online cooking classes.

Watch animals at the Georgia Aquarium. Read about the “animal field trips” at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

Three minutes of cats and dominoes.

Amazing grassroots efforts happening during this time. More on how people are using online tools to help others.

Time Out New York has created page for things to do with “time in,” both in New York City and otherwise.

Thursday, March 19 marked the earliest first day of spring (in the Northern Hemisphere) in over 124 years.

Viral false animal stories: A reminder to fact-check, even with uplifting and heartwarming stories.

Link roundup: at-home activity ideas

I’ve been compiling a list of links people have shared on social media, and some I found on my own. Here are some ideas on some things to do and how to cope if you’re stuck at home due to the spread of COVID-19.

If you have more ideas, resources, links, please feel free to share in the comments!

Stuck at home? Need a break from the news? Have a theatrical or artistic experience!

Virtual museum tours. Links for virtual tours for 12 museums around the world.

Coloring! Download free coloring books from museums.

Cutting-edge streaming videos of performances (theater, dance, etc.) from On the Boards is free from now through the end of April. Use code ARTATHOME20.

30 days free of listening to over 600 orchestral concerts from the Berliner Philharmoniker.

The Metropolitan Opera is offering free streaming of past performances starting on March 16.

Activities for kids:

A Google Docs spreadsheet full of ideas and links.

Scholastic now has a website offering free courses and activities to help kids learn at home while they’re out of school.

Some options for exercising at home:

Down Dog (app): Free until April 1st. Began as a yoga app and now also has apps for barre, HIIT, and 7-minute workouts.

NiaTV: Free for 30 days. Holistic dance fitness routines, healing movement sessions, quick workouts, and more.

Mental health, coping, and self-care

How to deal with your coronavirus anxiety.

From On Being: A listening care package for uncertain times.

From the American Psychological Association: both general mental health tips and resources for mental health providers.

Link roundup: at-home ideas and activities.

I’ve been compiling a list of links people have shared on social media, and some I found on my own. Here are some ideas on some things to do and how to cope if you’re stuck at home due to the spread of COVID-19.

If you have more ideas, resources, links, please feel free to share in the comments!

Stuck at home? Need a break from the news? Have a theatrical or artistic experience!

Virtual museum tours. Links for virtual tours for 12 museums around the world.

Coloring! Download free coloring books from museums.

Cutting-edge streaming videos of performances (theater, dance, etc.) from On the Boards is free from now through the end of April. Use code ARTATHOME20.

30 days free of listening to over 600 orchestral concerts from the Berliner Philharmoniker.

The Metropolitan Opera is offering free streaming of past performances starting on March 16.

Activities for kids:

A Google Docs spreadsheet full of ideas and links.

Scholastic now has a website offering free courses and activities to help kids learn at home while they’re out of school.

Some options for working out at home:

Down Dog (app): Free until April 1st. Began as a yoga app and now also has apps for barre, HIIT, and 7-minute workouts.

NiaTV: Free for 30 days. Holistic dance fitness routines, healing movement sessions, quick workouts, and more.

Mental health, coping, and self-care

How to deal with your coronavirus anxiety.

From On Being: A listening care package for uncertain times.

From the American Psychological Association: both general mental health tips and resources for mental health providers.