Making your bed and other stuff

There literally is a book about the importance of making your bed each day. Personally I don’t put much store by that type of advice – particularly as it’s written by a male military type. But I do think it helps to have a reason to get out of bed in the first place. That’s way more important.

Luckily today the pollution had settled down to the red zone so I could go out for a walk along the river with my high duty pollution mask – the blue sky is deceptive – the AQI was still over 150 – but I was not the only one lured outside – the river bank was full of fishermen probably suffering from the same cabin fever as I was.

Our local grocery had luckily stocked up again and some delicious strawberries were available which I could take to my lunch date with some fellow librarians where we had a great book chat. That way I could tick off two things that I think are incredibly important for sanity in this period – time exercising and time with other people.

Now just like the war that would be over by Christmas, I’m wondering if this closure may last longer? I did a little SARS research last night and found out that Hong Kong schools were closed for 7 weeks. Depending when you start the clock ticking (from the start or end of the CNY break) that could take us to the end of March. That means an extended period of not only online teaching but also home-schooling. It also means different things depending on the age of your child(ren) / students.

Possibly the worst hit are our final year IB students – things are really tight between now and 23 May when they graduate. So while 2 weeks isn’t much in the grand scheme of things for most people, it results in a bit of a train smash for their mock exams, finalising projects, doing things that would have helped them create a portfolio if they’re applying to creative tertiary study etc. etc. For all the talk of online and blended learning there’s still a heck of a lot that requires physicality of self and material. And many related activities (sports fixtures, APEC drama etc. have also been cancelled).

Further down the food-chain I can assure you there are good reasons why most of us don’t homeschool – infanticide being one thing that comes to my mind. Beijing Kids had an article on this last year – but that was in a situation where you could do the socialising and gyms and sports facilities were open. Many families are hunkering down and some won’t let their children out of the house or receive guests (not moi).

My husband is still working in Nanjing, I cut my holiday there short on Sunday, so I’m getting the updates from there as well. It seems it has the facilities to take care of patients, and hotels have also been requested to be available for R&R of medical staff. According to him it’s pretty much a ghost town still and more and more areas are shut down. You can follow the live construction of the hospital in Wuhan as well.

Here our compounds multiple entries are shut down and everyone is flowing through one central gate where non-resident ID’s and temperatures can be checked.

And now for some book suggestions. I’ll start with G7 as it is in the middle of middle school and we had a rather cool unit just before the break looking at young adult literature over time – “Changing Times Changing Voices“.  Students read either “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” or “The Outsiders” (or both for some) and were encouraged to explore some of the Time 100 best Young Adult Books which we had on permanent display/borrowing plus the current and last year’s Kids’ Read 100 titles.  So – there you have a list of 300 books suitable for teens if you’re short of inspiration!

A side note on the Kid’s Read titles …. last night on twitter there was a post on reading challenges including “reading hard” with Book Riot’s “Read Harder Challenge” * I had a look through the challenge (well worth considering in this time) and realised that our chosen titles covered all the ground amply!


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Kids Read 2020 books

* The Challenge – I have some ideas for these – what are yours?

  • Read a YA nonfiction book
  • Read a retelling of a classic of the canon, fairytale, or myth by an author of color
  • Read a mystery where the victim(s) is not a woman
  • Read a graphic memoir
  • Read a book about a natural disaster
  • Read a play by an author of color and/or queer author
  • Read a historical fiction novel not set in WWII
  • Read an audiobook of poetry
  • Read the LAST book in a series
  • Read a book that takes place in a rural setting
  • Read a debut novel by a queer author
  • Read a memoir by someone from a religious tradition (or lack of religious tradition) that is not your own
  • Read a food book about a cuisine you’ve never tried before
  • Read a romance starring a single parent
  • Read a book about climate change
  • Read a doorstopper (over 500 pages) published after 1950, written by a woman
  • Read a sci-fi/fantasy novella (under 120 pages)
  • Read a picture book with a human main character from a marginalized community
  • Read a book by or about a refugee
  • Read a middle grade book that doesn’t take place in the U.S. or the UK
  • Read a book with a main character or protagonist with a disability (fiction or non)
  • Read a horror book published by an indie press
  • Read an edition of a literary magazine (digital or physical)
  • Read a book in any genre by a Native, First Nations, or Indigenous author

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