Start of School in France

How France is handling the start of school in 2020. Kudos to them for their Stoicism. I liked that kids under 11 aren’t required to wear masks. They aren’t spreaders.

I also liked their textbooks, though that wasn’t a focus of the piece. Many countries have smaller paperback texts that don’t cost a fortune and don’t contain 200 extra pages that no one ever gets to. America pays for lots of negative space.

Bon courage!

Highlights from the RNC

A video by a woman who served as a surgeon for the US Army before becoming a nun.

Almost a million babies are killed each year in the US.

The President talks to 6 of the 150+ hostages whose release he negotiated

Pastor Brounson was in the news quite a bit, but all these people’s stories are gripping.

Frontline COVID Workers

I really loved the segments with the President.

Weekend Coffee Share

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

If we were having coffee, we’d be on our patio so we can enjoy the warm weather, the blue sky and the quiet as the roof is completely finished.

I’d tell you that I finished reading Swann’s Way, the first book in Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. It’s a challenging, beautiful book. I savored it and didn’t want to finish reading it. I had read it in 2008 and a friend suggested be both read and discuss it. I enjoy reading and discussing this sort of book with my wise, well read friend. Proust jams so much observation in every page so I didn’t want to finish the story (even though I can read the next one anytime).

On Friday I went with a group of women to bring lunch to the police at a station in Chicago. It was great to show them some support and to let them know that people are grateful and know that not all cops are rotten. Most are brave and professional.

We had more protests cum riots in Chicago yesterday. When will this stop? This weekend (and Sunday isn’t even over) 50 people have been shot and 4 of those were killed. The riots yesterday resulted in 17 police injured and 24 people arrested for aggravated assault.

 

Weekend Coffee Share

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

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you what the schools are doing in your town vis-a-vis reopening. Every school seems to have a different approach even in areas with the same CCP Virus statistics. Then they form a plan and change it. Some people think the schools require special ventilation even if they have windows that open, i.e. the system used throughout the world and advocated by healthcare professionals. Now some schools and offices don’t have windows that open, which is a shame.

I’d tell you that work is proceeding along. It’s hard to get people who don’t want to do the census to do it, but there you are. Many think that although the Census did get a two month extension it’s not enough time to complete it. They seem to not know that we’ve already got higher response rates in much of the country compared to 2010. If people have seen thousands of ads and received mailings that they throw out, another month isn’t going to help.

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Easy Living 1937

I would recommend you see Easy Living with Jean Arthur from 1937. It’s a fun screwball comedy and I’ll soon post a review.

I’m learning a lot about Albany Park, the Chicago neighborhood where I’m working almost every day. It’s a neighborhood with lots of diversity. I’ve come across a lot of people from Korea, Syria, Latin America and Mexico.

I’d tell you that we had a fun barbecue last night to honor my niece’s departure for her sophomore year of college. She leaves this morning for University of South Carolina. I hope she gets a full semester there. She’ll have 5 of 7 classes online. This year she’s in an apartment so if they do close down, she can stay down there.

Last week we had roofers installing a new roof. Every home in this subdivision has to get one. Ugh. It’s been quite a controversy for 3 years as many people don’t need new roofs but everyone’s got to have the same look. The workers from Apex roofing were terrific, but it’s a hell of a lot of noise from early morning till about 6pm. I am working in the field much of the day, but not all day. I tried to escape the noise, but there’s no seating in the library, the nearest Starbucks only has outdoor seating and across the parking lot is a fitness center that’s moved outside and the exercise music and coach’s yelling are not the same as the usual café music so that wasn’t a good spot to work. I wound up taking my conference call in my car in another parking lot.

 

 

Weekend Coffee Share

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

If we were having coffee, I’d invite you for tea or coffee on my patio. There’s a lot of greenery and we could watch the chipmunks and the occasional rabbit hop by. We might be lucky enough to see a crane that visits every so often.

I’d tell you that I just finished Getting the Best Care: Rescue your loved one from the healthcare conveyor belt. I highly recommend this book for anyone who’s got aging relatives or who is thinking of their own wishes for healthcare in case they get dementia or other debilitating conditions. It’s full of know-how about the hospital and the medical system and how you won’t be run over dominated or confused.

I’d tell you that I attended an absorbing Zoom meeting about the opening of high schools here. An ER doctor began by presenting the situation in her hospital. She teaches on the South Side of Chicago. She told us that the big spike in CCP Virus was in March and April. Now the virus is like “background noise.” Most of her patients have the same sort of maladies as they had this time last year. She updated us on how doctors in other specialities (i.e. not ER) were afraid to return to the hospital, but after two weeks acclimated.

I saw the 1964 version of The Killers with Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson and Ronald Reagan. Boy, is that a compelling film!

I finished two graphic novels in the Hereville series, How Mirka Caught a Fish and How Mirka Met a Meteorite. Both were fun, clever storie of a girl with lots of spirit.

The other speaker was a statistician who noted that in the local high school 67% of teachers were under age 50. The data showed that in this area 8 people have died of Corona and that no children have. In essence these experts advocate for school in the classroom in the fall with reasonable accommodations. He had a lot of data on the effects of the virus on kids and how it’s rare for a child to transmit it to a teacher.

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It’s summer!

(Note: a friend told me that in Israel there was a case of a child infecting a student, and I found this article about an Israeli kindergarten teacher who believes she was infected by a student. It hasn’t been conclusively confirmed. Perhaps there’s another incident.)

In a nutshell, the thinking is that other professions have come to grips with working in new ways during the CCP Virus Pandemic and schools can to. It was a mistake to have closed them in the spring, but no one knew that. We thought millions would die.

This work week had some ups and downs. The high point was attending a summer concert in a park in Evanston to get people to do the Census. There was a good crowd, but everyone was distanced and wore masks when moving around. The band played hits from Motown, Prince and Koko Taylor. The weather was nice and we got 2 people to do the Census, which wasn’t great, but was something.

On Friday we had a lot of challenge. We were assigned to a train station in the city at the end of the Brown line. Three of us set up our table, and had our devices ready. Soon a homeless man told us we were in his living room, i.e. outside the station. Clearly, the man needed help. He had no shoes. His ranting and later constant heckling showed that he wasn’t of sound mind, but at the same time, we did have work to do. I contemplated moving our table but then thought no one would see us.

There were other homeless people there, but only one who misunderstood something a coworker said, left us alone. That guy who thought he’d been insulted turned back and threatened to harm my colleague. As the day wore on, first guy drank more and more vodka (no doubt to self-medicate) so he got more belligerent and told us off. He did not like us there. Then a young man, probably in his 20s, came by to protect us. He got a bit loud and told the first man he was going to kick his ass if he didn’t leave us alone. It looked like things were going to get worse.

I saw a police car across the street and went to talk about our options. We didn’t want the man arrested, but we did want to be left alone. They knew all the people at the station and we discussed if having them walk over would make matters worse. There was no way to know. In the end, we wound up leaving early. We certainly earned our money on Friday.

Weekend Coffee Share

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

If we were having coffee, would go out. It’s sunny and lots of places are open for outdoor dining. We won’t have warm weather forever so we’d be outside.

I tell you that I went out to lunch with a friend from high school. We went to Pinstripes, a restaurant with a beautiful area for outside dining. It looks out to a hill and fields of wild flowers. The service was attentive and, yes, safe.

My friend teaches high school and she’ll be returning to school in a few weeks. They’re dividing students by alphabetic order. The first half of the alphabet goes on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday everyone is remote and Thursday and Friday are in class for the second half of the alphabet.

killers_xlg

I watched Ernest Hemingway’s The Killers with Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner. It’s a compelling film noir, that I highly recommend. I also saw a Russian version made by Andrei Tarkovsky as a student.

Friday I went to my public library for the first time since the lock down. It was nice, but weird. First at the entrance a policeman in a mask was there. He asked me what I wanted to do and I explained I wanted to drop off and pick up books. He let me in. I went to the main desk and asked for my books and learned that even though the holds are kept right behind the circulation associates. I had to make an appointment for curbside pick up and the associate did that for me. (The appointment had to be at least two days out.)

I wanted some quick reads so I went upstairs. There was easy access to the new books but everything else was behind yellow tape that said CAUTION. The youth section and DVDs were the same. A lot was off limits. Staff all had masks and worked at least 6 feet apart from each other. All the tables and chairs were moved into the corners and chairs were put upside down on top of other chairs. Some tables were covered with tarps. It all looked very off-putting.

I chatted with a librarian I knew, which was probably the highlight before I got a book and some DVDs. As much as I love my library, I won’t hurry back. It’s a rather unfriendly, odd experience.

 

Weekend Coffee Share

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

If we were having coffee, we might actually be out. Now it’s week 18 of the lockdown.

I mentioned having some big news last week. A week ago Wednesday the head honcho called me and offered me a promotion. Woohoo! I was told to immediately send my resume to his boss and that woman’s boss and I did. Then I waited patiently. I didn’t want to bother anyone and I had faith that they’d contact me.

By last Tuesday, I wanted to hear. I sent a message to the head honcho, who replied a few hours later that they changed their mind. They didn’t need another manager after all. How capricious.

Friday we went to a barbecue at my brother’s house to celebrate my nephew’s 21st birthday. My other nephew came in from Minnesota so it extra nice to see him.

My sister-in-law teaches 3rd grade. We asked her how she felt about returning to school and what her school plans to do. She said she’s not crazy about starting the year with such young kids online. It was one thing to teach online with kids she knew, but this seemed harder. On the other hand, she didn’t see how kids could learn if they couldn’t work in groups in the class room. The school board is making a plan and this week sometime they’ll share the plan with the teachers and ask for input.

I had a great time talking over lunch with my cousin. We haven’t gotten together since February due to the CCP Virus. We had a lot of catching up to do at a proper distance.

I’ve started the Hillsdale College online course on Children’s Literature. I recommend it already. The emphasis is on classics and I must admit I need to read more classic children’s literature.

 

Pull Up a Seat Photo Challenge

 

pull_up-_a_seat-badge

For this weekly challenge Xingfu Mama will make a post every Friday morning. To play along: Create a post with a photo of places one sits or might sit, or art about sitting, and maybe a little background or story about the spot or a picture of the view.

  • Add a tag “Pull up a Seat”.
  • Add a link to your post in the Pull up a Seat comment section, either by writing a comment with your URL or by creating a pingback.

artiist

Painting in a Gold Coast art studio, 2018

You can see more posts by clicking here.

Come join the fun!

Pull Up a Seat Photo Challenge

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Northbrook, Illinois 2020

 

pull_up-_a_seat-badge

For this weekly challenge Xingfu Mama will make a post every Friday morning. To play along:Create a post with a photo of places one sits or might sit, or art about sitting, and maybe a little background or story about the spot or a picture of the view.

  • Add a tag “Pull up a Seat”.
  • Add a link to your post in the Pull up a Seat comment section, either by writing a comment with your URL or by creating a pingback.

You can see more posts by clicking here.

Come join the fun!