That phrase was thrown at me today, “The New is Never Old”, by a friend who called to talk about what is happening to all of us due to the pandemic. We’re working from home (not totally new), teaching from home (that is new), not leaving our homes unless really necessary, and scrubbing our hands until they fall off (the late-winter paper cuts are no joke). My trips to speak in Las Vegas and Portugal are canceled, the summer Study Abroad to Paris and Rome for 22 students that I have been working so hard on doesn’t exist anymore.
I see the stress in my students, especially the upperclassmen, because they feel like the groove of school has been removed. Go to class, look for a job/internship, cover Michigan State hoops, and all is good in spring. We had class on Monday, and I could see the sadness.
The expected, the planned, is all gone. The new is never old. No graduation. No hoops. No meeting in person for class. And maybe, no jobs? No internships? The best I can offer to all is – live. Be present for now, do what we need to do to be safe, and keep dreaming.
We are human. And the human condition comes with the fear of the unknown. We want control, which right now, means storming Costco and taking all the toilet paper, vodka and ground beef.
I believe in our capacity to rise above the scary stuff. We can be scared and stressed, but we always need to keep moving forward. Planning for tomorrow, taking care of today.
We got this. AND WASH YOUR HANDS.