Someday, Grant Bieser is going to have a great story to tell his children. Well, that’s when Grant is a bit older and learns how to talk.
That’s because the son of Truman High School activities director Daniel Bieser celebrated his first birthday during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our daughter Vivian turned 4 in March, just before all the quarantine stuff happened,” said Bieser, the Patriots’ first-year activities director who is now playing daddy to his two young children while still taking care of all his prep duties. “So she had the big birthday party.
“Grant was 1 on April 12, and we had the big 1-year-old birthday party planned in St. Louis with all our relatives – and of course, it didn’t happen because of the coronavirus quarantine.
“I know my wife and our relatives were a lot more disappointed than a 1-year-old, but boy, is he ever going to have a story to tell his kids and grandkids one day – having your first birthday during the COVID-19 quarantine.”
Bieser is a glass half full kind of administrator, and despite some frustrations, he is making the most of working at home and Zooming with his coaches and fellow administrators rather than meeting with them face to face.
“I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m about Zoomed out,” he joked. “We have the Zoom meetings weekly, to keep in touch and stay up to date on everything.
“But I can’t wait for the time I can walk down the hallways, into a classroom, our gym or the weight room and visit face-to-face with one of our coaches. You don’t know how much you miss that face-to-face time, those in-person conversations, until you can’t have them anymore.”
He paused for a moment, and added, “And I can’t even tell you how excited I am about going back and watching a sporting event. This week would have been the leadup to district and state and I think about that so much – what our kids, especially our seniors, are missing. What we’re all missing!
“I know we’re experiencing the new normal, and I want to go back to the old normal. And I know it’s going to happen someday; it just can’t get here soon enough for me.”
Bieser could spend hours talking about his love of Truman High School, and he does a great job talking about the silver lining moments he has experienced during the quarantine.
“We still have staff handing out meals to the kids who need to get their meals from the school district, and that fills me with pride,” he said. “We have such great leadership – you see (Independence Superintendent) Dr. (Dale) Herl on a school bus, riding around Independence handing out food to families.
“They are making quarantine masks over at Chrisman and even though our doors are closed, our teachers are still teaching and our students are still learning.
“And for me personally, I’ve had more dinners at home the past six weeks than I have had the past 10 years that I have been a teacher and coach in the school district.
“I get to stay home with Vivian and Grant and they just make me laugh all day. And they keep me on toes – boy, do they keep me on my toes.”