Arts writer and music educator Elmer Ellefson keeps a low profile while at his post safe and sequestered.

As the pandemic began, I took inventory of the commodities we had in our house. Many items we already had on hand, but a trip to the store was necessary. Eggs, milk, flour, dog food, and yes, toilet paper are needed to provide basic provisions for our family to be in quarantine. Preparing food from scratch is a joy and we are well stocked.

 My wife teaches in the School of Communications at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and I teach Vocal Music in the Council Bluffs Public Schools. Our schools have shifted to serving students in an online format. Teachers working at home is not new, but teachers working from home is.

 This created the need for us to transform the privacy of our home into a place to meet digitally with students. Long neglected ceiling repairs and walls that desperately needed a fresh coat of paint finally received their proper attention. We are very fortunate that we are able to maintain our employment.

 As the current pace of life has greatly slowed down and the amount of unclaimed time has increased, this self-quarantine has opened my eyes to consider and reflect how I might better use my time when the quarantine is lifted. As an educator I am constantly concerned with the growth and understanding of my students. More specifically as an arts educator my students explore their individual identity in collaborating together to create music. Art in its many forms completes our human experience.

 I am safe at home with many books, interests and hobbies to actively engage and enrich myself. But, oh how I do miss the abundance of arts offerings in the Omaha area. I miss connecting with the artists and art enthusiasts of our community. Please stay healthy and safe at home. Who’s ready to get out and see art?


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