Physics teacher Catherine Cohn and English teacher Kate Zavack each welcomed newborn babies into the world. In the midst of a global pandemic and virtual school, they’ve had to adjust both their personal and professional lives to new circumstances. However, despite the changes, both teachers agree that their children bring more meaning and joy into their daily lives.
Cohn’s daughter, Iris, was born on Jan. 5. Cohn is currently on maternity leave and has rejoiced in the time that she has spent with her newborn daughter. “One of the best things about newborn babies is how they smell,” she said. “Sometimes when I’m just holding her, and I can just like, smell her… it’s the best feeling.” Having a child has fundamentally changed the way Cohn approaches life. “Having a baby has forced me to take a step back,” she said. “I’m still checking my email every day, but I don’t respond within an hour. Right now there’s this baby that needs me to survive and feed her. That’s helping reprioritize this balance in my work life.”
Zavack’s son, Jude, was born on March 26, 2020. At what was then the start of the pandemic, taking care of a newborn wasn’t as difficult as Zavack previously thought. “I was lucky that when he was a newborn, it was the spring semester,” she said. “So, because it was all asynchronous, it was much more flexible.” Though her son is still young, Zavack has spotted many similarities between herself and Jude. “We like the same foods, we have similar palates and we are very adventurous with what we eat,” she said. “We get a little panicky when food is not in front of us right away.” Even with the occasional speed bump, Zavack notes how having a young child is a joyous experience. “Anything that makes him laugh is the best,” she said. “When the baby cracks up, there’s nothing like it. So whatever that is, that’s what I want to be doing.”