Most of us may not be feeling exactly blissful with all the issues related to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. However, bliss is a matter of perspective. We may not like our self quarantining and social distancing. We may not appreciate having the children that we’ve paid thousands of dollars to send to college being sent home from campus to do their learning from our dining room table. We may have health concerns ourselves, or worry about our vulnerable or exposed friends or families.
Being blissful is not denying reality or running from negative emotions we might be experiencing about a situation. But it is about taking a breath, calming our fears or worries or anger or disappointment, and finding something to be grateful about or to enjoy. If we are here, if we are reading blogs, then we are alive. Times like these can encourage us to appreciate the gift of life and to celebrate each moment that we have.
I find appropriate humor to be a wonderful mood booster. I teach literature, and on Tuesday for the first time ever, I taught my entire class online using Zoom. Fortunately, I already conduct a lot of the work between physical classes using the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS), so I was already a step ahead of some educators. Most of us who teach physical classes are scrambling to master technology that will allow us to continue to serve our students without exposing them (or us) to increased physical risk to infection.
Although I was a little stressed out about it beforehand, the class went really smoothly. The students weren’t phased by the technology at all, and we didn’t have any trouble connecting or conducting our class online. There was one Zoom capability that I wanted to use but couldn’t figure out how to do it, but we worked around that. I’ll have it down next time, and now I know that we can conduct our class this way for as long as is necessary. So YAY for that!
Having gone through all this, I really enjoyed this video by a history professor from Missouri State, Michael Bruening, who adapted Gloria Gaynor’s anthem, “I Will Survive,” to describe the difficulties teachers are having converting their classes to a totally online format. I had to chuckle, because that was totally me a couple of days ago…
This is particularly appropriate because earlier this week, Gloria Gaynor posted a video of herself on TikTok timing the suggested 20 seconds of handwashing by singing a portion of “I Will Survive.” Singing this song while washing our hands means that not only are we performing a responsible personal hygiene task, we are actually adding a lyrical affirmation of our health and wellbeing as we do so!
So as we all deal with whatever we need to deal with to adapt to these unusual times, see if you can’t infuse what you are doing with a little fun and a little humor. It helps to uplift us all.