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  • Kay Fletcher

Coronavirus Blog Day 5

First day of school lessons at home - I am not saying 'home schooled' as that implies I am teaching him and I most definitely am not! For that he is probably most eternally grateful. I want to stick to the timetable and have the lessons throughout the day at their usual times - so our son works through the packs he has been given. 'No, you work out the mean like this...', our son impatiently points out. I hate maths and he has asked for my help with a lesson. My husband had realised, with impressive speed, what was about to happen and had left the room sharpish so our son had no choice but to ask me. Arse. My husband, not my son...yet. I sigh but realise he is half-way through some rhyme that I half make sense of. 'Say that again, please', I ask with some trepidation, but I hadn't heard any rude bits the first time so we should be o.k. I reason... 'Hey diddle diddle, the median is the middle, and you add and divide for the mean The mode is the one that you see most often and the range is the difference between..' Why didn't I get taught useful things like that in maths lessons I wonder? Oh yes, I remember, because we had a lay preacher as a maths teacher who got side-tracked so very easily, and became so very scary... Put anything to rhyme or music and I think it becomes easier to learn and remember, but just who is teaching who here, who is helping who? 'Thanks for that', I tell my son. 'Very useful'. We had agreed that my husband would help him with Science, DT, Art and, of course, Maths. The idea was to divide the help up between us depending on our stronger skills. 'Maths stands for 'Mental abuse to humans...', our son interrupts my internal bemoaning of the fact I had been left with this lesson to help him with after all. Of course I told him this wasn't the case, and to get on with things, still.... Everything feels slightly off, at odds, the same but not the same, contradictory. Like you are watching a remake of a film you love but they have got things ever so slightly wrong, to the extent that you know it has made a difference to your enjoyment of the film but they are not big enough differences for you to put your finger on. It all feels annoying and inconsistent but the reason it feels like this is embedded in some subtle subtext that you fail to get to grips with. But you know it is there. Obvious or not, it has changed the meaning of the film for you. Maybe we are all the same actors but the scenes are now all wrong, or we are in all the wrong scenes? Or is it that stage direction has been lost, continuity suspended, all belief compromised? Are we the audience or the main protagonists? That feels like the deeper question somehow... I feel I am struggling to make sense of this and maintain a perspective. The news tells us we are 2 weeks behind Italy and a week behind Spain, that our decisions impact on everyone around us. Instructions for self-isolating for 12 weeks are now being given to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions - asthma, COPD etc. Twelve feels as if we must hibernate and hope.

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