The VIEW From Above 7

The last week of May 2020 begs each of us to consider what lies ahead as it ushers in an unpredictable summer. Visualize your last, favorite summer day. How will that day compare to what you will experience as your favorite summer day this year?

Without closing my eyes, I can see my ideal summer day. Flipping over periodically on an almost deserted South Nags Head beach with a favorite mystery author’s latest tome and an iced Diet Dr. Pepper within arm’s reach, sun overhead, and a slight breeze blowing equate to summer perfection in my mind’s eye. Unfortunately, it won’t happen in 2020! With travel for that annual beach trip nixed (thanks to no social distancing on any of the flights) and no open slots at our favorite beach rental available till next May, that 50-year-old tradition will not be realized this summer. Nonetheless, there will be some sort of favorite day recorded by the time Labor Day rolls around. As staying at home continues to be the “new normal,” my favorite summer day may be on my own deck, pictured above, surrounded by flower-filled window boxes, strategically placed Queen ferns, and yellow finches lining up for a dip in the bird bath. The book, beverage, and sun will provide the same soothing continuity of past favorite summer days.

The unpredictability of our lives during this summer presents a “glass half full” versus “glass half empty” dichotomy to explore. We will miss planned outings and vacations; but spontaneous local jaunts, projects, and home-based events will provide new insight and experiences that may help with our disappointments by the time autumn arrives. Several state organizations are already considering how best to use summer days to create memorable experiences for members and to prepare new ways to meet, new ways to teach, new ways to learn. Here are just two examples of what I mean:

DKG Quebec State Organization is hosting an online speaker series that features presenters addressing topics that appeal to “a new teacher, a seasoned master, or retired” educator. Their latest entry deals with issues surrounding our personal and professional lives during the COVID-19 crisis. Look for details on future speakers in this series on their Facebook page. One of these speakers may prove to generate that favorite summer experience for you.

Illinois State Organization provides multiple training sessions, many via YouTube, to assist members with meeting electronically. Helpful hints in bite-sized segments appeal to even the most technology-resistant person. Sample programs geared to train new chapter leaders include: “Basics for Chapter Treasurers” and “Basics for Chapter Presidents – Ten Tips to Make Your Biennium Spectacular.” Again, they use Facebook to publicize their events and ZOOM as their delivery platform. When Labor Day rolls around chapter members will be poised to conduct meetings, present programs, and socialize from the safety of their own homes. Could one of these sessions be another favorite summer day opportunity?

What will your favorite summer day include? Will it be a personal event reimagined to accommodate your safety and health? Will it be tied to learning new skills to benefit all aspects of your life? It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Summer has always presented new opportunities for educators as we ever so slightly “kicked back” or focused on regeneration for the school year ahead. This year, more than ever, we need favorite summer days for relaxation, reflection, and rejuvenation – both as women and as DKG members. I think I’ll start reading my summer mystery novel now. Why wait?

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