Cloister Commentary, Day 74: The Buzz

Some readers may breathe a sigh of relief to learn that I finally taught my first-ever Zoom class to a group of students I’d never met (from all over the country), and not only did I catch the buzz of teaching excitement that I was afraid I wouldn’t, but the students who showed up were down for the program to a one–and it’s some hard work. No more neurotic whining from me! Six students didn’t make the scene, but one was at the dentist with a broken tooth, one was a working mom with log-in issues–those two did turn in their assignments–and I hope the rest had to sacrifice a class to get some sleep after having protested this weekend. The essays students submitted last night (on-demand diagnostic essays) look sharp, Dr. Trish!

I celebrated my relief by donating a pint at the American Red Cross. I’ve tried to to donate the maximum pints in a year the last three years, but something always trips me up, COVID-19 this time (I’d had to cancel two appointments). The local branch off Providence has their pandemic operation down cold, though two dude donors apparently could not read the signs planted right beyond the entrance. My new goal is to try to catch my friend George Frissell in total donations, since he will not be donating anymore (the Red Cross staff is mourning him a bit as well): he’s only 228 pints ahead of me.

Speaking of the late Mr. Frissell, we were happy to learn that a memorial project for him at Hickman High School has gotten the green light. More later. I can assure those that know him it is fitting.

You like graphic novels? I do, especially if they’re off the beaten track. I started Derf Backderf’s Trashed yesterday, which draws on his experience as a city sanitation worker in Milwaukee. Backderf’s main claim to fame is his book My Friend Dahmer (yes, he went to junior high and high school with him), and his Kent State book arrives timed perfectly in the fall.

Nicole and I put the day to rest with some great spaced-out conversation with our neighbor Shireen on her back deck. As usual, our talk was rangy, and Steve, we broke into that Guinness care package you sent us and it was effective.

Streaming for Shut-Ins:

Don’t let nothin’ turn you ’round.

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