All posts by halimoomar1

Distance Learning

I work as a teaching assistant at an elementary school in Saint Paul. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, schools had to be moved completely online. So now we are doing distance learning. As a student myself, I understand how difficult this must be for younger students who are in elementary, middle, and high school. This is a scary time for all of us, for them and their families. I’ve only been working as a TA for 6 months now and I truly miss working in the classrooms. I miss being around my students and being able to help them with their needs right away. Now everything is different. I’m not gonna lie, this whole distance learning thing is very difficult and confusing. Luckily the MN department of education is giving support to educators on distance learning and giving them the resources they need to help their students, “Schools are community hubs for children and families. School closures put burdens on children and families and disproportionately impact communities of color, as well as indigenous, immigrant, low-income families and communities, and students with disabilities and their families. Throughout the distance learning period, MDE continually assessed the efficacy of the programming and services, issued additional guidance when necessary, and determined a need for additional supports for our most underserved students and families as well as students whose education may require limited on-site services”. I’m glad with Saint Paul Public Schools, everyone is working hard to make sure students and their families get the help they need and deserve and staff are getting the resources to provide for their students. Of course distance learning doesn’t work for everyone and as teachers there’s only so much you can do for students. I hope by the fall schools will be able open back up and I can see my students bright faces again. I know they miss being at school too.

link: https://education.mn.gov/MDE/dse/health/covid19/

Support Local Businesses!

It’s important to support local businesses during these hard times. Local restaurants are hit the hardest during this pandemic. These small businesses are run by families and people of color and these small businesses are their income. It’s important to help out! In this article it explains how to support local businesses.

1- Purchase gift cards to your favorite shops.

Restaurants everywhere are hoping you’ll comeback soon so by purchasing a gift card or gift certificate you would be helping them a ton but also you can use them at a future date when you can actually go out and enjoy a meal!

2- Order delivery or take out

You can still support local restaurants by ordering take out or delivery! A lot of local businesses in MN have moved to curbside pickup, so all you gotta do is order ahead and grab your food. Also some restaurants have added new things to their menus, so just because we’re stuck indoors we can still enjoy new foods from them!

3- Tip. A lot!

Delivery drivers are putting themselves at risk while providing us with our goods. They are in the front lines during this pandemic and they should be generously tipped!

4-Donate where you can

Try and find local businesses you can donate to if you can. These people serve us our food, it’s nice to help them out. Some of them probably don’t have paid sick leave, some probably can’t file for unemployment, etc. It’s important to help them!

5- Stay positive

The whole world is going through it, socially and economically. We’re not alone so it’s important to stay positive during these tough times and hope everything can get back to normal once this pandemic is over.

There are so many local businesses throughout the Twincities, I’ll name a few of the ones I enjoyed.

-Karibu grocery and deli

-East side Thai

-Thirty-six cafe

-Fasika

-MaƱana Salvadorian Restaurant

-Cha yes

-Mu Mu Tea

Go support your local businesses!

Black women dying from birth/pregnancy complications

Black women’s concerns are so easily dismissed in hospitals. This article states “Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s partly why the overall rate of pregnancy-related deaths has climbed over the past two decades, making the maternal mortality rate in the United States the worst in any industrialized country”. I find this pretty scary since I am a Black woman myself and one day would like to have kids of my own. On Twitter I would sometimes see a news article or a post about a Black woman that has died of birth complications in the hospital, the article or post would always state that the mother had concerns but the doctors didn’t think it was serious until it was too late. The article states “The reasons behind the racial disparities are many and complex, she said. Lack of access and poor quality of care are leadings factors, particularly among women at lower socioeconomic levels. But there’s a bigger problem, Langer said. “Basically, black women are undervalued. They are not monitored as carefully as white women are. When they do present with symptoms, they are often dismissed.” Although “lack of access and poor quality of care” and low socioeconomic level could lead to birthing complications, Black women are definitely undervalued. Serena Williams and Beyonce had difficulties with their pregnancies and birthing, and they’re both well established women. In the article Serena experienced a pulmonary embolism a day after giving birth. Pulmonary embolism is a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs become blocked by a blood clot. Serena has had this condition before, so she knew right away what it was when she was gasping for air. The hospital staff dismissed her at first but she pushed them to check her lungs and of course she was right. This is a famous athlete who had to push these doctors to do something before it was too late. This says a lot about how the healthcare system treats Black mothers, regardless of their socioeconomic level. I hope Black women will be valued more in the healthcare systems so these tragedies that can be completely prevented don’t ever happen again.

Apparently US Coronavirus Response is a “Success Story”

In this CNN article Jared Kushner, President Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law, praises administration’s response to the pandemic as a “success story” after confirmed cases reached 1 million. Kushner states “the federal government rose to the challenge and this is a great success story and I think that that’s really what needs to be told”. He also predicts that the US will be good by July and that everything will be back to normal. This kind of narrative towards the coronavirus is something we don’t need, especially coming from a government official. Giving false hope by saying the US should be fine by July is irresponsible and just plain dumb. Citizens are already going out as is, not caring about the stay at home order. The US is not really handling the pandemic that well and I find it funny that Kushner is calling the response a “success story”. The article states that the president said, “other countries don’t have the ability to do what we’re doing”, I don’t think the US is doing enough. Hospital staff are low on protective gear, hospitals are getting packed, there’s not many testing kits. Although there are some other countries that may be struggling, there are also other countries doing a lot better than the US. Plus there will be discussions on the economy opening up, and that’s a bad idea too. Until there’s a vaccine that works, nothing will be back to normal. This whole “success story” is bogus.

Link: https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/29/politics/jared-kushner-coronavirus-success-story/index.html

Coronavirus ruins senior year events

I didn’t anticipate my final year of my undergrad to be like this, nobody did. Being the first person in my household to get my college degree and walking on that stage was what I was looking forward to but now that’s been postponed to a later date. I’m not too hopeful about it either since anything could happen and it could get cancelled, which I understand. Also not being able to be at classes physically and being stuck at home doing final assignments is very difficult and anxiety inducing, since so many of us probably don’t have the best home environments. Young people all over the world who are either high school seniors or college seniors are all going through the same things, we are missing out on our important milestones that we worked so hard to achieve.

This article shows interviews of 5 seniors who range from either high school or College. One of them is part of their high school school paper, they’re bummed out that things are cancelled but they’re thinking positively and working online with other members in the school paper to publish papers online and talk about what others are doing at home. Another interviewee is a nontraditional college senior, he graduated high school ten years ago and was looking forward to this day for awhile, but of course things happen and he’s just looking forward to getting his degree. The thing he’s upset about is not being able to be in classes physically and using the resources on campus.

This article discusses the ways people around you can help but I also think you can use it to help yourself. The first step is to acknowledge their feelings. The seniors will probably feel sad and hurt and it’s important to notice their feelings and talk about it. A lot of them haven’t experienced something like this. Second step is encourage them to stay connected. Right now it’s a hard time to stay connected with people, especially if we cant see them physically. So it’s important to connect with people virtually. It’s the perfect era for social distancing since we have so much social media. Third step is to focus on what they can control. They can think about what they can do after this pandemic, like plan a big trip with friends or family, have a party, anything that’s super positive. Fourth step is emphasize the greater good. Talk about the reasons why this is happening and why they’re important. It’ll give them a better understanding and not be too upset.

Although everyone has been looking forward to graduations, proms, finishing up classes and saying final goodbyes to peers and teachers, we know that we’re not alone and after this pandemic we’ll celebrate and have the fun we deserve.

Animal Crossing is the new wave during this pandemic

Animal crossing has saved so many of us from extreme boredom being stuck in our houses due to Covid-19. This game came out in such a perfect time! It’s only been one month since it’s release and it’s the most talked about game. This article states that sales figures from Japan and Britain suggest that this is the strongest launch for an animal crossing game in history. This game became so popular that it’s being talked about on so many social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok, etc. So many people are sharing their screenshots of the game, showing off their islands, and villagers, even their own characters and the cute clothes they wear. Usually animal crossing is the not kind of game I’m into but after seeing all the screenshots on twitter and my close friend getting the game, I got it. I don’t regret buying it at all. The game basically starts off with you talking to two raccoon looking animals and you create your character and your island. There’s not really an objective to the game, you just build you island and create it how you want it to look. You gain cute animal villagers and you can chat with them so they can feel loved. There’s something about doing manual labor in a cute game that’s soothing, and since I can’t go out anymore, it helps. My favorite thing about the game so far is getting to create cute clothes and sharing them with my friends so they can also wear it. A lot of animal crossing players have been creating clothes from their favorite shows or anime and letting their character cosplay which is super cool. The best part of the game is that you can visit your friends islands and talk with them. Due to social distancing we can’t hang with our friends anymore but with animal crossing we can go to their islands and hang with them virtually.

This is a screenshot from my switch. I’m at my friend’s island and we’re all just hanging out in her museum. I’m the one in the middle.
This is another screenshot of my character. I’m on my island. I loved how the cherry blossoms looked.

This game is super fun! I love to buy clothes and switch my look up here and there. The great thing about animal crossing is that you play at your own pace whenever you want to. You can literally play for a few minutes and check on your villagers, or you can play for hours and work on your island. You can create your own world and hang out with friends! During these uncertain times it’s really nice to just sit back and escape into your own world.