Celebrations, Events, And Hard Decisions

The day after we get updated information about the plans for holding BG’s recital this year, Hubby gets notified that he will be working from home through the summer. Only critical infrastructure employees will be allowed back in the office.

Hearing that Hubby is going to be allowed to work from home for at least that long was such a massive relief. He works in a large building with a lot of other people. Their set up is currently a semi-shared space that doesn’t work with any kind of distancing. They are working on making changes to the entire building, but options and space are limited, so work from home for those that can is the current state. And I’m so very, very happy about that.

At the same time, BG is supposed to return to dance class the first part of June. The studio has made some changes to do what they can to ensure safety, including shortened class times to give time to sanitize and changes in routines that eliminate all physical contact (mostly only ever in the younger grades). Staff and assistants will wear masks as well.

While the changes are definitely good, it is still a very active thing and some classes, ALL of BG’s classes, are full of dancers. Even the change in how they utilize the space to give more room and limiting all space in the studio to dancers and teachers only, still leaves a pretty crowded studio for many of these classes.

Then there will be recital. There are some massive changes to their normal plan. What was previously broken into two shows will now be 5 and based on grade level. This reduces the number of girls in dressing rooms and the number of people in the audience.

What does not change is the fact that the older girls that participate in certain performances, which BG does for the first time this year, will still participate in every show. Instead of her performing those dances 4 times between dress rehearsal and recital, it will be 10. For each dance, of which she has potentially 3 (still waiting on word for one dance). This is on top of her other 5 dances she will do in her own show.

Also because she is in every show for those dances and to assist her younger girls, she will be at the venue from 9am until probably close to 9pm or after for two days in a row. This presents yet another issue.

They have asked that you only attend the show for your child. Technically, her show is the last one, but she is there all day. I either take her and drop her off, or I stay. In previous years, she was only ever there for the 1 show, but I had planned on just staying for both because the venue is not close to home. Parking sucks beyond belief and getting a decent seat is damn near like trying to get the latest “must have” item at a black friday sale (more on recital day than dress rehearsal, but still crazy).

Now, the last issue is more one of convenience for me over most anything else and , logically, the issues with parking and seating should be reduced drastically because of the smaller show sizes. It should also mean smaller audience sizes. But… how many people have you seen recently that follow the rules or suggestions? I’ve seen some of the family that attend this event. I’m not thinking overly positive about the outcome, even if the studio is doing their damnedest to make this happen in a safe way.

This is currently scheduled for the first half of July and, as has been seen lately, things that seem fine today may be horrible as soon as tomorrow.

I am so damn torn about the whole thing.

I 100% support their efforts in what they are trying to do and I know why they are so determined to still hold this event. This is on par with graduation, if not even more important, for a huge number of the girls that are seniors this year. Seniors are missing out on so much already. I get it. There is a need to find a balance that includes mental health and that is where their efforts come in.

I just have to wonder, when it is all said and done, if it is worth the risk.

They are asking that no one come to the studio that has even traveled outside the state, but will people abide by that request? There is no way to ensure absolutely that they do. They have also stated to not come if you aren’t feeling well or have been around someone that is sick. Again, it is only a request and really cannot be enforced other than to not let someone in that looks obviously ill. I have no clue how they are going to manage the recital at all.

None of that even begins to take into consideration the distribution of costumes (always a very close contact event) and picture day where the lobby is wall to wall students and parents.

Here we are with Hubby’s work running on an abundance of caution (which I am so incredibly grateful for) and then we are pulled in the other direction for BG’s dance.

The thought of not getting a recital this year breaks my heart, but… is it really worth it? I just don’t know.

Toss onto that dumpster fire of “no good solution” is the fact that we also have MC’s graduation scheduled for the end of July. I’m slightly less worried about this event because it is only a few hours tops on a single day in a venue that is more versatile for distancing, but you are still talking about a very large number of people gathering under one roof.

As of right now, I’m cautiously going to allow BG to go to classes when they resume and wait and see what other information will be forthcoming about recital. There is more control in the studio than there is at the venue and she will at least be able to wear a mask.

I’m also going to be watching the news in my area very closely. The studio has been following guidelines and they have made student safety a priority, but there isn’t a lot of clear guidance as to what is actually safe right now and that is my biggest concern.

I don’t want to have to tell either one of my kids that they shouldn’t participate in these incredibly important events, but when you look at the much larger picture, it isn’t just about them. It is about the friends and families of those girls (and a few guys). It is about the people that have to take care of them if they get sick. It is about the people that get left behind if the worst happens.

It makes it even harder to impress this on them, though they are listening, when we essentially live in this sort of bubble where the virus hasn’t really blown up. That sense that “it can’t happen to me” kind of invincibility is too easy to believe. I really believe that is playing a part in the decisions to move forward holding these events.

I’m lucky in that my kids are reasonable. I think that if it came down to it, they would understand. They would be hugely disappointed, but I do think they’d understand. It doesn’t make any of it even a fraction easier, though.

If I were pressed, I have to say that I really don’t think holding these events, even with precautions, is the smart thing to do. Feeling that way makes this so much harder as I just don’t know what the best plan is moving forward. I don’t want to be the bad guy, but I absolutely will if I feel that the situation in my area has gotten bad enough. I hate that I may actually be in the position to have to do that.

 

Author: TJ Fox

I am a slightly sane artist, amateur photographer, book addict, wife, mom and raging introvert. I have more hobbies than I can count, so it is beyond shocking that I manage to find time to do any of them, let alone most of them and still have time to do anything else. Of all the talents I claim, writing wasn’t one of them until my muse dropped the idea for a book on my head.

13 thoughts on “Celebrations, Events, And Hard Decisions”

    1. I really don’t and that is one of the issues. There have been too many times I’ve had to deal with idiots that don’t follow basic rules on a normal basis, like “Don’t save more than one seat” so that all audience members can have room and these people will still have an entire row blocked off with a single person sitting and guarding it like a rabid dog.

      They have said that they will be sharing more specifics about the recital in the coming weeks, so I’m hoping there are things they put in place that make me feel better. I really, really hope they limit the number of guests each dancer can have, but I highly doubt they will do that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It so is. Today was the originally scheduled date for MC’s graduation ceremony. It was so frickin’ weird to see it on my calendar this morning knowing that it isn’t happening until the end of July now. Even that date has a giant asterisk next to it because it could still change.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My heart hurts for these kids. But they’ll have a unique set of memories from their senior year. My two eldest grandkids are both juniors. It’ll be interesting to see how their school years play out.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I think the hardest for my daughter as a sophomore is the lack of actual work. Most classes aren’t a huge deal but she is talking pre- calc and the whole “teach no new material” thing is making it nearly impossible for her to learn what she needs to for her test and what she will need in her future math classes. As a straight A student, this bothers her to no end because there is a real possibility she will get a B for the first time in years. And yes, I know, poor baby, but her expectations for herself are so high, she won’t listen when I tell her a B is still a great grade.

        MC ran into this a bit with his AP calc class. They actually adjusted the AP exam for students this year to not cover any material that should have been taught this last part of the class. This was a nation wide test. It also didn’t help that there were all kinds of glitches in the testing and some students are being forced to take them again as system didn’t allow them to submit their tests. Just found out yesterday that there is a chance that MC’s test didn’t actually submit as he never got confirmation.

        I hope your grandkids are having a better time than my two are with the school end of things. It is really a mess and the mess is better or worse depending on the school they attend from what I’ve been able to see.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. All of my grands are in small school districts. That could either work in their favor of against it. The 8-year-old seems to be thriving, though. Her older siblings are making sure she’s reading and writing every day. I can tell she’s improved significantly by the way she reads to me on FaceTime.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. That’s great! Our district is on the smaller side and for the most part it has been good. We just have a teacher or two that is… difficult? I’m not even 100% sure what the whole story is on that. I just know my girl is frustrated. I can’t imagine going through this with younger kids.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I’m a retired teacher—mostly science and math. I can’t imagine having to teach remotely. So much of my method involved hands-on learning for the kids.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. This teacher has been the least willing to organize and follow guidelines from what BG has said. Even going so far as not getting the assignments posted that she has said the students are supposed to be working on. Some of BG’s issues have also been with regards to the online format of some of the material/tests, but it has been the whole combination.

        It is different and I’m certain it is incredibly hard. Having to jump into an entirely new way of teaching has been one hell of a challenge for teachers. It is such a mess from all sides.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. This is such a challenging time. Distancing, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, those are the things we must remember going forward. But is it enough? I personally think lockdown isn’t a viable long-term solution but we have a long way to go before everyone can resume their activities…

    Good luck to you all.

    Btw, my partner’s college will teach remote for both summer and fall semesters. Only time will tell if the winter semester remains status quo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fall semester is still currently set for normal classes for MC. I’m still not sure how, but they haven’t made the call to go online yet. There is still plenty of time for that to change, though.

      Like

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