Back to School | September 10, 2020

There is no better time to be a crazypants than during a pandemic.

From homemade masks to homemade hypochondria, if there has been something to obsessively worry about for the past six months, I’ve had it covered.  This has been very lucky for my husband, Kyle, who has been awakened from a dead sleep more than once to answer questions such as, “How many squares of toilet paper do you use when you go to the bathroom?” and “If someone sneezes from 6’ away and it’s windy, can it blow coronavirus onto you?”

So, of course, before my older son had even packed up his Chromebook from the previous school year, I was already fretting about the upcoming one.

“Maybe we should build a little schoolhouse in the backyard,” I’d whisper to my husband in the black of night.  “And hire a teacher and make a school pod for the boys and a couple of their classmates.”

“Good idea,” Kyle would pat me on the leg without opening his eyes.  “Let’s talk about it tomorrow.”

By the morning I’d have a new good idea, like sending our kids to regular school in those Back to the Future plutonium suits, or moving into the woods and becoming a family of hermits.

Meanwhile, the administrators and the teachers of the Grand Forks School District were coming up with their own good ideas.  And so, as the calendar flipped to August and the District laid out their no-nonsense plans for the year, I weighed every option a million times, and finally woke Kyle up one more time to tell him, “Maybe we should send the kids to school.”

“Good idea,” Kyle said.

School has been in session for just about two weeks, and this crazypants mother is grateful every day for the diligence and hard work done by the teachers, principals, support personnel, and district staff to keep our kids safe. I appreciate the parents who made the tough decision to distance learn at home, and I appreciate the parents who made the tough decision to send their kids to school. And I am able to rest easy knowing that all of the sleepless nights were worth it after my son announced his favorite part of being back at school:


And speaking of things that are as good as lunch, check out this week’s news – about lifelong friends, pandas named Fred and George, and this year’s County Teachers of the Year.  Read on.

Lace up your sneakers: the Parkinson’s Foundation is hosting a virtual walk on Saturday, September 12. (Fargo Forum)

I mean, this is just too cute. (KX Net)

This is the story about Duke and his human, Ray Unterseher. (McKenzie County Farmer)

When an arrest left a farm full of animals without someone to care for them, members of the Ward County Sheriff’s Department and the Berthold Police Department, as well as private citizens, volunteered to help. (Minot Daily News)

The official Sam McQuade Softball Tournament may have been cancelled this year, but the event still raised $84,000 for area charities. (KX Net)

UND’s Pierson Painter got to ring the NASDAQ closing bell. (Grand Forks Herald)

The Salvation Army is suiting up for its annual Coats for Kids Drive.  If you have a new or gently used coat kicking around in your closet, please consider donating it to help keep our North Dakota kids warm! (KVRR)

September 19th is International Red Panda Day, and so Fred and George at the Minot Zoo are having a party. (Minot Daily News)

Happy 103rd birthday to Watford City’s Alice Witkowski! (McKenzie County Farmer)

Dickinson’s Kendra Miller ran a one-woman marathon that raised $25,000 for Leukemia and Lymphoma… (KX Net)

…And Bismarck’s Chris Skorheim ran 100 miles – from Bismarck to Minot – over three days to raise money for his cousin with ALS. (KX Net)

Golden Drive Homeless Kids donated 5,000 face masks and 10,000 sanitary wipes to West Fargo homeless shelters. (KVRR)

Congratulations to the 16 teachers who have been named North Dakota’s 2021 County Teachers of the Year! (Jamestown Sun)

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