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

Race and Helplessness

How do you write about what has been happening in America as a white man? My helplessness and shock at what I have been witnessing are tiny feelings compared to the terror and anger which must be being felt by the black community there. I cannot even put myself into their place. It is simply an impossible proposition for any white person, and especially a man. You see, nobody judges me according to my skin colour. We are all judged in some way, but these verdicts come upon by others usually remain in their own minds. This has not been, and is still not, the experience for many people in the world.

Continue reading “Race and Helplessness”

Havens of Nature

Who else is missing nature right now? I know I am. During the current crisis many of us have had to become accustomed to spending more time surrounded by four walls. The problem is that what you do most of the time becomes the new normal, doesn’t it?

People are slowly beginning to emerge from lockdown in many countries, and in the Czech Republic most things are almost back to normal. One more week and most restrictions will have been lifted. One more week of face masks, at least the compulsory use anyway. One more week of no schools, until a weird sanitised form will be reintroduced for those who need it. One more week until people can really begin to relax. But will we?

Nature was supposed to be the escape during all of this. Get away from the town and get some fresh air. The problem is that everyone else felt the same desperation and before you knew it the forests were full and the town centres were empty. Then we faced a weird choice. If we wanted some freedom we actually had to return to the human creations, heading away from what should have been more natural.

Continue reading “Havens of Nature”

Appreciation

He lives in an apartment, which from the outside may look like a uniform grey block of uniformity. But he doesn’t spend a lot of time looking at the outside of the block, so it has never bothered him really.

Currently, he is alone. Well, except for the rabbit anyway. He loves that rabbit, but just like children it needs taking care of and to be taught the rudiments of good behaviour. At least the children eventually stopping peeing on the floor, but he is not so sure the rabbit will ever learn.

His wife is shopping and his children are with their grandparents, so he has a bit of time to himself. But, as ever, he has too many things which he would like to be doing with his time. Will he ever learn? He is currently spending part of his, supposed, relaxation time chasing that rabbit around the living room. It’s frustrating but it could be worse, he reminds himself.

Continue reading “Appreciation”

Deep Down

Looking into the depths can be a dangerous business. Wouldn’t it be easier to just splash around in the shallow end? Currently many of us have time on our hands, time to think, to dream, to worry. I guess the most important thing is acceptance, both of the situation and of what arises from it. That can be hard work sometimes though, can’t it? Yet, right now, while I look at a sun dappled tree, acceptance seems easy.

© Neil Hayes and neilhayeswrites