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)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

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Moody Church Chicago

If we were having coffee, I’d rave about Open House Chicago, where visitors can choose from 250+ sites of architectural significance, many that are not usually open to the public. On Saturday I went with a friend to a dozen or so sites in the Gold Coast neighborhood, including St. Chrysostom Church, the Graham Foundation, Moody Church, The Palette and Chisel art center and several others. On Sunday I volunteered at the First Methodist Church of Evanston and beforehand saw American Toby Jug Museum, a distillery and an architectural firm housed in a one time horse stable. The weather this year was ideal, sunny and a bit crisp. Volunteering was fun and allowed me to meet some new people. In addition, as a volunteer I got two tickets for Chicago Architectural Foundation’s walking tours (worth $25 or so). This week I’ll share posts on each significant site.

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At the American Toby Jug Museum

I just got home from my October Great Books Discussion Group. On the one hand it was great that we had a large group, 15 (which might be a little too big). We read Genesis this month and I’d looked forward to a lively discussion. There are many very sharp people in this group. However, the leader spent about 35 minutes expounding on background information, unaware that a lot of the people there knew much of what he shared. It was quite exasperating. Then when we did get to talk we just went around the table sharing impressions. By the time everyone had shared their impressions, rather than talking about the text as is the point of Great Books we had a lot of ramblings and digressive commentary. We flitted from one person to the next, never coming to the few questions people raised about the text when we went around the table. Such a waste of time. A couple people had joined and seemed to just want a platform to talk about irrelevant ideas. The leader occasionally broke in with more background, which we’d heard before. Not our best meeting.

I’d also say I was captivated by the animated film Loving Vincent, which uses oil paintings and the subjects of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings to tell the story of the last weeks of his life. Amazing!

Visit Eclectic Allie’s blog for links to other Weekend Coffee Shares.

 

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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)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m getting ready to go to Peoria for the Illinois Library Association Annual Conference. I’m volunteering so the registration fee is waived. It’s about a 2 hour drive so I’m able to borrow a car and have used hotel points so the trip is very economical. One day I hope to have a job where I don’t have to pay for such events out of my own pocket.

I have come to regret getting this Master of Library Science. As much as I love libraries, I have learned that while it looked from the outside that there were plenty of full time jobs for hard working, successful graduates, there aren’t. It’s a very costly field as you have to sacrifice years of full time work with benefits and take poorly paid part time work to get your foot in the door. So this week I ramped up my applications to other jobs outside libraries. Fingers crossed.

I highly recommend Coursera’s Manager’s Toolkit course. I’ve finished three weeks and the information is well researched and useful. On top of that it’s free!

Poldark S4 - EP2

I’d discuss Poldark, Season IV and if you haven’t seen the series, I’d urge your to watch. The characters are well drawn and the conflicts nail biting.

I want to add how demoralizing it was to see a friend I taught with in Japan. She’s smart and hardworking. She’s a single mother and wants to live in her hometown, the Bronx, where her older mother is. She has to cobble together a slew of part time ESL university jobs and never knows if she’ll have enough work to make ends meet. Schools don’t offer courses till the end of a semester and it’s hard to make the schedule of school A fit with the work offered by school B. Sadly, she qualifies for Medicaid. This is why I’m intent on leaving the field. This is no way for an educated person to live.

On a lighter note, I’d urge you to check out You Were Never Lovelier with Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth. I knew Astaire was a master at dance, but Hayworth also is.

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)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I had spent a long weekend in New York City, where my sister got married. On Wednesday I was in Brooklyn and was able to catch up with Michaela whom I taught with in China. Then Thursday, I got to see my good friend from China, Eva, who took me on an excellent walking tour.

Friday was the wedding and my sister looked so elegant and beautiful. We got to meet her husband’s family and they seem nice and normal. Saturday I tried to go to the Grolier’s Club, which is a rare book collector’s club on 60th Street. I was most disappointed because though their exhibits are usually open on Saturdays, on the 29th they were doing a renovation project. “We’re open Monday,” didn’t help me.

Later Saturday I went to an afternoon rooftop party for the wedding guests and after that my aunt and I saw the Ground Zero Memorial, which was very well designed. It really honors those who lost their lives.

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My egg cream

One part of my NYC bucket list was to get an egg cream. Egg creams are associated with Eastern European Jews who immigrated to New York. I’ve seen them offered in New York, L.A. and I think in Chicago. (Yep, you can get an egg cream here in Chicago.) An egg cream tastes like a chocolate soda without the ice cream.

I’ll write more about NYC and what I saw, but for now I’ll say it was great to see friends and family.

Now I’m rolling up my sleeves for this new week and hope some good jobs get posted. I also I hope I can get a lot of writing done. I got some done today, but not as much as I hoped.

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)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

If we were having coffee, I’d urge you to see The Babushkas of Chernobyl. Talk about a movie about strong women! It’s truly unique.

I’d mention that I had a nice birthday starting with dinner at a favorite restaurant when my sister was in town. Then I had jury duty on my birthday, but got the afternoon free.

I’d tell you I’m reading C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra, the second book in his Space Trilogy. It’s grabbed me from the start as we have a new narrator, who’s likable, and who’s telling Dr. Ransom’s story. I wonder why . . . .

Our weather is getting a bit colder, which makes me shudder, but it’s been so sunny and clear that I’m remembering that autumn does have its charms.

I attended my Great Books discussion where we discussed a selection of Marx’s early writings on workers’ alienation. The reading was dense and it bothered me that Marx never explained how he came by his conclusions. Some explanation of how observations or survey data would have been nice, though I understand that it wasn’t common in 1844 to collect quantitative data the way. A major study on poverty was done street by street in London in the 1890s. While people approached Marx with an open mind, I was glad that I wasn’t the only one who found the reading a slog.

I haven’t heard from the library where I interviewed. I hoped to hear early last week, but didn’t. My guess is that I won’t get an offer, which is how things go. The waiting part of job hunting is trying.

Yesterday I met one of former students from China. We went to the Museum Day sponsored by the Smithsonian. After brunch we went to the Adler Planetarium, which I hadn’t been to in years. It was fun to see Melody who’s preparing for the CPA exam. She’s passed 3 of the 4 sections already. I wish her well.

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)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

If we were having coffee, I’d recommend you visit Wingspread, the Johnson Family (former) home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s in Racine, Wisconsin, a lovely town with a good mix of modern and 19th architecture.

I saw this interesting video on money-free healthcare. Now I do see that it works in a community that shares service and work. I imagine a kibbutz or similar religious community. I don’t see any Western nation going into such a system of sharing, but it is interesting to examine other modes.

I’ve started a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) by the University of London on Management. So far it’s interesting and a good way to learn about business. I was registered for an online community college class, but dropped it because through Coursera I can learn just as much for free. Now I won’t receive a grade, but I need the knowledge and not 3 credit hours.

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)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you what’s new with you and then, I’d tell you about the wonderful exhibit of Gilded Age portraits I saw at the Drieshaus Museum (and about which I’ll soon blog). I went there with a friend who’d never been to the Drieshaus. She loved it as I expected and we’ll soon go back.

I’d tell you about the rather weird and captivating documentary I saw called, The Wolfpack. I came to really care about these boys and their mother who were imprisoned more or less by their irrational father. I won’t soon forget the film and how it illustrates the curative powers of creativity. 

I’d urge you to get and read C.S. Lewis’ The Silent Planet, which I’m reading for my online bookclub. His writing is wonderful and inspires (or kicks me) to improve my own work.

I’d lament that last week I didn’t get to write much. I went downtown twice to meet with friends and on Friday did some research into 19th century Christmas stories for children. Wednesday I went downtown to meet friends, i.e. network. I learned about how a student committed suicide at the Hefei program Clark U runs and how differently the Chinese responded. They silenced any talk of the matter. They didn’t have any memorial service. The boy had jumped from the 10th story where the teachers worked. We’re trained to be open, talk and share to heal the living. Through back channels my friend learned of the suicide. When he mentioned that he wasn’t sure if he had the student, his Chinese colleague sent him a photo of the boy. He expected the attachment would be a snapshot of him alive, not a picture of him splattered on the pavement, which is what he received. Yes, cultures do differ dramatically.

Oh, I’d say that I thought my interview went fine, though as usual, when I reviewed my performance I thought of ways it could go better. I won’t hear for another week at least and so am continuing to job hunt. I am getting job hunting fatigue, but what can you do.

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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)!
Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

If we were having coffee, I’d urge you to see Seven Samurai. Maybe you’ve never seen a Japanese film or have any idea who Kurosawa is, I’d tell you I was in your shoes too and regret not branching out to Japanese or other foreign films. This film blew me away in terms of fast pacing, action, a wide range of characters. Your library should have it. I advise getting the Criterion Collection DVD with commentary.

I’ve become so caught up in learning Illustrator to create computer graphics. It’s an amazing program,  but like any tool could take decades to master. I love developing a new creative outlet, but am mindful of not having as much time in day or life to develop all the talents and skills I’d like to.

I’d say my novel is chugging along. I’m taking a girls’ adventure film script I wrote and am adapting it into a novel. I try to write 5 pages a day, but usually get 3 done. I keep finding more to add and questioning what I’m doing. I sure wish I was making more progress.

I’ve got a second job interview on Tuesday. Fingers crossed that it’s a good match. I’ve got a lot of preparation as far as developing a model lesson and completing a proposal for a new class they should develop.

I’d urge you to read C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, which I finished this week. It’s a great guide for modern Christians. One point that’s stayed with me is how Lewis points out that modern people — like me — tend to view time as theirs. So when something happens and their schedule changes they often get resentful and perturbed as if “their time” has been stolen. In fact, time doesn’t belong to them. It’s God’s and he’s given it to you. Click here to get the book. It’s one I’ll read again and again. Click to get it on Amazon: The Screwtape Letters Study Guide: A Bible Study on the C.S. Lewis Book The Screwtape Letters (CS Lewis Study Series)
I’d ask what’s new with you? How has your week gone? Join this challenge and link to me so I’m sure to read about your week.

 

 

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