By Guest Blogger: Alex Grover, Choral Director
Hello DHS Chorus Community!
Mr. Grover here! I am writing the last post for our stint of guest bloggers during the school closure. First, I’d like to thank our regular chorus blogger, Juliet, for graciously welcoming all of the guests to the Chorus Blog. For the past two years, Juliet has eloquently reported on events and told stories about our chorus program to provide noteworthy content for our website. We will miss Juliet’s kindness, creativity, and energy in our ensembles and on the Chorus Blog next year. Thanks, Juliet!
For me, being at home so far has been strange, to say the least. It’s a change of pace, and I am completing a different type of work. I wake up later than usual, and exercise an unusual amount for myself. Some might think this is a good thing, but to me, it’s an unfamiliar addition to my life. To be completely honest, I could spend this entire blog post listing the way things used to be and how they are now, because it is abundantly different (most notably that I actually sit down and eat breakfast everyday, instead of it being on the run or not at all). But, what has become clearer to me, during this era of COVID-19, is my perception of the unknown.
When we began this journey through these uncharted waters, steered by a pandemic we did not see coming, I was befuddled by all of the unknown attached to its arrival and effects on our country and world. I read and watch the news everyday (another thing I did not do before being confined to my house), and three weeks in, the known is becoming more than the unknown. We know that this will not just disappear. We know that we must abide by the social distancing suggestions. And we know that school is closed until at least May 4th. Before all of that information became known, based on trusted science and math, I was overwhelmed with the unknown. The unknown is not as overwhelming to me now, and I thank all of the doctors, experts, and responsible humans for their work to help us be sure of what our actions should be for our society’s response to this global pandemic.
Now, knowing something I thought would be an unknown for a long time, I find myself yearning for a different unknown. My unknown. I miss the unknown of being a teacher. I miss going to school everyday and not knowing what my day will bring because I have so many forward-thinking and unique students. Prior to this pandemic, my day-to-day consisted of mostly using my voice and piano and interacting with students in person. Working from home is more fueled by writing and a computer, and face-to-face interactions with students and colleagues are limited (albeit still present thanks to technology).
Working in a school, almost all activity is dictated by bells and scheduled meetings. In an attempt to maintain this structure, at the beginning of “working from home,” I made a schedule for myself. I get up and read, then go out for a run (weather permitting). After eating breakfast and showering, I work for a few hours. Lunch is next, followed by another stint of working and doing household chores. Finally, dinner and a movie or TV. I thought that making my own check points and knowing what I was doing everyday would solve the anticipated problem of not having school bells or scheduled meetings. Three weeks in, I am realizing that schedules and structures do not fill the void of what keeps me going, my unknown.
I can’t wait to get back to school. Despite not sitting down to eat breakfast or having to arrive at work earlier than I would ever choose for myself, I love what is there for me everyday. There are students eager to learn, and in my specific case, sing. Yes, I might not necessarily know how the Chorus is going to sound or perform on any given day or how a student will react to something I say, but it is all still motivating and rewarding. My makeshift schedule has been an OK placeholder the past few weeks and will get me through, but I’ve learned that when at school, I truly enjoy my daily unknown.
We know that COVID-19 has taken, and will take many things away from us, including normalcy, family and friends, and how we interact as a society. My heart goes out to all of those severely affected by this pandemic. There will be sadness and hardship, to which many of us may or may not be able to relate. Regardless of it all, I have every confidence we will work together and come out on the other side of this stronger. My best wishes to everyone during this time that you navigate your own unknowns.
Katie Miraglia, class of 2022, is a member of Falconize and Deception at DHS and can be frequently seen in the school's theater productions. She is also Drum Major of the Marching Band and plays bass clarinet. She took over the Danvers High Chorus Blog for the 2021-22 school year.