From Endurance to Dressage
Last week, most of my students were at school on Monday and Tuesday. Ten were absent on Monday, and fourteen elected to self-quarantine on Tuesday. By Wednesday, school was officially closed through April 13th, which will be the end of our regularly scheduled spring break.
On Wednesday morning, I did what most of my students probably did - not a lot of anything. Those last few days of school were so stressful. Not knowing what was going to happen, worrying over how much my students were going to miss, and thinking about what I could to do help. That afternoon though, I finally dove into my school email and saw that there was a need for teachers to hand out meal packs for the remainder of the week. I quickly responded that I would be there.
My district, like most here in Bakersfield, offers the Seamless Summer Option meal program to children 18 years and younger. What that means is during the summer, meals are provided free to all children 18 years and younger. The state reimburses districts who provide the meals. Given that we are in a state of emergency, the Governor authorized districts to expand the Seamless Summer Option throughout the duration of school closures.
When I showed up on Thursday, I donned my gloves and started taking orders. As vehicles drove past our meal station, they either showed how many meals were needed by holding up their fingers, or we stepped up to the window. Those were my favorite interactions. The kids were super excited to see their teachers handing out meal packs, and every single family expressed their gratitude.
Since so many teachers were eager to help, the fourth grade teacher in the photo created a sign up so that everyone could come and help over the next few weeks. The day I handed out meal packs, we served more than 260 breakfast/lunch combos. And you know, it was really fun.
Unfortunately, it was decided that it was more efficient to consolidate the program. Instead of all of our schools handing out meals, meals will now be handed out at select school sites beginning today. Kids still get their meals, they just can't come to my school, which was not on the list. For now, my staff isn't needed to hand out lunches.
At the beginning of the school year, my district ditched all of the smaller communication apps - Class Dojo, Remind, and others, in favor of ParentSquare. Whoever made that decision must have had a premonition because it has a been a lifesaver. Between ParentSquare, the Google Classroom, and the Google Drive, I have been busy communicating with my students and their families.
While kids were sent home on Tuesday with a packet of work that was to last two weeks, it was hastily assembled, and by necessity, fairly generic. For my kiddos who have internet and devices, I have prepared work specific to their needs that went live this morning. Even if we can't be in the same room face to face, we can still hold group chats and continue our learning.
My district is also going to use Zoom, a platform for video and audio conferencing. Over the weekend, I downloaded the app and created an account. My principal isn't sure how much we'll need it. If we go back to school in April, we probably won't use it all. If we're out for the rest of the year though, there are some things for which we'll definitely need it.
I think we're having a staff meeting early this week using Zoom, so that should be pretty interesting. If you're a teacher, you'll know what I mean. Staff meetings for teachers go can either way - productive and quick, or more likely, a free for all explosion of noise with everybody talking and nobody listening. I wonder what that will look like in a video conference.
And finally, because there is only so much social media, online platforms, and new accounts that a person can stand, I closed my laptop(s) - I now have one of my school computers here at home, and went outside to disinfect Newt. I scrubbed her from top to bottom and then used several alcohol and/or ammonia-based cleaners on the inside. The only passengers I've had in her were my husband and a colleague from work, but I figured it couldn't hurt to clean off any germs that were thinking of taking up residence.
Today, I'll be checking in on my students via ParentSquare and the Google classroom. I'll be answering emails through the magic of the cloud. And thanks to video conferencing, I'll be looking for an invite to Zoom over to a staff meeting. If you need me, I'll be sitting right here.
Well, I might head over to the laundry room for a few minutes, but that won't take long.
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 Second Level. 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%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
3/6-7 El Sueño (***)
4/17-18 El Sueño (***)
5/16-17 El Sueño (***)
5/23 TMC (*)
6/12-13 SB (***) OR
6/19-20 El Sueño (***)
6/27 TMC (*)
7/3-4 Burbank (***) OR
7/17-18 El Sueño (***)
7/25 TMC (*)
8/14-15 RAAC (Q) (***)
8/29 TMC (*)
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read