Everybody in North Carolina uses a Shibumi. It only works in highly windy beaches though. Not sure if it would work at the Jersey shore.
Women are picking up the tab for the cost of the pandemic. Their careers are being put on hold, as they get stuck with the job of homeschooling their kids and setting up schooling “pods.” If the schools expect me to do all this work in the fall, they better damn-well pay me.
Insider-Baseball alert! Andrew Sullivan and Bari Weiss resigned yesterday. Both have been massive critics of cancel culture. Odds are that they are setting up a new publication.
Loved this morning’s The Daily’s profile of a woman working in the Smithfield Farms pork factory in South Dakota.
If you stocked up your freezer with frozen vegetables back in March, it’s time to use them all up. Six months is about the life expectancy for a bag of frozen vegetables. We’re getting everything fresh from our CSA and the farmer’s market now, so I want a completely empty frozen veggie section soon. I’m throwing those bags of veggies into everything. On Monday, I added half a bag of corn and half a bag of chopped collard greens to a pot of chili. It was awesome.
I hope that beautiful china will come back in fashion. If you like this stuff, go to estate sales and get some proper vintage stuff. If you have it, display it.
Our laundry room is going to get a small rehab soon. Right now, it’s in a poorly converted storage closet. The walls are a toxic green and are full of holes. We aren’t going to put a ton of money into it — just repairs on the walls, a new coat of paint, flooring. I might put peel-on backsplash tiles around the wash basin (more on Etsy).
37 thoughts on “SL 798”
Laura wrote, “Everybody in North Carolina uses a Shibumi.”
That is fantastic. Your family looks super comfy.
“Women are picking up the tab for the cost of the pandemic. Their careers are being put on hold, as they get stuck with the job of homeschooling their kids and setting up schooling “pods.””
Our private school sent out a parent questionnaire last night. They’ve already changed our start date from third week of August to first week of August back to third week of August, and now they’re asking about in-person versus remote start, how people feel about two-day in-person school and how families people need to have supervised on-campus remote schooling for kids during a shutdown and how badly they need it. It sounds like they are planning to do more online contact during remote learning. I added that I was concerned that 2nd grade not be overloaded with work during remote learning and expressed concern about the lab portion of high school science classes. My middle kid is supposedly in AP Physics this year and I’d like him to get enough lab time to make it meaningful.
My youngest is in therapy this summer and she’s been flunking her screenings quite a bit the last couple weeks. 99.5 degrees is enough to fail…I’m in talks with our pediatrician.
The bright side of the extra 2 weeks of summer is that I’ve been homeschooling our youngest about two hours all summer (9-10 pages of workbook plus about an hour of guided and independent reading) and I am increasingly confident that she’s going to be academically successful in 2nd grade.
“Insider-Baseball alert! Andrew Sullivan and Bari Weiss resigned yesterday. Both have been massive critics of cancel culture. Odds are that they are setting up a new publication.”
Much lower profile people are really raking it in with podcasts and substack newsletter subscriptions.
Sullivan (who is not my favorite person, although he’s said some smart things lately) has a pretty established history of being able to go it alone online. He’s been a pioneer in that respect.
“how many families need to have supervised on-campus remote learning”
“Insider-Baseball alert! Andrew Sullivan and Bari Weiss resigned yesterday. Both have been massive critics of cancel culture. Odds are that they are setting up a new publication.”
Quillette might be a good place for them, if they don’t want to go it alone… Having grown up in a loyal Dem family and worshipping ACLU, it s incongruous for me to see the right as the defenders of free speech.
I briefly saw saw someone tweet (rumor? pure speculation?) that Shapiro (resigning as EIC of Daily Wire), Sullivan (resigning from NYMag), Weiss (resigning from NYTimes) might be starting a venture.
I also am a fan of pretty dishes, though I like pottery more than china. I really love wood-fired japanese pottery.
I’ve also been exploring peel & stick wallpaper at Society6. I don’t have a lot of wall room (lots of windows, open floor plan), but might play.
I’ve set up three more seating spaces outside at home since the beginning of quarantine (and cleaned the other). Now working on two more spaces. I wonder if I could get a shibumi style shade to work on our rooftop deck.
My head is exploding about schools. The private K-8 I’m associated with is planning thoroughly for a part time in person experience (having already done parent surveys, teacher surveys, . . . ). Our public school district (which my son attends in HS) is flailing wildly, including flailing ahead without teacher input and with teachers digging in their heels and hashtagging #14covidfree days (or something like that). Are we going to get to that? Ever?
You’ve mentioned the idea of paying parents if they are going to have to teach. Is that a real idea? And if so, how would it work? Would I get paid (i.e would it have to replace lost wages? or be means tested?))? Could it be a voucher? Who will fund it?
I would be willing to talk about a crisis plan that prioritizes the education of some students over others but I don’t know if that is a starter at all, with everyone seemingly focused on fairness (teachers, parent, politicians) and not need or equity.
I am personally working towards figuring out what might amount to homeschooling for my HS student. Right now, he’s planning science education videos and is being lectured over skype by his grandfather about physics and discussing the theory of education (my dad thinks people lean to heavily on analogies in teaching physics in a way that undermines the mathematical descriptions of reality).
He will learn. So my concern is making sure he fills holes that might happen and that he document his education.
bj said, “I am personally working towards figuring out what might amount to homeschooling for my HS student. Right now, he’s planning science education videos and is being lectured over skype by his grandfather about physics and discussing the theory of education (my dad thinks people lean to heavily on analogies in teaching physics in a way that undermines the mathematical descriptions of reality).”
How do you feel about the lab side?
Mild brag/data point: we got our oldest’s AP scores today and she got a 5 on both the AP Calculus AB test and the AP Physics 1 test. On the one hand, they were shortened open-book at-home tests and the test people did curtail the material tested over–on the other hand, I think it does demonstrate that the 2 months of school-at-home leading up to the tests were not a complete waste of time.
I don’t understand the point of having school part-time. There’s just as much contagion, but much less learning. My biggest concern (it’s sort of a Rawlsian thing, maximizing the welfare of the least well-off) is not the suburban married two-earner couples where the wife is having to work harder; it’s the huge number of low-income children who have simply disappeared: not going to school, not logging in for remote learning, not being homeschooled, just falling further and further behind.
I, too, am VERY concerned about that population. Poor sweeties were totally screwed this spring, and nobody care.
The reasoning behind part-time school is the physical distancing, that allows fewer students in the schoolhouse while giving each student some in time school. That in time school then allows the benefits that come from in person education (i.e. interaction, teacher observing student, learning for students who will have difficulty learning remotely, part time childcare, . . . .). It’s a flawed model if physical distancing inside is insufficient (because ventilation and shared air space matters more than distance or, if it doesn’t occur because children can’t physically distance when they are together). The reduced population model does decrease the number of people the children will be in contact with (1/2 their classmates + teachers, especially if they remain in their smaller groupings). In some private schools, that could mean that younger children will be in groupings of <10 children + teachers.
Is that enough? Maybe is all we can say.
I think that some of the tools for COVID mitigation (based on spread of other, potentially less airborne viruses, like norovirus) has depended too much on symptom screening, surface cleaning, and contact avoidance. If the method of spread depends more on sharing airspace and spread can occur in presymptomatic individuals, those methods don't sufficiently limit spread. But they are easier to do and make people feel like they are doing something.
And, again, we agree about something — I also want resources being allocated to children who especially need the support. That includes poor children, but also children with special needs and young children. The young children need that daily intensive interaction. I do think many young children can have that interaction be with adults in their own home. Our next door neighbor kids seem to be doing well. I even feel like I’ve seen them grow in language and skills just overhearing them from next door. But they are getting a lot of attention.
bj said, “The young children need that daily intensive interaction.”
A nice thing about little kids (as opposed to middle school and high school) is that you can do some approximation of a decent school day with one pod of kids dealing with one teacher in one room.
Once you get up to middle school and higher, there’s much more of a need for multiple teachers and bigger, churning groups of kids in multiple classrooms, which is a problem.
This article says that middle school was the flash point for the new Israeli outbreak:
Mohammad Khatib (“who teaches public health at the Zefat Academic College and is the epidemiological expert on the health ministry’s newly formed advisory committee on the coronavirus in the Arab sector”) said:
““Adults, including teachers and other employees, brought it into schools, which are, in the end, closed spaces,” he said, underscoring the finding that middle-school children proved to be the most dangerous vectors.”
““The younger students were more obedient and easier to control in a classroom setting,” Khatib said, “and had more respect for their teachers. Among high schoolers, there was a greater ability to understand. But it is in the nature of middle-school kids to rebel, not to obey teachers, not to wear masks or keep apart.””
The Israelis had initially been pretty successful with reopening for little kids.
Well, what makes sense about it is if you have half the kids in school at one time, you can socially distance them because the school is less crowded. But it does truly screw the poorer families.
One thought I have now is that children who are loosing out on education now should have their right to education extended past 18 (and, I think 21 for children with appropriate IEPs?). Most UMC wouldn’t want to take advantage of that opportunity, but another year of eligibility might help others and it might be vital for special needs kids.
bj said, “One thought I have now is that children who are loosing out on education now should have their right to education extended past 18 (and, I think 21 for children with appropriate IEPs?). Most UMC wouldn’t want to take advantage of that opportunity, but another year of eligibility might help others and it might be vital for special needs kids.”
That is a good thought.
Looking at your education funding model as an outsider – it seems as though schools should be *very* worried about parents (mostly mothers) picking up the education load.
No, there won’t be payments for Mum-as-teacher. But if you think that middle-class parents are going to be happy paying for education that their kids aren’t receiving – think again.
My understanding is that education in the US is heavily (primarily) funded by the local town/school district with some State funding. With a crunch on household income (redundancies, unemployment) intensifying pressure on local and state legislatures to reduce taxes – it seems to me that schools are very likely to be working with very significantly reduced budgets.
Yes, parents have a new appreciation of teachers (well, for those who have stepped up to the plate, and delivered the best possible remote-learning experience for their kids); but if your local school *isn’t* doing remote learning well, and *isn’t* planning on opening face-to-face for all kids, then why would you support funding for it?
If you want to clear space in your freezer, use up your frozen vegetables, but don’t worry that they are going bad.
Here’s a more general freezer guideline. https://www.home-storage-solutions-101.com/freezer-storage-times.html
Have discussed the part-time-school model (half the class morning and other half afternoon – or day-on, day-off) with teacher friends. And they can’t see how it would work educationally – except as a stop-gap in keeping kids at least engaged with learning. A teacher who is working in class with children, can’t *also* be working with kids learning remotely. And, we all know from experience, that many kids need to have quite a bit of adult interaction for them to learn effectively online. So the reality would be just half-time school – probably focusing on the basics (writing/math) in the junior grades – with none of the ‘fun’ stuff that kids enjoy about school. A big recipe for learning dis-engagement….
Also there’s a big issue with the floated concept of just repeating a year – or extending the educational age. Where do you *put* these kids physically? Schools don’t have a whole lot of empty classrooms sitting around, waiting to be occupied. At the very basic level – there will be a whole class of 5-year olds ready to start school next year – so they’ll need the classroom space that the current 5-year olds are occupying (and so on, right throughout the school system). And you can’t just cancel a year, either. There will be *some* kids who have thrived through online learning, who are absolutely ready to move up a grade. Do you have an 8th grade 1/4 the size of normal, because all the rest need to repeat 7th grade?
Ontario is looking at the halftime model (to maintain social distancing) as well and I also don’t think it’s sustainable, because a number of parents will have to look for care for their kids the other half of the time which will mean they are bringing in a number of additional contacts…there’s afterschool/wraparound care too, of course, so you can’t say full time school is zero extra contacts and half time school is 100%…but I don’t know that I’m convinced it will work with the elementary and middle school kids.
Our high schools though are looking at a quadrimester. Our semestered schools do 4 courses per semester normally, so now they’re thinking of having them do 44 instructional hours (I think this works out to about 4 weeks) of each course sequentially, so all the math, all the science, etc. Scheduling wise and cohort wise, there’s some sense to this but I’m concerned about my child retaining it. Might be better than my MIL being sick though.
For the losing-a-year model, which I’d be ok with but where Canada and Ontario case counts are at now IF we don’t see a large second wave (ha) it would be hard to justify. But we’ve sort-of-not-really done it in the past, when grade 13 was eliminated we had a double cohort graduating into tertiary education. That was of course different (3-4 years for not the whole population, rather than 12 years for everyone) but the answer was…funding, universities were given extra funding several years out to get ready. It all, in fact, comes down to funding.
Purely for education geeks, the Toronto Public board (due to a constitutional quirk in Ontario, we have two fully publicly-funded boards, called Public and Catholic…well we actually also have French public and Catholic) made an interesting play this week with their plan saying if they have to cohort at 15 students per classroom without more funding (they got about $55 million extra, but say they need about $92 million total) they would eliminate French classes.
Background….here in Ontario, Francophone kids have the legal right to attend French boards, but Anglophone/Other kids currently in Ontario have the legal right in English but have privileged access to French classes at three levels: Core (which is actually required and the minimum, like 40 minutes 3 times a week or something), Late Immersion, which is halftime French starting in grade 4, and Early Immersion, which is sort-of full time French up to grade 4 and then some English is introduced. (None of these programs are fantastic for bilingualism, although they help…depending on the individual school, there’s a kind of patois that develops among immersion kids who aren’t native speakers repeating each other’s errors…I was in the very first class in the board in the 70s.)
The interesting thing about the Immersion programs is that they often work out to essentially a socioeconomic sort. (I think you have this in some areas of the US with Spanish?) I enrolled both my kids in my local Late Immersion program for this reason exactly, which is that it’s a grade 4 very-rough sort of _the students_ into whose parents want them studying extra languages, often sort of civil servant or grant types (which is where bilingualism starts to matter as an adult), and so my kids’ peers were more academically motivated.
I’m not saying this is the highest democratic good, but it’s how it works on the ground.
So the TDSB putting those programs into play by saying they won’t be able to offer them. This is probably reasonably true in that a) it’s hard to find French teachers even at 30 kids/class and b) those teachers are fully qualified union member teachers who can be redeployed for lower class sizes.
But it’s ALSO a way to get the attention of a very specific group of parents who a) probably don’t feel qualified to teach their kids at home in both official languages and b) are educationally-minded and c) probably are UMC or thereabouts as one of the big problems with the Immersion programs is that they depend on enrolment and tend not to show up in at-risk, working-class neighbourhoods. So I think the TDSB is making a political play here that could roll out in interesting ways.
“I also don’t think it’s sustainable, because a number of parents will have to look for care for their kids the other half of the time which will mean they are bringing in a number of additional contacts…there’s afterschool/wraparound care too, of course, so you can’t say full time school is zero extra contacts and half time school is 100%…but I don’t know that I’m convinced it will work with the elementary and middle school kids.”
Yeah, that has also been my concern, that you have to look at the big picture of what the kids’ contacts are going to be during the week, not just what they are doing when they happen to be at school.
It might be helpful to encourage school families to find a childcare buddy family within the school community or (ideally) class, which might help to keep the “bubble” of exposure smaller. I think that finding a “buddy” family is a good idea, no matter what, and may actually be even more important if schools go remote for much of the fall.
“Our semestered schools do 4 courses per semester normally, so now they’re thinking of having them do 44 instructional hours (I think this works out to about 4 weeks) of each course sequentially, so all the math, all the science, etc. Scheduling wise and cohort wise, there’s some sense to this but I’m concerned about my child retaining it.”
Yeah, retention is the problem. I hate the idea of monster blocks for math or anything that needs ongoing practice (foreign language, music, etc.)–but for math it might not be terrible if followed by ongoing online practice…Duolingo is also pretty good for keeping up French…But you’d have to budget in the time to do that.
One of my kids won a major National French Exam award during a year where she wasn’t taking French in class, just by doing Dulingo extremely consistently.
“But it’s ALSO a way to get the attention of a very specific group of parents who a) probably don’t feel qualified to teach their kids at home in both official languages and b) are educationally-minded and c) probably are UMC or thereabouts as one of the big problems with the Immersion programs is that they depend on enrolment and tend not to show up in at-risk, working-class neighbourhoods. So I think the TDSB is making a political play here that could roll out in interesting ways.”
I wonder if it’s going to work as a pressure point.
The reason I wonder is that there is a well-developed online industry for teaching native English to kids in the People’s Republic of China. Obviously, you couldn’t afford full immersion for French like that, but I think it wouldn’t be that hard to find enough college-educated native French speakers to individually tutor UMC Canadian kids online for the 2020-2021 school year. Even a mini Zoom class (3-4 kids) could be pretty engaging and keep at least some skills sharp.
Here’s an idea:
Give a $20 per kid untaxed stipend to families for every day of logged in, submitted school work.
Some people will do their kids’ work for them, but meh, how much worse off are we then? I think that a $20 a day per kid stipend will re-engage and motivate a lot of parents who are capable of making it happen, but are currently unmotivated, or who perhaps need to pay for childcare so that somebody else can supervise their kids while they work.
And yes, I am totally willing for funding this to be a federal thing. With any luck, it would only be necessary for maybe 4 months.
Laura, feel free to steal this and write it up.
Additionally, if we go remote in the fall, it’s time for more truant officers and for teachers to spend more time tracking down kids that are not “showing up” electronically. Heck, have the PE teachers and the janitors making phone calls and ringing doorbells. If kids aren’t in electronic attendance, follow up, find out what the problem is, and fix it if it has anything to do with lack of electronics, materials, internet, technical savvy, etc. I am pretty sure (based on my own technophobic self) that a lot of parents just are not up to navigating the technical side of their kids’ online schooling without help.
It’s simply unacceptable for schools to be collecting money for educating children that are not even minimally in attendance. There is no excuse.
From what I understand, our rural district is heavily involved in doing just this kind of followup – calls, tech support, even dropping by (there were also a lot of teacher car parades through the neighborhoods in the spring). We also have a nonprofit working with the schools to deliver food regularly, including through the summer, so that students still get breakfasts/lunches. I have a friend who studies rural schools and my impression from her is that this is being done widely. Everyone in ed with an ounce of sense or empathy is aware that they have to keep tabs on these kids. Whether it’s being done across the board I can’t say.
af184793 said, “From what I understand, our rural district is heavily involved in doing just this kind of followup – calls, tech support, even dropping by (there were also a lot of teacher car parades through the neighborhoods in the spring). We also have a nonprofit working with the schools to deliver food regularly, including through the summer, so that students still get breakfasts/lunches.”
That is very good.
I’ve seen a number of articles talking about how a large percentage of kids in some districts just completely fell off the map.
Yes, I’m seeing this in both a big village school I know of and in our own urban district. Food drop offs, grocery pick ups, continued fundraising in the community to support students. And, our HS, the richest in the district (probably) and thus last in line, got laptops to everyone at the beginning of the summer. Not in time for spring, though we were the school that needed them least.
School librarians got book bags together for students, cleaned books, and let families pick them up with social distancing.
On a happier note, I want to add that the optional Zoom workout that the coaches at our school offered was actually great for our 9th grader and worked really well.
Our city’s school start date has just been bumped from August 18 to Sept. 8 (the Tuesday after Labor Day). They’ve extended the school year until June 10 (which is really late for our part of the country).
By the way, is curbside library pickup available nationally?
We have it in our town in TX and it’s been a life-saver. Husband and I do an order just about every week (mostly for our youngest) and make a date of pickup. It’s really nice for stuff like graphic novels that are a quick read, but expensive.
“Husband and I do an order just about every week (mostly for our youngest) and make a date of pickup”
We do not have curbside pickup at our libraries yet and I find the delay problematic. They should have been able to get it going sooner. They might think that the online service is the most used (and it might be). But, as you say for your kiddo, and, potentially for other kiddos who might be overloaded with screen time, it seems like it should have been made available sooner.
A librarian I know at a school did make curbside pickup available for her students, but I think that was a personal labor of love.
bj said, “We do not have curbside pickup at our libraries yet and I find the delay problematic. They should have been able to get it going sooner. They might think that the online service is the most used (and it might be). But, as you say for your kiddo, and, potentially for other kiddos who might be overloaded with screen time, it seems like it should have been made available sooner.”
Yeah. Our kid has a personal Kindle loaded up with all sorts of stuff (we got her a children’s subscription service months ago as part of our big literacy push), but it’s not the same as her own personal pile of physical library books. Also, not all kids’ books translate well to the small-screen format.
Michael Tracey writes, “Arkansas has a new mandatory mask order coming into effect Monday and per the text, violators cannot be punished with arrest or jail time. But let’s say you’re fined $500 and cannot and/or refuse to pay. Will a warrant be issued for your arrest?”
Note that compliance with a governor’s mask order depends on some combination of: law enforcement effectiveness, the goodwill of the public, peer influence and (very importantly) active fear of COVID. Any one of those might do the job if strong enough, but only one of those (and arguably the least effective right now) has anything to do with government force.
In the COVID environment, we don’t even want to arrest people for minor offences and hold them packed tightly in jail. There are a lot of areas of the US where law enforcement has basically no levers left to use on uncooperative members of the public. In retrospect, it was maybe not the best time to start a big anti-police mass movement, given that the police are the people who would be on the frontlines of enforcing mask orders…
I know it’s standard in these discussions to say that the protesters were masked, but this was not universally true, especially in parts of the country where masking was not already strong as a social norm when protests started:
That’s a photo of a June 2 George Floyd protest in June, featuring a group of George Floyd relatives packed around a microphone with no masks. It is also still common for people to wear masks and then take them off in order to speak in group settings. (Houston was a city where Floyd had lived and the city had large protests. 10 days after that photo was taken, my city’s COVID cases started ticking up again after a two month break.)
If people obey mask orders, it’s going to be because of their goodwill (and possibly peer social pressure), not because they are being made to by the state government. Although, of course, a governor’s order carries some weight for the law-abiding…but a lot of us are not law-abiding right now.
There’s a good article on super spreaders and super spreading events in the Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/07/18/coronavirus-superspreading-events-drive-pandemic/
It points out that spread is very idiosyncratic. Say, for example, most of the reports say that they cannot trace significant spread to the protests, but also to the Ozarks party that was widely circulating as craziness. For example, the article says no significant spike in spread has been linked to the Ozarks party, while a bar in Michigan created a significant cluster.
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