Cloister Commentary, Day 13: “Shut Down”

The world of Columbia Public Schools’ faculty, staff, and students was shook yesterday when a three-day pause was announced in proceedings, for the purpose of re-evaluating and re-thinking the system’s response to COVID-19. While that pause is likely a good thing–this is unprecedented, and our state government is still dragging its heels in its response–it might have been, for many, the first serious reverberation of the crisis’ impact. Nicole, who has been working very hard from home and keeping in close contact with her students and comrades, definitely is feeling it, I know all parents and kids are, and though I only interact with CPS as a mentor and student teacher supervisor, it shook me, too.

Thanks to a break in the weather, we’ve walked to Parkade Park and back three consecutive days, and every day we’ve at least said hi to a different neighbor. The year’s first “yardening” has begun! The unspoken mantra on our block: “Don’t be the last to mow your lawn!” We’re lucky: Deven and LaVere Lawn and Landscaping have had our backs since they went into business.

Some local happenings worth supporting: our excellent ward councilman Mike Trapp and his brother have created a shelter project for folks who are outside, and Broadway Diner is STILL feeding any hungry kid on a daily basis. We are donating, and if you can, you might think about it. See links in my comments below.

Anyone else having trouble sleeping a decent number of hours? We normally get up early, but either our dog or the buzzing of our inner wiring has been limiting us to less than six hours a night.

I generally dislike fruit, but I need a banana a day. Oddly, that little quirk is really my only obstacle to staying away from the grocery for a couple weeks at a time. I’m learning to live without.

Streaming for shut-ins: The Shangri-Las were more than just “Leader of the Pack.”

GEORGE & PHIL’S BREAKFAST MEDITATION, STOP 2: Broadway Diner

George did not really give me a choice this time, as he is strangely obsessed with pecan pancakes. Nonetheless, I was happy to visit a restaurant I’ve patronized since it was on the other side of Providence, more frequently in the ’90s–my “Stretch” years, when The Blue Note booked great shows that required culinary reinforcement and discussion afterward. My friend enjoyed his damn pancakes; I got a full order of their “legendary” French toast, the cinnamon tint of which DID justify that adjective. Hoping George would forget it was my turn to buy, I brought Nicole (who also got the damn pancakes), but he actually paid attention to his calendar and forced me to pony up. Our eggs on the side weren’t over-medium–rather, over-uneasy–thus an 8.5-9 rating. Under discussion: George’s minority religion education program (he’s spiritually indefatigable); law enforcement (I’m excited about Geoff Jones’ ascension); “class / club killers,” a school phenomenon identified by our friend Jami Wade that Nicole reminded us about; and the risen-from-the-grave aspect of another restaurant’s employee.