I had such a terrific time when I visited the Museum of Modern Art in New York. So I was heartsick to read that the MOMA has terminated all of its educators. The gallery says the devastating impact of the coronavirus on their city means it could be years before they will be able to offer education programs again. Shortly after I began my job as a learning facilitator at the Winnipeg Art Gallery I took an online course from the MOMA called Talking With Children About Art. It was led by the MOMA’s gifted education staff. I loved the course and enjoyed doing the assignments. I particularly appreciated the interactions with other art educators from around the world who were enrolled in the class with me.
Hearing that the MOMA has terminated its education staff makes me wonder about the fate of the education programs at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. I LOVE my job as a guide and workshop leader in the WAG’s education department. The Museum of Modern Art is one of the wealthiest art galleries in the world. If they have been forced to let their educators go what will happen at smaller, less well-endowed galleries? I am going to be positive and hope for the best.
I should have had more Kleenex along. On one of our walks, I listened to a This American Life podcast episode called The Test. It was about people in New York being put to the test because of the coronavirus. First, there’s a paramedic talking about how heartbreaking it is to be a first responder in New York these days. A young father breaks down as he describes caring for his active 2-year-old daughter in a small apartment. Both he and his wife are very ill but they haven’t been able to be tested for the virus. Finally, there is a woman who is a lifeline for her severely disabled mother in a nursing home. She is no longer allowed to see her mother. I cried during each tragic story.
I also have a part-time job as a faculty supervisor for student teachers in the education department at the University of Winnipeg. I just received instructions from the university about storing all my student files, records and reports in a central location. “In case you get sick, we need to be able to access your files readily,” the university informed us. We have never had to do this before but during the current crisis, it makes sense.
On the weekend Dave and I got out the crokinole board. We inherited it from my aunt recently. It once belonged to my grandparents. I suspect the board is some fifty years old. But it still works very well. Dave said he was quite surprised at how good I was at crokinole. I didn’t beat him but I gave him a respectable run for his money. If we are in isolation long enough I will have lots of time to perfect my skills. We have been unable to find hand sanitizer anywhere but now we have plenty! The Farmery Brewery has switched production to hand sanitizer and yesterday we lined up with lots of other folks to pick up the sanitizer we had ordered online. My cousin sent me a video about the importance of looking for silver linings right now. Here’s a tiny one of mine. With lots of time on my hands, I gave my purse a thorough cleaning and discovered a thin slit in its lining. Before I sewed it up I found out an earring of mine had slipped through the slit. I love these earrings which Dave bought for me when we visited architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s House Taliesin West in Phoenix on Valentine’s Day in 2012. The earring’s design is based on a window design by Frank Lloyd Wright. For months I have not been able to find that earring but had saved its partner just in case it turned up. Now it has! A little silver lining.