Last week I was laughing, this week I was crying.
Yes, near the end of Tuesday’s Zoom class, I broke down in tears. We had been dancing for about 30 minutes when I saw the first comment in my chat, “The video is delayed 3-4 seconds.” Unfortunately, in every class, there are always a few people who have delays, but the majority are synchronized or maybe a split second off. So as we continued dancing, I suggested to that student to restart Zoom or try turning off the video. Sometimes that solves the problem. Other times, it’s just that student’s internet connection.
But then someone else said, “Me too.”
Hmm… so I asked everyone else if they had unusual delays as well. I was hoping it was just those 2 students and was praying other people would say that their connection was fine, like usually the majority are. After all, I have been troubleshooting for 6 weeks already and I *thought* I had FINALLY found the best possible pre-class checklist set-up… (it is literally a checklist several post-its long that says: ethernet connection, amazon mic, omni setting, spotify volume 60%, share computer audio, max speaker volume, mac mic volume, auto settings advanced, etc etc etc).
In the middle of dancing the next song, I could see the chat box fill up comment after comment after comment, but I couldn’t read it until the end of the song. Afterwards, I went to the computer and sure enough, it was on MY end. There were probably 40 comments of “delayed” “choppy” “not synced” “off” “4 seconds” “yeah” “me too” … but the problem was, there was nothing I could do.
The song, “I Am Here,” by Pink came on. As we danced, helpless tears started flowing down and I barely cued the movements because I couldn’t stop crying. Thoughts raced in my head that I should just quit teaching online because it will never be good enough. I couldn’t do it. I wanted to give up.
I didn’t want to disappoint people anymore.
In that song, during the chorus there are parts where I high-five my daughters. It just happened that my littlest one looked at me where we would normally high-five, and with her big, curious eyes, I could see her confusion, “Why are you crying?” “Are you ok, Mama?” Oh, that just made it worse.
When the song ended, I had to pause the playlist and face my students. I had to apologize, to say I was so sorry I couldn’t make the experience better. I had to tell them how much dancing with them meant to me and that I wished there was something I could do. But I had to admit I was helpless and unable to fix these technological issues that are simply out of my hands.
I had to cry.
You are all so kind. So compassionate. So supportive. All those dancers on Tuesday were so loving and understanding, but shocked I’m sure. Thank you for constantly reading about my struggles and I am really working on *accepting* what is. Not resisting it. Not changing it. But accepting an imperfect, human, experience.
This is the Circle Of Life.
We watched the Lion King tonight for the first time (the new one), and that opening scene gets me every time when Rafiki holds up Simba. Our circle of life right now represents the circle of feelings and emotions we are going through. The happy, the sad, the scared, the mad, the worried, the hopeful… all these feelings are cycling through in each of us.
Tonight, I go to sleep and remind myself, today…
- I am grateful the migraine I had last night weaned off into a milder version.
- I am grateful for sleeping in this morning with no agenda.
- I am grateful my husband installed the shelves I bought 6 weeks ago for the kids room.
- I am grateful my girls danced with me during class.
- I am grateful my husband made us all laugh as he lifted our dog, Miya, to re-enact Simba at the beginning of Lion King.
- I am grateful you took the time to read this. Thank you so, so much.