As an educator, parent, and writer during the time of COVID-19 social distancing, I’m going to share some of the intentional and also accidental learning my family embarks upon as a result of the WA State school closures/modifications from March 17-April 24. (I’ll also post some on Twitter @MayaJZeller). This spring, in my online writing classes, I’ll likely share one per week as (possibly optional) assignments, so students with children, aging parents or dependent relatives, or other additional humans can embark together on writing and research.

  1. THERE ARE NO NOSES IN MADELINE: This began when my daughter looked over at a Magritte painting and said casually, “That was a REALLY good idea to put the apple in front of his face, because it’s nearly impossible to draw a good nose.” I laughed, and then looked up what Magritte himself said, and found this gem: “At least it hides the face partly. . . Everything we see hides another thing.” . . . and thus embarked, the great nose study:

2. [SHARK] MADNESS: We all know COVID-19 cancelled the March Madness. But did it cancel all the madness? (No.) When C. came home from school the first day of the school closures, he began making “Shark Madness”–as in, which shark would “win” against which shark? How so? I asked. “In a fight.” He said. (I’m not going to interpret this here, and I don’t need your judgment.) . . . I can see a person doing this based on any criteria. Anyway, make your own “madness” bracket, then do research to answer what “beats” what. For example, I might choose 64 ferns, and figure out which would survive best in the climate where I live (I can tell you, it’s not maidenhair). Or I might list 64 authors, like Powell’s Books does every spring, and have people vote to narrow down to a champion. Or maybe 64 best dance or karaoke songs–and you can play this out with your family.

Here is a bracket you can use, if you want.

Image result for march madness brackets