From Endurance to Dressage
To all of you who normally work at home, how do you do it? To all the moms and dads out there, please know that I am working overtime to meet your kiddo's needs. Oh, and to you, COVID-19, you suck!
My school district gave us the choice to work from home or teach in an empty classroom. I am so glad I chose to work from home as my school site's internet has been a complete and total wreck this week. Even with a vastly reduced population - no kids and far fewer teachers, our district-provided internet has been crashing repeatedly. In the spirit of gratitude though, at least my internet works?
I am not sure what I expected when I asked to work from home, but I am pretty sure I am working more hours from home than I would have had I gone in to school. Although that might not be true. I might have still come home and worked. There is just more to do than there are hours in the day. Besides learning a new online learning system, my district purchased not one, but two new curricula, History-Social Studies and Science. To say I am feeling stressed and overwhelmed is an understatement.
And it's not like it's just me. My students are also being challenged in ways none of us ever predicted. They too are trying to navigate the new online learning system. And lest we forget, my kiddos are TEN YEARS OLD. While my internet has proven capable of handling the workload, for many of them, they're dealing with slow and glitchy connectivity. In virtually every home, there are multiple siblings and at least one parent, all vying for the same bandwidth. Their daily experience has to be so frustrating.
For my own personal health, I am trying to establish a realistic and sustainable work-from-home schedule. What I've been doing is going to kill me. Right now, I do my blogging and social media check in from 6:00 - 7:00 a.m. while I have breakfast. I take my dogs out for a quick potty, and then I work until lunch time. During lunch, I take the dogs for a quick walk, and then I sit back down until 3:15. So far, I've forced myself to get up and drive out to the ranch for a ride, but it's hard to leave with work unfinished. After my ride, I've been coming home and working for another hour or two. This Wednesday, I worked until 8:30 p.m. That's just too long of a day especially since I can't take a mental health or sick day.
Speaking of sick days, we've been told that if we need one, we're somehow supposed to pass our classes off to another teacher. None of us know how that would work though as each teacher has her own Google Meet and Zoom codes and passwords. And if meetings are unstable with thirty-five participants, how would it be better with seventy? And yes, I know that thousands can attend Zoom conference calls, but the presenter isn't expected to take attendance by hand or call on participants by name. If (when?) I do need a sick day, I think I will literally just phone it in. There will be a quick pre-recorded video greeting, another video for the mid-day check, and I'll end the day with a see you tomorrow video.
To add insult to injury, I had to order a new office chair. Teachers are well known for being the only professionals who steal stuff from home to use at work. We're also probably one of the few professional groups who spend their salaries so they can work. Sometimes, it feels like I am working for free.
I have never been more grateful that it's Friday.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: