What's The Matter With Me? Podcast

I have multiple sclerosis, trigeminal neuralgia and I made this podcast to share what I’m going through.

A crash course in distance learning

I recorded this message on lockdown. I can’t go anywhere due to the coronavirus pandemic and my multiple sclerosis condition. I’m in my house with my family, trying to educate my kids and keep their development on track. We’re taking a crash course in distance learning, e-learning, online education, or whatever it’s called, sooner than any of us thought.

LOCKED DOWN in California. Using my wheelchair to get around the neighborhood. Spoke to the teacher in a Zoom conference. Distance learning, ready or not. In the virtual classroom. Online learning resources from the library. Immersed in the distance learning environment overnight. I may be related to teachers. Spanish lessons.


JOHN HOPPIN: This is the What’s The Matter With Me? podcast. My name is John. I’m a father, small business owner, husband, radio DJ podcaster, and I have MS and I made this podcast to share what I’m going through.

LOCKED DOWN in California

All right, it’s the What’s The Matter With Me? podcast. It’s still the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast, despite all that’s going on. I’m locked down in California. I can’t go anywhere because I’m on all these medication. I check all the boxes, even though I’m pretty healthy, but I’m not allowed to really go anywhere or see anyone.

Using my wheelchair to get around the neighborhood

The farthest I get is my kids, I get to go on the morning walk. I’ve been using my wheelchair on the morning walk to get around my neighborhood. It’s cool. That’s a cool thing. But it’s a post-apocalyptic scene. The sheriff’s deputies are riding side-by-side on a couple motor scooters. They’re not even really motorcycles. Anyway, it’s just, they’re there. That’s good. Their bikes could use some improvement, I guess. But they’re there and my kids saw them and I hope they felt like there’s order in the world when they saw them.

Spoke to the teacher in a Zoom conference

Today, we spoke to the teacher on a kind of chatting on.. what’s the thing, Zoom. I installed it today and I became part of Gen Z for Zoom. Gen Z, man. Anyway, I’m a Gen X-er. I’m the original Gen X. I’m the original Gen Y. I’m kind of even just straight up fell through the cracks. I’m nothing. I can’t [inaudible]. Anyway, let me pause this. I’m getting all the way off topic here. Come on man. Pausing …

Okay, so I’m here. I’m self-isolating with my kids. I’ve been in my house since Friday morning and now it’s Thursday and like I said, I went in the wheelchair. I need to get some better exercise than that. The kids are riding around the block in circles like it’s a velodrome. Koko is like, “I did six laps.” I’m like, “This is nuts.”

Distance learning, ready or not

Trying to teach the kids. A good thing was we had that Zoom with John John’s teacher, and she was very prepared. The school gave him a Chromebook the week before everything shut down and so he’s been using that. He has a Google Classroom. It’s pretty cool, this distance learning. It’s like, what can you make of it, really? They’re going up full-bore, like people who are like, “I want to have a distance learning program.” Well, you got your wish.

In the virtual classroom

I really feel for the students and the faculty and the staff. John John wrote, first thing, he wrote “hi” to his classmates on Google Classroom, his virtual classroom platform. There was an assignment. The teacher asked them to write a few sentences about how they feel, and John John wrote he was sad and that missed his school. That was tough to hear, but then he immediately launched into commenting. He just wanted to be part of that social media experience that I think we probably all take for granted. He was so excited to do that, and I was like, “This is good. It’s learning.”

Online learning resources from the library

My friend is a librarian, and shout-outs to Rocky. Rocky’s been a really interesting in all my mind recently, bringing me cool ideas. She’s a librarian and just yesterday, she was like, “Get your kid to use the online learning resources at your local library.” And I logged in to the San Jose public library and they have a whole e-learning thing. I mean, I’m going to have John John do that. He’s going to love it. We watched the beginning intro videos and learned about it and he’s stoked. Koko can use it too, and I know she’s going to want to do just like her brother.

Immersed in the distance learning environment overnight

We’re now in this virtual learning environment like that: overnight, no more class. We are learning online and now we’re doing it and I’m here with him, watching him next to him do it, and he’s learning about rocks and about magma and how it turns into lava. I already forgot half of it, but he was all into it. And we’re learning in Spanish. That’s probably why … There is sedimentos, sediment and something else. I forget the word for the rock in Spanish. Anyhow, learning it all in Spanish. He’s got all these … I mean, it’s cool watching him learn it and then talking with him about it right away. You can see how much like a sponge. My neighbor, Julio told me he’s come esponja, which is the word esponja is sponge, and so he’s like that. That’s what Julio sa, “Hey, he is like that.”

I may be related to teachers

Watching him with his learning material, it’s just wondrous and beautiful. My family were all teachers. Many of them were teachers, the non-police officer non-military people, the other ones were teachers, and …

I’m trying to think to myself like, “Is that true or not?” I think it’s pretty much true. They were teachers and I feel, I mean, definitely true. Shout-outs to my grandma, my aunt, my cousin, and uncles and more. Forgetting people, and my uncle and my other uncle, so whatever, teachers. I know they would all be having such a hard time with this, because there are things to teach the kids, especially the ones who teach kids, they teach the kids, and to not be able to do that in the span of a month has got to be just really difficult, really hard. And so I really, my heart goes out to educators, but watching them transition to distance learning, what they call distance learning, is really cool.

Spanish lessons

So anyway, What’s The Matter With Me? podcast. I’m here at home, distance learning magma and lava. That one’s easy because they’re called the same thing in Spanish. All right man, tune in next time. Maybe some more Spanish lessons. Thank you for tuning in to the What’s The Matter With Me? podcast. You can find old episodes on Apple podcasts or whatsthematterwithme.org. Please email me, man. You’re all at home. Email me . Please email me. I’ll email you back. Check that out. Total freestyle episode, no editing, another one in the books.

Thank you for listening to the What’s The Matter With Me? podcast.


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