For most of us on the college and university academic calendar, the disjointed, overwhelming, surreal and non-spatio-temporal spring semester of 2020 is staggering to an end. College administrations have already been frantically calculating about what is possible for fall 2020, with some having declared an all-online semester, and others (like mine) wishing and hoping to include some face-to-face instruction (who knows how…)
But for now, there’s an opportunity for us to take a breath. It’s mid-May, and where I live the flowers and trees are bursting out with new fresh color. Normally I would be heading to South Carolina to see family, and then to Dallas, TX for my friend Matt’s lovely conference on Medicine, Science and Technology. But nothing is normal right now, except for those flowers and trees.
Okay, moving on from that: now that my grades are in (and by now, I mean “just now– like 45 minutes ago.”), I want to do something to mark the space between the end of the term and the beginning of my summer work (academic writing, non-academic writing, course planning, teaching a summer course, among other things).
But what to do?
One of the unexpected side effects of large-scale physical distancing is our new access to just about everything everywhere on Zoom. Samantha is cycling with famous and non-famous cyclists from all over the world, and some of my logic students joined me for a free restorative yoga class. We are working out, tuning in, focusing on our breath, stretching, you name it, all from our individual spaces. Here are some zoom options I’m looking at:
More yoga: I’ve been using this enforced home time to try out Zoom classes by non-local yoga teachers. Many studios offer cheap introductory rates, making it possible for more people to try them out. I’m definitely getting a one-week pass for Nest Yoga studio in Oakland, CA. One of their teachers, Leslie Howard, is a specialist on pelvic floor yoga.
I know, you’re maybe wincing a little. But this is a thing. And we are feminists here, which to me means speaking truth about women’s bodies. Okay, I’m done with that for now. Except to tell you that Leslie wrote a book called Pelvic Liberation, which I immediately ordered. Yes, I’ll be blogging about it.
So, Nest Yoga has a ton of classes that look intriguing to me, and I can partake of one week of them for $25. Seems like a deal.
Also, I can take more Zoom classes offered by my local studio, Artemis. I’d enjoy spending more time with the teachers I know and who know me.
More Meditation: Meditation is something I’ve been doing off and on for a couple of decades now. I’ve been in an off phase for a while, but once we went into stay-at-home mode, I found that I needed the focus and calm and present-here-now feeling that I sometimes get from meditation. My friend Norah told me about this site, Trike Daily, which has live streaming meditation sessions and loads of recorded sessions, all by well-known Buddhist meditation teachers.
I bought Sharon Saltzberg’s book Real Happiness, and she has QR codes to downloadable meditations. I will be checking them out.
Strength training: I got started on this before the shutdown of everything, purchasing a 12-week plan rom Bad Yogi. Honestly, it was a little much for me, but I could modify the workouts. However, I didn’t modify them, I just avoided them. But, today is a new day, and I am still interested in strength training. And those Bad Yogi workouts are still there.
One thing I haven’t done is explored live zoom strength training classes. I know a number of the bloggers do this, and others have set up at-home equipment and schedules. I admit to being a bit at sea about this.
But maybe all this is beside the point, re vacation. Maybe it’s time to step away from the computer and refrain from all unnecessary Zooming for a bit. Even with physical distancing and mandatory mask-wearing in public (it’s required in MA, and I encourage everyone to do this all the time), I can still GO OUTSIDE.
Maybe I should just go outside. On foot. On my bike. With my phone camera. With a water bottle and a snack. It’s a thought.
What do you think, readers? If you were taking a week-long vacation, what would you do, given the rules and recommendations for where you are? I’d love to hear from you, and I will report back– both with my plans and with your comments.