Exactly One Year Ago

I’ll always remember March 2nd, and not just because it’s Dr. Seuss’s birthday or Texas Independence Day. I’ll remember March 2nd because on March 2, 2020, everything as I knew it changed.

I was living in Jakarta, and while the world grappled with the effects of Covid-19, we were content to continue with life as normal, as if we were invincible. No masks, no social distancing, no restrictions.

Well…that was until March 2nd. March 2nd was the day Indonesia announced their first confirmed case. It was the day one of our teachers was hospitalized because she was suspected to have Covid-19 (spoiler alert: she tested positive and recovered a month later). It was the day we began what was supposed to be a 14-day quarantine period, one that turned out to be 80 days for me. It was also the day we decided to move to online learning.

As I sit here, safe in my home in Jeju, happy that we now have all students back on campus every day (as of yesterday) after a few months of 2/3 of our students on campus and 1/3 online, I can’t help but think of my colleagues and students back in Jakarta. They went online a year ago and have never went back to face to face school. That’s a whole year of online learning. A whole year of working from home. A whole year of isolation. My heart breaks for them. As tough as I am, I don’t know if I could have made it. I think it might have broken me by now.

I commend them for sticking with it and doing so well in spite of the rotten circumstances they’ve had to endure. I know it’s a long shot, but I sure hope they get to return to some sort of normalcy before the year ends. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have only ever met your students online.

Hang in there ACG! I’m sending you my love and support…you’ve got this!

19 thoughts on “Exactly One Year Ago

  1. Ms Victor Reads

    Yes, a year ago I was getting back from my last trip before… March 13 was our last in person day last year…I also really feel for friends who have not met this year’s class in person yet and am grateful we have had weeks in person (although now we are online for the 4th time this year). It sure keeps you on your toes…

  2. gbrock

    This time last year I was in my first few months of the profession in my new teacher role. I’ll never forget the end of month rush to the remote switch, which has been a constant ever since. It will be a whole new world when our students come back 5 full days starting in April. The end of this is near! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Life truly works in mysterious ways.

  3. Wondering and Wandering

    I was just looking back through my journal to see when my first virus reference was. Apparently, I didn’t realize it was as big a deal until a week later than you. My first reference was March 9 and we went remote on March 11. I’m remote this year but by choice. It is hard, I’ll admit that, but somehow my Kindergarteners are learning. I hope that the students at your old school are ok and perhaps they will return at some point this year? Fingers crossed. Stay safe!

    1. aggiekesler Post author

      Yeah, it hit in the states shortly after Indonesia…I remember because we were all slicing at that time. Reading how it was affecting everyone was a way to support one another. I hope so too…and I hope you are coping with online learning!

  4. cbeaulac

    Yikes! 80 days! that’s intense. I’m so grateful that I didn’t have to experience a lockdown. Even though it was scary being away from Canada and worrying about family and friends, Korea was definitely the place to be and still is.

  5. elsie

    I’ve been thinking back to what was happening a year ago too. I remember reading your posts and couldn’t believe we’d ever do that too, but we did. 2020 was a year that taught us a lot. Biggest take-away for me was don’t take your life for grant it.

    1. aggiekesler Post author

      2020 certainly taught us many lessons! I agree…I took so much for granted, like being able to leave my house whenever I wanted and see friends and family. I now cherish any time I get to see family!

  6. Lisa Keeler

    Wow. I love your repetition of the phrase it was the day… What a turning point March 2020 was for us. You have me curious- I’m going to see what the exact day was for me.

  7. Kristy L

    I really enjoyed following along last year as you navigated these crazy turns of events. I know it was so difficult. I look forward to joining you again on this journey into the unknown. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. livinglife816287820

    I don’t think I could endure online learning, even for as long as you did. It just doesn’t work in my view. And with our school it never could, cos none of the kids were ‘online’ It immediately shuts out the poor and disadvantaged and that’s why I hate it so much. In India primary schools are slowly, slowly starting to open up, but how the kids have suffered after a year of no English when all their text books are in English, who knows??
    Okay, rant over, it’s wonderful that all your students are back with you now!

    1. aggiekesler Post author

      I agree…definitely doesnโ€™t work for most children (or adults!). I can imagine how unfair online learning would be for most of yours. Glad things are opening up there!!

  9. Joanne Dickinson

    Jennifer, that was so beautifully written and I’m a bit teary now (You’ll remember it doesn’t take much). Thanks for thinking of us at ACG. We’re still hanging om, determined to do the best we possibly can. But a year? Crazy right? Glad to hear you’re safe and well in Jeju. Keep writing Ms!! Xx


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