“The children have to return to school.”

Since March 2020, this has been the rallying cry across the nation as schools moved from the physical building into the online space after the coronavirus swept across our country. With only days notice, teachers were thrust into a new and unfamiliar form of teaching. Frustrations grew as kids and parents learned how to log into Zoom, navigate Google Classroom, and find ways to post classwork online.

As the virus raged on outside, being inside was a tough adjustment. We weren’t ready. There was so much loss happening around us. People were losing their lives. People were losing their jobs…

“That in so many ways all our lives are entangled with the past — its manipulations and, fearful of its grasp, ignoring or dismissing or distorting it to suit ourselves, but always unable to erase it. When finally I understood the nature of a haunting — how it is both what we yearn for and what we fear, I was able to see the traces of a ghostly presence, the residue of a repressed past in certain concrete but also allusive detail. Footprints particularly. That disappear and return only to disappear again.” ~ Toni Morrison, The Source of Self- Regard

So, I have a dirty little secret.

It’s an unpopular opinion during this time and I’ve been holding it in for fears of being insensitive but here it is…

I love being in isolation.

I know, I know … but I really do.

So much.

I love being at home. I love being alone. I love choosing to wear or not wear clothes. I love the solo dance parties I have while eating all the snacks. Gone is the impending dread of having to go out into the world to meet any person, at any place, at any specific time.

I entered the classroom twelve years ago with a fist full of dry erase markers and a heart full of determination. I was freshly graduated from college, so I obviously, was an expert teacher. I walked up to my brand new class waiting for me in the school yard on the first day of school. A parent grabbed me by the arm and demanded to know how old I was. “Twenty- two.” I answered proudly. The epitome of a grown up. “Oh lawd a mercy! They sent a baby to teach the class!” and she began to pray.

Thus, began…

Islah Tauheed

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