My Love-Hate Relationship With On-line Learning

I find myself this morning putting the finishing touches on a somewhat rough, but hopefully useful, childbirth class that is alarmingly brief.  Just 2 short months ago I was defending vehemently that out of all the passive and distance ed classes offered through every possible electronic platform these days, the one class….the sacred class…that should never be offered on line, was childbirth training.  It is hands-on,  it needs time and breath, it is about relationship. It is about humor and uncomfortable questions and relationship!

And yet here I am.  COVID-19 has changed everything in a blink of an eye.  As a public health professional who retired  just a month ago, it snuck up on us while in full view.  We saw it coming and we have run exercises for this, but I don’t know that anyone would have guessed at the strength of the necessary restrictions that would quietly change every aspect of our daily routines in ways that we hadn’t imagined.  We didn’t know what we didn’t know.

And here I am talking to people I have never met on the other side of my recorded computer screen, trying to form a relationship and straining to think about how to communicate strategies without my hands, without looking in their eyes and without knowing their history.  Did they have a difficult first birth?  Do they use the word, “terrified?”  Do they have experience doing something physically challenging?  I don’t know, so I have to speak in generalities and hope that somewhere in a spray of words I hit the mark.

Yet, these are different times, and different times call for different measures.  It calls for taking control of your own learning…looking inside yourself and taking what I can offer  as your starting line and running with it.  The truth is, it has always been about you.  YOU must do your own research, and use your own discernment (What?? Not every website or link is legit?!)  You must find the strength and confidence inside to face this journey as a family-in-the-making.  The truth is that you had always been in the drivers seat on this journey, so here we go!

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