Thursday, April 22, 2010

Connecting Across the Universe

Our school district is in the middle of a teacher's strike. As of today, it's day 4 and I heard 7 days is their max. Apparently, they haven't had a contract all year and the school board is not yielding. I don't want to comment about the actual contract negotiations since I'm not directly involved and don't know the details.

However, people have been saying the kids are the ones who are losing out. This is true. Mine has been moaning "I'm bored" for two days. She's done just about every activity possible from arts, crafts, dancing, read a stack of Geronimo Stilton and Super Fudge books, biked, made milkshakes. It's also "Turn off TV Week" and she's adhering to it. Her friends told her it's not necessary because there is no school, but she's oddly committed. She's got signs on the TVs and computer.

The impact is further than the kids and the parents. It's the whole community. I'm fortunate enough to be able to pop into work for few hours and work virtually the rest of the day. However, another colleague isn't able to work virtually, so he needed to take a day off. This meant, his team needed to balance their load around his sudden time off. His clients may have needed him, but he wasn't available. Someone else paid for a babysitter for her twins while she went to work; the next day she swapped with someone else so she could stay home. Others are sending their kids to grandparents' and relatives' homes.

We're so connected that one element does not exist on its own. These are the handful of connections that I know. Multiply this by the 12,000 students who are home this week.

Let's move to another connection. The Icelandic volcano eruption. A friend of mine has travelled to a conference in CA this week, representing her company. She's going to be working longer hours at the conference over the weekend. Why? Her colleague in England is unable to get an airlines ticket for another two weeks and won't be joining.

We think we're isolated and absorbed in our own activities. We don't believe we belong to a larger realm. Why should we? Our vision extends only to as far as we can see. But this is one of those times we need to stop seeing, and just think about what we can't. Every incident eminates ripples beyond our own sphere.

This week, we've made some crazy discoveries on Facebook of people from different circles, old and new friends, actually knowing each other. Again, more unseen connections.

1 comment:

J.Doe said...

That's really sad about how the teachers are striking. Not knowing the details of the situation won't make me comment either, but how sad for all the kids and the working parents who have to use their vacation time to stay with them.