Tideline Magazine

(Tideline) #1
Photo Illustration by Atticus Parker

asked back but had chosen
to accept employment at
other companies or schools.
Those who worked at
Pali throughout the spring
semester did their best to
manage the situation. Brown,
who often worked the night
shift, said the schedule was
psychologically onerous.
“Literally there was some
point where I was just like:
How much longer can I keep
doing this?” he said. “Because
my kids are at school during
the day, and my family’s at
work during the day, I don’t
see anybody during the day.
I sit around all day waiting
to go to work to sit around
again for eight-and-a-half

more hours without contact.”
To rack up as many
part-time hours as he could,
Brown frequently worked
back-to-back night and
morning shifts last semester.
During most nights he said
he returned to his Downey
home at 11 p.m., then woke up
at 6 a.m. to leave for work again,
erasing all possible family time.
“That’s what we do to
make sure we get as many
days as possible,” he said, “so
we can’t be picky about shifts.”
Still, Brown holds his head
up. “The small time that you
have, you make the most of it.
Don’t complain about it, just
be thankful that you got it and
that you got your family and

that you got your health,” he
said. “None of us ever thought
we’d be dealing with this,
but we’re getting through it.”
His sister’s powerful exam-
ple and his own philosophical
outlook have focused him on
gratitude. “We all think that life
is just so rough and that we can’t
get through it,” Brown mused,
“but we never know what the
next person is going through, or
what the next person is dealing
with, that is just so much more
tragic or so much more deep
than what we’re dealing with.”
Brown and other aides
completed safety training
over the summer and have
been back on campus Mon-
days through Fridays since

then, performing mandatory
COVID-19 screenings and
enforcing safety guidelines.
Pali reopened its campus
to sports teams in March,
and Brown is serving as the
Athletics COVID-19 Compli-
ance Monitor, assuring that
mask-wearing and social dis-
tancing protocols are adhered
to during practices and games.
Now fully vaccinated
and less worried about his
personal safety, Brown can
do what he loves to do most:
spread his positivity and joy.
“I’m glad to have that con-
nection again with everyone
and glad to see the smiles
again,” he said. “I’m starting
to feel like myself again now.”

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