Slice of Life Story Challenge 2020 Day 19

Today, March 19th, 2020, I’m participating in Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Story Challenge.

“I’ll be right back,” I said.

My wife looked back at me from the passenger seat.  “We’ll meet you here in the parking lot,” she responded.

I pulled on the newly purchased orange and white rubber gloves and walked toward the door of the AAA office.  My driver’s license had expired and I needed to renew it.  This is silly to wear gloves, isn’t it? I wondered silently.  Then I remembered the news stories I had read earlier in the day.  About a spreading infectious virus.  No.  It wasn’t silly.

Pulling the glass door open, I entered the office and felt myself immediately greeted by an eerie quiet.  Don’t these places usually pipe in background music?  Perhaps not.  Inside, only three employees manned the entire large AAA office.  Several desks sat empty to my right as I entered the queue.  Only one other customer in front of me quietly conversed with the help desk clerk.

As I waited, I overheard a few conversations: “Yes, well I wanted to let you know that I am going to be out at least ten days,” one employee stated into a beige telephone “I care for elderly parents, and, well…I just can’t take any chances.”

Next to me to my right, another employee spoke into a different phone.  I could sense the irritation in her voice.  “I’ve been on hold for nearly three hours, and my clients need to cancel their trip.  They’re supposed to leave tomorrow.  Can someone please help me with this?”  I thought about the family whose trip would not happen.  How long it takes to plan a trip.  And I thought about the woman who cares for her elderly parents.  I thought about my young family, waiting for me in the car outside.

The world feels different right now.

Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

14 thoughts on “Slice of Life Story Challenge 2020 Day 19”

  1. The world is different right now. Your slice today is filled with that tension we all are experiencing. Be careful and be safe. That is our mantra now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes it does. Love that you weaved together multiple points of view, that you made no judgments and the reader was with you the entire time. Stay safe and be well.


  3. Your slice today is the perfect example of what I was trying to do with students third quarter. It shows the power of a small narrative in explaining the impact of a situation. We hadn’t gotten to dialogue yet. Sigh.

    My own story:
    My daughter will likely not be having her destination wedding but will instead wear her absolutely gorgeous dress to the courthouse. We will see. There is a bit of time.

    I feel for those in your slice- and for all the seniors facing the end of their schooling without graduations.

    Thanks for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The devil is in the details–COVID-19 is evident in every aspect of this detailed post. My collegeboy says he feels like he is waking up in a new world every day, these past few weeks. I have to agree with him, and you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The world is very different right now. It’s unnerving and scary. It’s a time for readjusting and taking it a day at a time. Today was one of those days where I felt everything closing in. Thank goodness my gym went live on Facebook & I was able to get a workout in at my normal time. I’m feeling a little better now. I hope & pray that there is an end to this soon. It’s only been a week but it feels like a month.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Even the normal feels completely strange, doesn’t it? I love how you structured this piece, giving us such a powerful glimpse into how this pandemic has impacted every single one of us in our own unique ways. Stay healthy and keep wearing those gloves!

    Liked by 1 person

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