Monday evening I was passing the 76 station on Broadway when it hit me: This is exactly what education needs! And yes, I’m joking superintendent Shields, but hear me out, there is a point.


Individualized learning plans, huge parent and community involvement, teachers as guides and not entertainers, students realizing that those little electronic boxes are about more than Tik Tok videos. Hmmmmm.


I hear a familiar voice and look over to see an ex-student manning the mini-mart.


“Hey.” I say stopping the required 6 feet away.


“Walt! What is up?” he replies with surprising vigor for the times.


“Awesome, you still have a job and a reason to leave the house. That’s two things most people would kill for about now.” I was on my bike and the endorphins were churning, I’m usually not this cheery.


“What’s going on with school?” he inquired.


“Today was connect and check with students. Tomorrow we start in on the real business.” I say, pointing to my bike bag filled with the following:

-Copies of the SVHS Algebra 1 and Geometry 1 academic year pacing guides. What I have been following this year with limited success but I might as well continue some continuity with the High School.

-“The Biology Coloring Book” one of my favorite examples of doing as learning.

-“The 20thCentury ArtBook” cause it’s smaller than my other art books and I’m on my bike for gosh sake.

-“Exploring Art” Glencoe Textbook, might be a good time to hone the skills and finally learn what Fauvism is (an art movement and painting style that made use of wild intense color combinations.) See, we’re already learning stuff.

-“The Museum of Modern Love” the novel I’m reading after finishing “American Dirt” in three days (This is a big thing for me as I usually take about 6 months to read a book and more often lose interest and pile next to my bedside until I get tired of looking at them.)


“Yeah, shouldn’t be too tough turning the next couple of weeks curriculum into ‘distance learning’” I lie because it’s going to be extremely tough to put my screens-are-evil-Project-Based-Learning-multiple-subject curriculum online. But I like challenges and like I said above, this might be exactly what education needs.


“Be safe.” I say riding off toward the plaza.


Things are not looking good in our little town. 4:00 on a Monday and the only people in the plaza are not tourists. The rough boats are out in force, 5 drinking at the fountain, one sleeping nearby on the ground next to the Rose Garden, a few more at the picnic tables another sleeping on the bench across from EDK. Wouldn’t it be nice if next we addressed homelessness and addiction and mental illness after we escape this current nightmare.


I ride down the bike path and have to change my path twice because of excessive people on the path. I wrote last week that people needed to get out-go golfing, play tennis, walk, run, bike, go to the beach. Now golf courses are closed, tennis courts are locked, state parks are closed and I’m sure you saw the pictures of Stinson Beach last weekend. We can still exercise, and you should still exercise, just maintain 6 feet between yourself and others and never go out if you are feeling symptomatic (sore throat, fever, nausea or dizziness, persistent cough, loss of smell).


I appreciate the encouraging words written in chalk on the ground along the path: LOVE, Breathe, Compassion- more random acts of kindness is always good. This will end, things will get better. But this is different than the fires in that we can’t get together and support each other; we have to find other ways. More KSVY sing-alongs at 7pm, less blaming and looking backwards.


I get home and set up my new classroom in the studio. Air B and B is over and I have been trying to find an environment for maximum productivity. I’m like goldilocks checking each surface for its workability. The desk in my daughter’s room is too small, the kitchen table is too high, my son’s desk chair is too soft but the studio desk is juuuust right. Plus I can keep all my stuff in one place that makes my shelter-in-place partner happy.


I sit down and start planning.










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