Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

When I look back on the week, I’m see that it actually was quite busy. I don’t feel like I accomplished much, but I was on the go. On Thursday I recruited at a different Toastmasters group. It’s interesting to compare the two meetings. Both followed basically the same format, but this second one was much more formal. The group was hospitable but they did critique each other more on formalities. On Friday my Census recruiting job took me to the Chicago Auto Show, which  claims to be the biggest in the country. I’d never been to one of these. The new car models all gleam and dazzle. We did get a good number of interested applicants. My colleague said that this year’s Auto Show didn’t have all the interactive activities as years past.

 

Saturday I recruited at the Illinois Briefings meeting for the Illinois League of Women’s Voters. Members came from the top third of the state and they were so engaged and supportive of the Census. A few did apply, so it wasn’t just lip service. I got to hear a bit of the opening speech and heard about their efforts to get Illinois to get neutral parties (ha!) to draw up the voting districts. Illinois is famous for egegrious gerrymandering. See the map below with the green district.

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Illinois’ 4th district. Come on!

We’re not the only state though. Check out these districts.

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How about getting high school seniors in Geography to make the maps. Give them a couple rules and go. These maps are sickening.

I digress. The League had sessions on affordable housing, criminal justice reform and taxation in Illinois, which is a hot topic. The League is supposed to be nonpartisan and I’d be interested to see how members with differing views on policy interact. Most sessions seem to have been given by one person so I wonder if they provided all sides of an issue.

Yesterday was busy with socializing, not work. In the morning I met Kristyn, who was in from out of town. She came in with a group of Korean students who’re at her university this month for a short term program. They visited Chicago for a weekend of fun. It was great to catch up. Kristyn has been teaching in China for the last two springs as her university is dangerously low on students and in the spring there isn’t the need for her. This spring her program is delayed till May due to the Coronavirus.

I know of 4 people in this situation. It makes sense because germs easily spread in dorms and classrooms. Yet these overseas teachers are in limbo. Some have found other jobs and others are just waiting.

After going to church at Northwestern’s Sheil Center, which has a consistently good mass, I met a friend for coffee. Kathleen’s also a teacher and she’s taken early retirement so now she does long term sub assignments. She’s also able to go to Florida and help her parents out with whatever projects need doing. We’ve known each other since birth and its one of those friendships where there’s deep understanding of family, jobs and life.

Then I drove over to the library to meet with a few library lovers to discuss the latest news article and prepare for tonight’s board meeting. People want the former branch manager reinstated and for the Board to be held accountable for spending in excess of $50,000 on consultants to help them keep the former Director who did so much damage to the library.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

I’d tell you that I’m recovering a cold, which started on Thursday and completely derailed me on Friday. Since getting back in town, I’ve mainly caught up on work.

On Thursday I helped interview candidates to teach for the JET Program in Japan. I’ve done this every year that I can for the last few years and I like seeing candidates excited to go overseas, but I always come away wishing people had used specifics to demonstrate their strengths  and in one case had come on time. One candidate just had 10 minutes because she went back to her car to get something. Determining whether someone can successfully live and work in another country takes longer than 10 minutes. As great as her paperwork looked, missing so much time can’t be overlooked.

Wednesday a partner and I recruited for the Census at a Jewish social service agency in Northbrook. We had a good turnout and it was good to see that people who’re sure to make good workers but have been out of work a while apply. I love giving opportunities to people like this.

Yesterday was the last night for Restaurant Week. A friend and I went to Wildfire where I savored their Cesar salad, petit filet mignon, au gratin potatoes and chocolate cream pie.

 

 

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

I’d tell you that I’m recovering from volunteering and attending the busy Sundance Film Festival. I was assigned to usher at the Eccles Theater, which is the largest venue. I got to see the Premiere where Robert Redford spoke and producers and featured cast members of the film Crip Camp spoke. I saw many films and exciting panels about new movies like Downhill starring Julia Louis Dreyfess and Will Ferrell.

My favorite films were Minari and The Truffle Hunters, which were more inspiring and heart-warming than a lot of the fare on offer here. I saw Minari 2 times all the way through and the ending two more times all because sometimes a shift starts at the end of a film.

I’ll post reviews soon.

I have enjoyed Park City with its charming Main Street, the snowy mountains. People seem nice and helpful. Their free busses make it easy to get around.

Today I’ve toured the public library and am impressed with all they offer. You can check out a telescope, ukuleles, a podcast recording kit, sleds, snowshoes, projectors, a Go Pro, photo light kits, a Cricut machine, a horseshoe set, a fog machine, a guitar, a bocce ball set, a DVD drive, and more. It’s an example of the Library of Things movement, where libraries share items that people want to use occasionally and don’t want to own.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

I’d tell you that I have to be on my way to the airport to catch a 6am flight to Salt Lake City as I’m going to volunteer at the Sundance Film Festival for the next couple of weeks.

I’ve been working a lot and really enjoyed recruiting at the libraries and at the League of Women Voters where I met some very active, smart women. We had a talk by our local state Senator Laura Fine about the juvenile prison system in Germany. 

Perhaps even bigger news is that the Executive Director at the library where I worked is no longer there. It’s quite vague, but here’s a news article.

Finally, I thoroughly enjoyed Greta Garbo in Queen Christina. Such gravitas.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

I’d tell you that I tried Balinese Gong Meditation, which was definitely different, and I was mesmerized by Wim Wender’s Wings of Desire. 

For the last day of the official Christmas season, I went to mass at another church from the list of the “Eleven Churches Not to Miss When You Visit  Chicago” I attended mass at St. John Cantius and stopped in to take some photos of St. Stanislaus Koska, which is also featured in this article. I’m still blown away by both churches.

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St. John Cantius

Christmas actually lasts until the Sunday following January 6th. The reading is about Jesus entering public life.

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St. Stanislaus Koska, Chicago

I’m half way through a “cosy mystery” called Duck the Halls. I’m not that impressed as I’m on page 80 and so far there’s no real mystery. I think I can guess who’ll get murdered, but let’s get on with it.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

I’d tell you that New Year’s Eve is not a big holiday for me. It’s too expensive and frenzied. So I have nothing to report on 12/31.

I did go to another church from the list of the “Eleven Churches Not to Miss When You Visit  Chicago,” St. Alphonsus in the neighborhood of Lakeview in Chicago. Again I was blown away by an 19th century church. This has a sapphire ceiling and marble altar. I snapped dozens of photos, but got home and 2 out of at least 50 were kept. I don’t know what happened with my camera.

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As I wanted photos with the Christmas decorations still up, I returned yesterday. For their Epiphany mass they had a full choir, horns, an organ and drums. The homily was relevant and meaningful. Afterwards, I took more photos. The ones that were still on a device were taken on my phone and iPad. All those taken with my camera (and were of higher quality) are gone. I hope it’s just a problem with the memory card.

I worked a lot for the Census and got to attend a Chamber of Commerce meeting. I was impressed with the sense of true community shown by the members towards each other and the hospitality I was shown. The best part of the job is getting to see new sides of my community.

Friday a friend and I went out to eat and then drove around Sauganash, an area where when we were kids was known for the homes with over the top holiday lights. While it wasn’t as dramatic as we remembered, there were some very festive. I was happy to see some homes commemorate Hanukkah. While Hanukkah is a smaller festival in Judaism, it’s good to see that these families wanted to share their faith with their neighbors.

*My phone’s charging so I can’t use my (poorly shot) Hanukkah lights so I’m sharing these.