Cloister Commentary, Day 175: Beatles and Books

Two very memorable occurrences.

At the beginning and the end of a Friday at the end of her first week of virtual teaching for the 2020-2021 school year, Nicole had a to give herself a dose of John Lennon and The Beatles. This led to a full-on, high-volume barrage of Fab Four until late in the evening, and we’ll be watching Beatles movies today. I asked her if anything special triggered her choice, and she simply said, “They make me feel good!” There are deniers of things wonderful as well as horrible; I’ve always enjoyed watching Beatle contrarians labor to try to explain why they weren’t any good. Their joy is difficult to gainsay, in particular. Beer and Moscow Mules were also involved.

The second thing was a Facebook post by my friend Duncan Parks. I taught Duncan, always sharp and witty, when he was knee-high to a grasshopper in middle school, then later when he was a high school student. Mr. Parks was apparently doing some cleaning yesterday when he found an old red English textbook that he received from me when he was a Smithton Wildcat. He posted a picture of it, which instantly reminded me that I’d rescued the whole batch from the incinerator that year, 1) because the selections were excellent; 2) because I’ve always liked textbooks as a resource (as opposed to the focus of a class); and 3) because I hate waste. Also, it gave me pause to again reflect on the fate of physical media, a mental exercise that’s becoming an obsession.

Streaming for Survivors:

Let’s wave goodbye to the great reggae singer Toots Hibbert, who just stepped on a rainbow.