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Important Notice: Today is Friday!

Posted by: on 24-04-2020

It's funny how the days have started to flow into each other.  It is easy to forget when there is no obvious schedule.  Say what you want about school  (in your head; I definitely don't want to hear you effing and jeffing!), but it does make things simpler.  First thing you have Maths, and then, your favourite lesson (obviously English), followed by break - ooh, those waffles from the canteen and then more stuff and then, after a while you go home.  Some days are better than others, but you know what to expect.  Students with Speech, Communication and Langauge Difficulties have been well-documented to find comfort in routine.  It's not just those students, it is most people.  And a lack of routine can lead to anxiety.  That is normal.  If you check out social media, there will be lots of wonderful, uplifting posts about how this time in self-isolation, about how people are finding new hobbies, how they have suddenly learnt how to split the atom using only a knitting needle and a blob of strawberry jam.  Great. I'm really happy for them.  But if you look further,  you'll see posts about how people are finding it hard to self-isolate and not just because they can't pop out and buy a winter melon milk bubble tea with black pearls.

I have ups and downs.  One day I am able to cook, clean, do some research, interact with my children and watch birds out of the window with a beatific smile on my face.  On other days, I lie on the sofa with my face turned towards the TV, my mind filled with despair.  Most days it is a mixture of both and a kind of middling feeling.  I remind myself every day that it is alright.  These are strange times and nobody has gone through this before.  We are all making it up as we go along.  And that is brilliant and scary.  But the thing is, we can do it.  If we're making it up, we can adapt it to suit ourselves and play to our strengths.

One way I have found that helps is honesty.  WIth those in the house.  If someone asks if I'm ok, I tell them the truth.  I ask them too and they tell me the truth too.  If we're a little wobbly, we can support each other - mostly by baking or watching rubbish on the television.  I think what  it really boils down to is that you show someone you care.  As you'll know from English and Drama, the best stories are where the plot is shown to you, not explained (There is a great character in Austin Powers - no, you can't watch it until you're 15 - called Basil Exposition.  He explains plot points in great detail).  It can be difficult to explain your emotions to others in words.  That is what the Zones of Regulation are great for.  The fabulous zones have emotions written down in them and you can just point to the zone.  It is very liberating when you don't have the words and, if you train your parents well enough, they can use it too.  Because they're unsure too.  Unless they know something no one else does.  They may show their love for you by making you your favourite dinner, by asking if you want to watch a film with them.  By asking how you're doing on Google Classroom.  All the time.  Wanting to sit and read what you've got to do and suggest ways to help.

How annoying is that?  They want to know what you're doing.  Well, that and HOW you're doing.  Because even if they took your brain out of your head (not like the Egyptians; that would be messy and require a crochet hook), they won't know if you're ok with what is being set on Google Classroom.  You need to tell them.  And if it's too much, you need to tell them.  They may be able to help, but even if they can't, just the act of telling someone can make it easier.  As Captain Jack says in Doctor Who: You are not alone.  Your teachers are there too, not next to you - that would be creepy and hellish - but they are there to explain in more detail if you need it.  And they may actually know what they're talking about...

So, perhaps the important notice is not that today is Friday, although that does help (does anyone have pants or socks with days of the week on them?  That may be a way of remembering).  Perhaps the important notice is to communicate.  And we don't always communicate through words.


Stay safe.


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