Many people cope with the current COIVD-19 health crisis, pandemic or isolation, different than others. Whatever you want to call this time period, all of us have a story based on our personalities.

One of the main reasons why a question focuses on an individual being a introvert, extrovert or ambivert is because it does give an idea how people go about their lives and the changes that transpired.

Yours truly is mostly on the introvert side, especially on the NASCAR media side of things.

I feel like I have to earn the respect of others before just casually having a conversation with the well-established folks. Whereas in INDYCAR, it’s a lot different because I’m more comfortable to speak with some of the media people, notably the photographers.

Part of this have to do not being a burning bridges kind of guy. Trust me, I hated being that guy throughout my academic life (especially in college) and have been working extremely hard to stop those instances from happening.

Now with the crisis, my introvert side has reached a point where I can’t reach my max potential in my career and personal life.

Aside from trying to launch a podcast called “Behind the Exploratory Lenses,” there’s so little I can do to keep coming up with new content. Life can be frustrating that way.

I’m doing the best I can to get through this struggle and just hope things get better. That’s my biggest goal with this upcoming podcast, making sure I can provide original stories and content during the crisis.

This leads me to the latest installment of “Their Own Words.”

Previous Installment: James Layman

Fellow introvert Amanda St. Pierre, a high school teacher from Spokane, Washington, is doing the best to find ways to make the most of a troubling time period in our society.

During my three years as a JC (junior counselor) at Mt. Triumph Leadership Camp from 2013-15, Amanda was my SC (senior counselor) in my last year at camp.

We worked really well together guiding both Kennedy and Rogers High School that July and it’s still one of the biggest highlights of my yesteryear life. This was thanks in most part because in my eye, we had solid chemistry all around. Amanda was the right person to have as my colleague and was a positive way to go out.

That being said, here’s Amanda’s response to my questions regarding how she’s been dealing with the current ordeal.

Describe how the current health crisis impacts your way of living?

ASP: Honestly, it has caused me to slow down and spend more time with my family. I miss my students like crazy, but I know that my stress levels are way down because I am not running a million miles an hour trying to get everything done each day.

Based on your description (Introvert, Extrovert or Ambivert), does that play a role in your thoughts?

ASP: I know that I am surviving better because I am an introvert. I do miss my close friends and colleagues, the ones that I interact with daily, but for the most part, I am loving that I don’t have to get dressed or “put on a show” every day!

How is your occupation impacted and what does it mean for you?

ASP: School buildings are closed. Teachers are having to get creative about how to connect with kids and deliver instruction. I work in a very collaborate environment and it has been really difficult to not be able to just walk down the hall and have a conversation with my co-teachers.

Collaborating via Zoom and other virtual tools has been tough. We are on different pages often while we try to create a new work-life balance. I have also found myself frustrated with the way that communication is happening between the state, districts, and teachers. I feel like as a teacher, my hands are tied as I wait for decisions to be made. And when I don’t have the information that I need, I can’t very well support my students in their confusion. It’s been really tough.

Any implications social distancing has on you?

ASP: I miss being able to sit out on a patio and visit with friends. I miss being able to hug the people that I love (the ones that I don’t live with). I also miss my chiropractor!

Due to the crisis, were there any plans cancelled or postponed and does it have any significance?

ASP: Our prom and graduation were cancelled. As the leadership teacher in my school I am very serious about the role that I have to create school community. The quarantine has cancelled two of the most important rite of passage events in my students’ lives. So I have to get creative about ways to create a sense of community and family for my school and my students. Our students are confused and sad and I just want to be there for them, but I know that I have mourning of my own to do around the loss of the rest of our year.

How are your friends and/or loved ones coping with it?

ASP: My family seems to be doing well. And I am working on keeping in touch with my friends as often as I can. I am most worried about my students though. I’m not sure how they are really doing and I can’t be there every day to be a source of stability for them.

During difficult times, how aware are you that what you’re doing is making a difference for other people?

ASP: I am struggling with this. Serving and making a difference is such an important part of who I am. I have been writing letters, making phone calls, and thinking of creative ways to connect. I know that in order for me to be mentally healthy, I have to continue to look for ways to have a positive impact for others.

Any advice you’d like to give for readers?

ASP: Take care of yourself, love your people, reach out if you need help. We’ll make it through this.

Published by Luis Torres

University of Idaho graduate that's currently pursuing the dream of becoming a motorsports media personnel.

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