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Postcards from the Pandemic IX (Tales of the Masked Shepherds of Fall)

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

Classroom Scene, 1946

By William Henry Johnson

Mixed media

It’s been about three weeks into the 20-21 school year, yet another season in the new normal. Strangeness abound, for the first time in 12 years, I don’t have to chase a child out the door for school. I’ve begun to resume my usual assignments at the High School, so I’ve had a taste of the flavor of the everchanging protocols of education and “distance learning”. Granted, my youngest son was Class of 2020 and finished the last 4 months of school from home before he had his sad uneventful stroll across the bleachers that doubled as a graduation ceremony.

From High School on down, everyone in our education system was caught flat footed, as was everyone else. While schools everywhere floundered to adapt, the reality is that administrators, teachers, support staff, students and parents struggled to pivot fast enough to make distance learning a successful venture. In the end, everyone got a pass. Now, having 2 ½ months to re