Address By Karen Enz Adult Education Instructor at Fremont Union High School District


My name is Karen Enz and I want to introduce myself as an academic and standardized college testing tutor, which I have done for 15 years.  In that time, I have had the privilege of working with more than one thousand students in “Silicon Valley.” Recently, my heart went out to my March SAT students, who had been working countless hours to prepare themselves for this “rite of passage,” as nerve wracking as it might have seemed. They thenhad the test abruptly cancelled just a few days before its scheduled administration.  I got a few laughs when I reminded them about whatGen. Douglas Macarthur said when he had to leave the Philippines after the Japanese bombardment during WWII (if I may personify the SAT in this response): “I shall return.”  Such is the “tyranny” of standardized testing, at least right now.


Most of you have undoubtedly have been exposed to a flurry of “nuts and bolts” guidance from your school and parents about how to facilitate your education during this time.  My purpose in writing is more general, realizing that I need as wellto do a lot of adaptation, not always welcome. I have had to make sure I take my own advice when asked about time management when “sheltering in place.” I want to make sure that I don’t “binge”utilize electronic resources or let myself get bored and/or restless.


I want to communicate to students that you are experiencing an unprecedented situation, which seems to be changing every day, and which can be very unsettling and uncertain in its outcome.  The year 2020 will be chronicled in books and articles and eventually in history texts/material, like the 1918-9 flu outbreak has been. The good news is that we have much better knowledge and tools at our disposal to mitigate the medical and economic effects. As far as improved communication is concerned,having grown up with a dial telephone (you can laugh), I could not have hardly envisioned this electronic rectangular solid I carry around which I don’t want controlling my life!


One suggestion I have is to keep a journal (as I am doing) to add your voice to the record, whether it ever gets published or not.  It may not seem important, but I can ensure you it will be.  Pick up that phone or video chat with someone who may feel isolated.  The human voice can be “music to someone’s ears” in a way that texting is not.  Consider the fact that the human voice has evolved for thousands of years as a very potent feature by which we connect in a way texting cannot be.


I leave you with these words: “You are resilient and important just as the person you are.  You have the ability to take charge of your learning in new and creative ways.  I have every confidence in you!”

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