March 20, 2020. When I was in 10th grade, I had an American Literature class with Jeannie Goddard, my friends’ and my all-time favorite teacher ever. Mrs. Goddard was funny, smart, entirely herself – you just wanted class to never end. This class was the first class with a serious research project – a year-long thesis project (20 typed pages!) on an American author of your choice. I chose Arthur Miller and wrote a yeoman’s work on his plays, Death of a Salesman and The Crucible among his most famous. My friend Susie, who was in a different intellectual class entirely, chose e.e. cummings and wrote a beautiful thesis on this poet’s ridiculously challenging works (seriously – in 10th grade). Close to the end of the school year, the thesis was due at midnight and Mrs. Goddard held a party starting at 10pm where students rushed their theses in right up until midnight, it was wonderfully dramatic.
At the end of the year, Mrs. Goddard handed out a mimeographed sheet (old days, friends!) of advice to all of us at the end of the year, which included tips such as “Marry late” and “Drink tea with lemon and you shall never want,” clarified the pronunciation of Yeats and Keats, and included additional tips to ensure you sounded intelligent moving on into 11th grade and beyond. One of these tips was “We like because, we love although.”
The reason this is all relevant is that now that our family of four has been stuck in our house together for a week…we are irritating the heck out of each other. Family dinners generally start with “I have a beef with X or Y or Z.” Remember Festivus and the airing of grievances from Seinfeld? That’s what I’m talking about.
To give you a sense of the critical work in which I am now engaged, my daughter and I are at this moment choosing cupcake liner colors for our new chicks. Why? Because when we bought our chicks on Saturday, the woman put a bunch of stuff into the box – grain, probiotics, a heat lamp, and…a handmade tutu and dress (After considering various outfits: “Ok, I think that these two will look really cute on them, but you have start getting them used to wearing clothes now when they’re tiny.”) Inexplicably, there was no way we were walking out of there without chicken garments. Here are pictures of Pepper and Sunshine for you:
Now it is the case that my son was objectively productive today – here he is putting together the new chicken coop and here I am directing (ok, sitting around doing nothing).
Week 1 down!