Start of School in France

How France is handling the start of school in 2020. Kudos to them for their Stoicism. I liked that kids under 11 aren’t required to wear masks. They aren’t spreaders.

I also liked their textbooks, though that wasn’t a focus of the piece. Many countries have smaller paperback texts that don’t cost a fortune and don’t contain 200 extra pages that no one ever gets to. America pays for lots of negative space.

Bon courage!


Weekend Coffee Share


Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d say I’m still frustrated with getting forced to blog using the new block editor which has change posting for the worse. For example in the past I could just copy an old post for my Weekend Coffee Shares and have the introduction and image where I want them. No more. I’ve wasted a couple minutes trying to get the image where I want it and can’t. I don’t have time to do tutorials on tasks I’ve done with ease for years.

I worked bot Saturday and Sunday by choice. Saturday began with a Shred-a-thon sponsored by the alderman of the 33rd ward of Chicago one of several where we need people to do their Census. Most people reported doing it. One was obstinate about not doing it and wouldn’t say why. We got to meet the alderman and the district county commissioner and I was impressed that they both were so young. I’d guess under 35.

From their I went to an H-Mart to work with a different team member. At both events in total we got 4 people to do the Census. I hope for more but that’s typical. The most unusual response this weekend was one guy refusing our pleas by saying, “No, I don’t do that. I’m neutral.” Obviously, he still doesn’t know what a Census is.

Sunday I went to Lindo Michoacán to work and boy was it hopping. We got 5 censuses done along with the usual people who just walk by or refuse.

I’d crop this image, but with the new @#$@ editor, I don’t know how.

I began watching Hitchcock’s Cold War Thriller Topaz starring John Forsythe as a CIA spy.

I’m finishing up Swann’s Way the first book in the Remembrance of Things Past series (or is it a collection?) opus by Proust. It’s building to a beautiful, though surprising end. It’s my second reading of it so I’m ready for the surprise, but anticipating the how.

The weather’s been hot, which has curtailed my usual afternoon walks. I just don’t like to be out in the intense sun when it’s over 90 degrees.

Friday I went to a family barbecue where one of the guests teaches in a suburb nearby. That school will be completely in class when it opens. Parents are volunteering to monitor how many kids are in the bathroom (only one at a time) and will be required to get substitute teacher licenses because if there’s a need they’ll be the subs. This teacher has room for 14 students in her third grade class, though there are 17 students in the class. The three new students will have to learn remotely. I wish all who’re starting school again the patience and fortitude the changes demand.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you what the schools are doing in your town vis-a-vis reopening. Every school seems to have a different approach even in areas with the same CCP Virus statistics. Then they form a plan and change it. Some people think the schools require special ventilation even if they have windows that open, i.e. the system used throughout the world and advocated by healthcare professionals. Now some schools and offices don’t have windows that open, which is a shame.

I’d tell you that work is proceeding along. It’s hard to get people who don’t want to do the census to do it, but there you are. Many think that although the Census did get a two month extension it’s not enough time to complete it. They seem to not know that we’ve already got higher response rates in much of the country compared to 2010. If people have seen thousands of ads and received mailings that they throw out, another month isn’t going to help.


Easy Living 1937

I would recommend you see Easy Living with Jean Arthur from 1937. It’s a fun screwball comedy and I’ll soon post a review.

I’m learning a lot about Albany Park, the Chicago neighborhood where I’m working almost every day. It’s a neighborhood with lots of diversity. I’ve come across a lot of people from Korea, Syria, Latin America and Mexico.

I’d tell you that we had a fun barbecue last night to honor my niece’s departure for her sophomore year of college. She leaves this morning for University of South Carolina. I hope she gets a full semester there. She’ll have 5 of 7 classes online. This year she’s in an apartment so if they do close down, she can stay down there.

Last week we had roofers installing a new roof. Every home in this subdivision has to get one. Ugh. It’s been quite a controversy for 3 years as many people don’t need new roofs but everyone’s got to have the same look. The workers from Apex roofing were terrific, but it’s a hell of a lot of noise from early morning till about 6pm. I am working in the field much of the day, but not all day. I tried to escape the noise, but there’s no seating in the library, the nearest Starbucks only has outdoor seating and across the parking lot is a fitness center that’s moved outside and the exercise music and coach’s yelling are not the same as the usual café music so that wasn’t a good spot to work. I wound up taking my conference call in my car in another parking lot.



Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge


Guard's hat, ancient China

Guard’s hat, ancient China

Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to share photos of hats of any shape or size, for any purpose.

What will you choose to share?


Yellow School Caps, Jinan, China

Yellow School Caps, Jinan, China


Crown, Shandong Provincial Museum

Crown, Shandong Provincial Museum

Click here to see more fun photos, click here.


Sepia Saturday


This week Sepia Saturday inspires bloggers with a fondness for days gone by to post photos of groups of children. Join the fun.


Desoronto Archives, 1912

Look at the regal lady posted on top.

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Library of Congress, 1910

Above we see a group of Breaker Boys.  According to Wikipedia:

“A breaker boy was a coal-mining worker in the United States and United Kingdom whose job was to separate impurities from coal by hand in a coal breaker. Although breaker boys were primarily children, elderly coal miners who could no longer work in the mines because of age, disease, or accident were also sometimes employed as breaker boys. The use of breaker boys began in the mid-1860s. Although public disapproval of the employment of children as breaker boys existed by the mid-1880s, the practice did not end until the 1920s.”

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National Library of Australia, circa 1910

Arbor Day in Australia (above).

Click here to see more Sepia Saturday posts.

Sculpture Saturday


Fr. Damen, St. Ignatius Prep

Seen today at Open House Chicago. #OHC2019

Saturday Sculpture is hosted by the Mind over Memory’s chasingmemory.

What you need to do is:

  • Share a photo of a sculpture
  • Link to Mind over Memory’s post for Saturday Sculpture.

It’s a fun challenge.


Sepia Saturday


School has started again for almost all schools here so I’m inspired to find some nostalgic photos related to learning.


Domestic Science Cooking Class, 1913, Miami University


Internet Archive, St. Nicholas Magazine, 1873


Teacher Training, Hong Kong, n.d. National Archive U.K.

To see more Sepia Saturday photos, click here.

Sepia Saturday

dance 18.jpg

Dance is this week’s Sepia Saturday theme and I have found all kinds of different dances and dancers. Enjoy!


Dancing in an Egyptian Tomb, National Archives of Estonia, 1910

I’m not convinced that’s a real tomb.

Ruth St. Denis (above) was an early pioneer of modern dance. She taught Martha Graham.

You can see more dancing posts by clicking here.


Japanese high school girls learning to dance – 1926


Midsummer Dance, Swedish Heritage Board, 1931


VFW Hall Dance, US National Archives, 1946

Poem of the Week


My Doggy Ate My Essay

My doggy ate my essay.
He picked up all my mail.
He cleaned my dirty closet
and dusted with his tail.
He straightened out my posters
and swept my wooden floor.
My parents almost fainted
when he fixed my bedroom door.
I did not try to stop him.
He made my windows shine.
My room looked like a palace,
and my dresser smelled like pine.
He fluffed up every pillow.
He folded all my clothes.
He even cleaned my fish tank
with a toothbrush and a hose.
I thought it was amazing
to see him use a broom.
I’m glad he ate my essay
on “How to Clean My Room.”