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Apr 4, 2021

Since my last podcast, I have started working full-time at a middle school. I am an eighth grade ELA and Social Studies teacher. ELA means English Language Arts, and is basically all about essay writing and critical thinking. Of course I feel very privileged to have this job, especially (1)in this climate of high unemployment! It's not (2)all smooth sailing, however. The hybrid system of teaching in person part of the time and via zoom the rest of the time is still evolving, so the curriculum is something we are having to develop from week to week. This might not sound like a problem, but, believe me it is a real headache. Also, we only have half of the students in school at a time.  I cannot complain, though. (3)I am more than happy to be back in a teaching environment, and am slowly bonding with the students.

There is talk now about the whole student body coming back to school full-time. We will find out in a week or two if that will happen. It seems that, as more people are vaccinated, the government wants to get young people back to a normal, learning routine as soon as possible. In order to do that safely, we will have to follow certain protocols, and, of course, be vaccinated. I had the first vaccine by Pfizer about three weeks ago, so I am due to have the next one today. Exciting.... I don't mind vaccines; I certainly believe in them. I see this next one as a gateway to getting back to a normal life, so I certainly don't mind a poke in the arm, even if I get a few cold-like symptoms for a few days afterwards. When I had my first vaccine, it was a drive-through situation where I didn't have to get out of my car. Afterwards, I had to sit in line and wait for 15 minutes before leaving, just so the nurses could see that I didn't have an allergic reaction. I didn't have one. So, it looks like I'm on target for being 'covered' as we say today. I will be less likely to get infected and less likely to infect. That gives me great peace of mind. I am encouraged by the news of the many different types of vaccines for Covid that are now available, and the numbers of people who are receiving them each day globally.

1. In this climate of ..... means in this general atmosphere/ condition of society. It is used figuratively.

a. In this climate of political divide, it is refreshing to be able to debate amicably.

b. In this climate of apparent accountability, I hope we can all be more transparent.

2. 'Smooth sailing' or 'it's not all smooth sailing' are wonderful idioms to show ease or the lack of it.

a. After we organized the wedding and sent out the invitations, everything else was smooth sailing.

b. Running your own business is not all smooth sailing. You might have more control and independence, but you have all the responsibility.

3. 'To be more than happy to..' is obvious in meaning, and a great addition to a sentence.

a. I am more than happy to help you; just tell me what you need.

b. We are more than happy to help that charity because it does so much good for the community.