Cloister Commentary, Day 326: ‘Castin’ and Cookin’

I woke up at 3 with nothing that stress-inducing on my mind–nothing specific, which is usually what sends my mind too wakefully searching–but I was totally alert and unable to even imagine going back to sleep. I just got up, performed my morning rituals, and tip-toed around so Nicole could catch up on her shut-eye (I hate it, but she doesn’t sleep well when I’m gone). Fortunately, the cats cooperated, Tux and Junior delaying their daily thunderous hallway wrasslin’ until later in the afternoon.

Chase Thompson, one of the many excellent educators at Stephens and truly among the most enthusiastic, curious, and creative teachers I’ve known, invited me to visit his class and be interviewed in podcast style. He’s teaching his students to construct those, but he’s also making his own with fellow Stephens folks as subjects. I was very humbled to have been asked, since I am so low on the academic totem pole I’m under ground, and we had a blast. We talked about masks, Facebook threads that last multiple months, mentors that find you rather than vice versa, ground-breaking musical moments in our youth that change everything, and so much more. Speaking of those far-unfurling Facebook threads, Chase made me relive one that happened on my wall (“Pick one and justify it: Otis Redding or Wilson Pickett” is an example–remember that one?) by letting his students interrogate me: Pink or Ariana Grande? Genesis or Rush? Pink Floyd of Tame Impala? None of those are my particular cuppa, but I survived!

When I got home, I found Nicole in full-on cooking mode–she had a kind of snow day, as her school’s heating system was down and they were needing time to install a part. She made some delicious hummus, some dangerous oatmeal-cherry cookies with raw sugar crusted up on top of ’em, and a belated crockpot full of her famous Chiefsburger Soup. That’s the kind of cooking I love cleaning up after.

Closed out with The Durrells in Corfu and All Creatures Great and Small and crossed my fingers for 7-8 hours of sleep.

Streaming for Strivers:

Her voice, guitar, and spirit have rung out eighty-plus years and show no signs of slowing.

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