What to Expect
I don’t know how many of you purchased, or were gifted, What to Expect When You’re Expecting (or a similar book) when you were first starting your family. We did. I haven’t looked at it for a long time but as memory serves, I was overwhelmed with all the things that I was expected to expect. I have the vaguest of recollections that having that much information made me feel underprepared and overwhelmed. Even with a guidebook, it seemed like there were so many different scenarios to prepare for that I couldn’t possibly be prepared for them all and even if I was prepared it seemed doubtful that I would be able to execute any particular solution correctly.

Well, I don’t think any of us were able to get a hold of a book titled What to Expect During a Pandemic. And I suspect if we had that we probably would have felt underprepared and overwhelmed, especially since there have been, in such a relatively short period of time (only 7 months), countless updated versions of what to expect, from both national and local health and education authorities.

I believe that every family, every student, every teacher is doing their best to navigate the ever-changing landscape of what to expect while we are distance learning, what to expect during limited in-person opportunities, and what to expect when we are able to transition to live school instruction. None of it is easy and, unfortunately, none of it seems very certain which makes it very difficult to know what to expect moving forward.

I do expect, though, that we will continue to do our best to provide educational, spiritual, emotional, and physical opportunities for the students as we are able and in ways that are as safe as possible. We had, in my opinion, very successful social evenings for each grade level over the last month and are transitioning into more opportunities that include some classroom as well as athletic opportunities. We have had between twenty-five and thirty percent of the student body participate, and we know that these activities are important for the overall well-being and development of students. And as we move into second quarter there will be more opportunities available, including after school study groups, an evening mass just prior to Thanksgiving, and a senior retreat in mid-December, along with continued athletic practices.

It seems likely that we should continue to expect feeling underprepared and overwhelmed as the guidelines continue to change. While that might not seem like a very rosy picture for me to paint, I do think it is the most realistic one. In light of that, then, I will emphasize again the importance of communication. As challenging as it may be, students need to communicate directly with their teachers if there are challenges. If a student is uncomfortable doing that then they should utilize other options like talking with Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Brown, their advisor, a teacher or coach they have a connection with, etc. Nobody should expect things to change without that direct communication. So please, be in contact with the teachers. They expect it.

Doug Ierardi