As a former high school English teacher, I was a huge fan of the 1989 movie, “Dead Poets Society,” which showcased the late Robin Williams as the eccentric English teacher, Mr. John Keating. There were many memorable scenes in that movie, too many to pick a favorite. However, one scene comes to mind in the midst of our current Corona virus pandemic. In this scene, Mr. Keating has his students read lines from a poem written by Robert Herrick, “Gather ye roses while ye may, Old time is still a-flying,” (I’ll let you research the rest on your own.)
Mr. Keating’s reason for having his students read those lines was to understand that time is passing us by. There is no doubt that we are currently limited in our day-to-day activities. However, we often allow our current situation to stop us from living fully, from appreciating the gifts we have, from being thankful for those most precious around us. Don’t waste time, seize the day.
The Corona virus has forced all of us to change our daily routines. Our activities are significantly limited. Our educational system has been forced to provide instruction in ways that are challenging for some, unleashing creativity for others. Students and families are challenged by limited available technology and resources. Schools are challenged to ensure that no child goes without daily nutrition, delivering hundreds of brown bags and fresh milk daily, all within an hour or so from leaving the buildings. It is a constant challenge to clean and disinfect entire building to maintain a safe and healthy environment for skeleton crews of staff essential to performing all the afore mentioned duties.
So, while we experience this change to what we perceived as a “normal” way of living, take time to appreciate a love for learning, share new ways to communicate with those who are challenged by technology, write music, find a new recipe, join a virtual fitness class, talk to your family, watch old movies, learn a second language, reach out to find old friends, find yourself. Seize the Day!
Andrew J. Tommelleo, Ed. D