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Teacher Experiences: Mr. Cook

1. How has your work schedule been affected?

I have been working longer hours than ever before during this period. My students are doing independent essay topics, so I had the brilliant idea to require two individual conferences from each student, which has resulted in me conducting over one hundred conferences per week on top of grading Senior Projects. Most days, I am working from 8-5 without any breaks.

2. What good has come out of the quarantine?

I have spent so much time with my wife and dog! It has been a real pleasure getting to spend so much time with them.

3. How has this affected your separation between work, school, and home life?

There is virtually no separation now between working and not working. And as a workaholic, this has been a particularly damaging time in terms of my home life because I cannot bring myself to stop working.

4. What do you miss most?

My students! I miss seeing them and talking to them and interacting with classes. It's genuinely what I feel like I was born to do, and having that taken away has been so sad.

5. How are you coping?

I have been reading a lot, watching movies, and mostly working. I usually have music playing loudly throughout the house, and I have made a really lengthy "Quarantunes" playlist full of songs that make me happy.

6. What do you think you will remember most from all of this?

I'll remember how quickly it seemed to escalate. We went from thinking of the virus as a minor annoyance to understanding how the world was changing from it in just a matter of weeks. Everything shut down so quickly.

7. Does anyone have family, friends, or a significant other that they have been unable to see since this has begun?- what has that experience been like?

I haven't been able to see anybody other than my wife and dog, and that has been a difficult reality. My parents live a few hours away, and I haven't been able to see them since all of this started, and I am worried for their health. It's something I have been thinking about all the time.

8. Have you volunteered to help with any service to distribute aid/supplies during this situation?

My wife works for a nonprofit which helps financially unstable families, and we have paid for many (many) people to stay in local hotels during this time.