April 27, 2020

When We Run Out of Normal, We Learn to Make Some

By Conrad M. Medrano, KIPP Texas-Houston AP computer science teacher and English language learner coordinator

My grandmother once said to me,

Cuando ya no estoy, quiero que sigas siendo fuerte. Firme. Firme como la palma. Puede soplar el viento y batirte pero no te puede tumbar.

When I’m not here [anymore], I want you to keep being strong. Firm. Firm like the palm tree. The wind can blow and batter you but it cannot knock you down.

Right now we are in quite the storm and the wind is blowing hard. I want to share with you the good and the bad in my life during this pandemic.


I’M THANKFUL TO BE ALIVE AND TO BE HEALTHY. I’m Okay. First and foremost, I have to recognize where I’m lucky, I’m thankful to be alive and to be healthy. I have food and shelter and a wonderful roommate who is keeping me company. I have a bed and a stuffed animal and the substance more valuable than gold: toilet paper.

I’m Keeping Busy. There is a lot to do now. I have been working with another esteemed colleague of mine to help lead and train a lot of our staff to switch over to distance learning.

The work does not stop, there is always something to troubleshoot, a student in need, an email to respond to.

I’m certainly not dying of boredom. And, when I feel like I need a break, I practice Mandarin or play video games.

I’m Not Alone. My roommate is definitely my best friend and has helped to ground me during this moment. I have all my wonderful family, who have been checking in on me virtually.

I have friends who committed to doing a Google Meet call with me, despite having no idea how to use it. Click here to read the full story.