Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Every Day Counts...

Every day counts. Every choice matters.
Every one of us knows that’s true.
Every life has purpose. Every purpose a plan
and we've no choice but seeing it through.
Every week spent apart seems longer
than the weeks spent apart before.
Every morning brings a new fondness
for the hinge--not the lock--on the door.
But if we must live our days (cloistered away)
‘til the key in that lock is turned,
we will live knowing this: “EVERY DAY COUNTS” 
and that matters…
more than all other lessons learned.
© April 1, 2020, Tom Kapanka

Sent to CCS Students on April 1, 2020 the day rumors in most Michigan news outlets leaked that the governor was going to announce that all schools would remain closed for the remainder of the school year. On March 12, in response to the escalating number of Covid-19 cases in Michigan,the governor mandated that all schools, public and private, must shut their doors until April 6, and that all students must "Stay Home; Stay Safe." Later that same week all theaters, restaurants, places of assembly were closed. Calvary immediately launched a "home to home" teaching model, and assured students that we would "carry on" and stay the course. However, by the next Friday, the MDE declared that no matter how much instruction was given (from teachers to homes), the days would not "count." There was an explanation about how the mechanisms were not in place to evaluate the merit of such "instruction," that not all districts were equally equipped to deliver services, and therefore the days outside the building would not count toward credit or graduation requirements. As a private school we had the freedom to decide a different approach to the situation, as I explained to our school family via video the morning after the MDE news. We had chosen to apply the lesson from the parable in Matthew 19, the [head]master said, "occupy till I [we] return. We chose to "occupy" ourselves academically and invest each day in hopes of a return (a return on our investment and a return to school). Two weeks later, more rumors shot across the state that the "return date" which had already moved from April 6 to the end of April was about to convert to a "no return this academic year." Our students were again confused, and we began getting calls asking, "So none of the days we've worked so hard mattered? The days don't count?" So I went to the school (11:00PM) and shot this video update which we sent out the next morning. The morning before the governor's announcement, which gave all districts the freedom to address the news as best they can in their own local contexts (which was what we did from day one), I woke up thinking about the sad and empty echo of the question heard around the state: "Does every day count?" I know it was being asked in an academic sense, but I want CCS students and all students everywhere to know that the answer is a resounding: EVERY DAY COUNTS. In fact, these days count more than any other days you've ever spent in a classroom. Make the most of them. Learn things beyond the books. Reconnect with family. Ponder the strange feeling of Isolation vs. solitude, remember the energy of being seated among hundreds or thousands at a concert or a ball game or a rally or church. Learn that it always takes the presence of countless others to be "one in a million." Remember that feeling and how we took for granted how often freely gathered. Ache for the fact that we cannot do that. Ache for the families feeling grief and loss. Ache and don't forget the feeling. For in such heartache there is learning that lasts a lifetime. Then rise from the ache and do something that matters each day. Not just school work. Yes, that matters but determine to learn and think beyond those "lessons" and absorb the reality around you as you are living it. It's then you will know what has always been true: EVERY DAY COUNTS.

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