Post Lockdown: Summer Ends, Back to School

These have been strange times for everyone, and it’s going to be hard to get back to normal life. As a teacher it has been some time since life was completely normal. Teaching from home from March until June, then the summer holidays began. Now I am not complaining about that, believe me. But now it is back to work, and who knows how things will be, and what systems we will have to follow. One thing is for certain, it won’t quite be the return to normal that many people would have been hoping for.

Here, in the Czech Republic, things are fairly normal, but that is only when compared to other countries. Restrictions were lifted quite some time ago, but now there is uncertainty in the air. Children will return to school, as will face masks to our lives. So some rules will come back into force, but which ones? Seemingly, our government can’t decide. They say one thing one day, a few days later they seem to be having second thoughts. Perhaps they should have those second thoughts before they announce anything, at least if they don’t wish to appear foolish.

Luckily us teachers have a week in school before the students return, so there should be time to get everything ironed out. There will also be some time to get used to being back in an office again. Working from, and being at, home more often has become the norm and it may take some time to readjust. I know that returning to a normal life is important, both for me and my family, and I know that it will be a healthy thing for our lives. But, still, I can’t help but feel slightly nervous. We are, after all, entering the unknown.

Words © Neil Hayes and neilhayeswrites

Foreign: Just a word

Foreign.

What’s your first thought? The answer will tell you a lot about yourself. Does it strike you with fear? Or does it evoke a sense of wonder?

It covers most places in the world, most people, most everything. For me, the word evokes a feeling of curiosity and triggers the need to understand and learn. There is so much to learn and appreciate in this world. It doesn’t even have to mean leaving your country, although some people should definitely try this. There are things to learn on your doorstep, we are all foreigners to one another. There is another world inside each person’s mind.

But the further you move from home, the more variety you will find, and also be surprised by the similarities. Smell the air, it’s the same, but with a slightly different aroma. Taste the food, probably the same basics, but with a few additions which you wouldn’t have thought of. It’s the differences which make the world interesting.

It’s just a word but, for me, it stands for excitement. What does it mean to you? Take the test.

Foreign.

© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

The Age of Benightedness

Sometimes it seems that the world is running in reverse gear. The search for knowledge and improvement, as a species, grinding to a halt. Meanwhile, old-fashioned beliefs are coming back to the fore.

Whether it be the return to religious fundamentalism, isolationism or authoritarian rule, there is a movement happening. It is a small movement, for now, but is has a wide appeal.

In the West, people call it populism, but doesn’t every politician wish to be popular? Doesn’t populism just mean pandering? Pandering to the masses. But the problem is, where do the masses get their information from? Can their opinions be trusted? Now this isn’t me calling people stupid, but there is a mass of misinformation out there. None of us are immune, we must be on our guard.

Whatever you may think of countries, and regimes, such as China and Russia, they are run by intelligent people. These people know what they want, and how to get it. Unfortunately other countries, like The United Kingdom and The United States of America, are not quite so organised. Pandering to popular attitudes and fears is at the root of both countries problems.

Britain went for Brexit, with no clear plan of how to achieve it. Now it is floundering, not wishing to reverse course, but just circling the waters, seemingly hoping to run into an idea or solution.

Meanwhile, in America, chaos reigns. A powerful country run by, what? Opinion is split as to whether he is stupid, senile or both. Certainly he is totally lacking in understanding, both of policy and people. A man with no heart, who believes he is the boss and everyone should jump.

So, what do we do? We can all fight our own corner, stand up to ignorance and abhorent ideas. Welcome enquiry and suspicion. Think, before the monsters creep up behind us and it is too late.

© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

via Daily Prompt: Enlighten

Did you say Summer?

The holidays are almost here, a time for fun and relaxation.

Only one more week to go and the school gates will close for the summer.

On the last day we will run from school. Celebrating, shouting, screaming and jumping for joy. Eager to eat, drink and party.

We know it won’t last forever, we will have to return in a couple of months. But, for now, let’s go crazy. I suppose the students will be looking forward to it too.

© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish