6 Quick Takes: Figuring Out School Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Argh. My wee bairn has a G-I appointment in Everett tomorrow at 8:30… which means we need to leave by 7:30 because of traffic, and that means that I need to be up at 6:15 to hook my wee bairn up for his morning feed. It’s not like I’m a massive insomniac or anything…

Oh yeah… pray REALLY hard that Daniel keeps his mask on and doesn’t touch every freaking surface before touching his face. *packs a 32 oz. bottle of Germ-X in my purse* (Why yes, I *DO* have some bottles that size. Being an alcohol gel nazi prepared me for this pandemic.)

— 2 —

School take #1. I’ve been having conversations with Daniel’s teachers for next year, and he’ll have Zoom groups a few times a day with other kids. My kid hates Zoom. Woooohoooooo!!!! He will have an hour a day of one-on-one time with one of the paraprofessionals, and she can thankfully break that up into chunks.

— 3 —

School take #2. Kids will only have direct learning on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. This means that Wednesday is for indirect learning… and also for me to have as my main workday as I won’t be having to supervise Daniel’s Zoom sessions that day. I’m thankful that I don’t have to set my tutoring schedule for the fall for a few weeks.

— 4 —

School take #3. I picked up Daniel’s Chromebook yesterday. All students are getting one checked out to them for the year as we have no idea how long we’ll be doing remote learning (a.k.a. school at home). For me, this means that I won’t have to have him do school on my laptop. I also just ordered a wireless mouse and headphones off of Amazon for him.

— 5 —

School take #4. Because this is me, I’m flipping out about my kid having a meltdown at having to sit and do stuff on Zoom… forgetting that he’s going to be in a class of kids with autism who also probably don’t want to be on Zoom either, so he won’t be the only kid yelling that he’s “ALL DONE!!!!!!!!!!!”

— 6 —

Update to last week. The CZU Lightning Complex fire is a mile from Upper Campus of my alma mater. My Girl Scout camp and church camp both have fire damage, and part of my Girl Scout camp was used/is being used for staging by CalFire. So far, the redwood trees at Big Basin State Park are OK, but all the infrastructure took damage. (My dad has commented that this means some of the poison oak is hopefully gone.)

Because of the pandemic, the camps didn’t have any kids there, so evacuation needs were minimal. This is, I think, the only good news about this dumpster fire of a year.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Wildfire Edition

7 Quick Takes

Yeah, my home state of California is currently on fire, and two of the fires (which were started by lightning strikes in a place that doesn’t usually have big thunderstorms) are affecting me personally.

The CZU Lightning Complex fire has destroyed and is threatening to destroy places I hold dear like my alma mater UC Santa Cruz, the two Girl Scout camps where I spent time growing up and worked as my first job, areas of redwood forest that hold my heart, and the houses of friends of mine who have had to be evacuated.

The SCU Lightning Complex fire is threatening areas surrounding my hometown of San Jose, and people I love are preparing to be evacuated.

The demented troll in the White House is threatening to make the state pay for the fires themselves because “they don’t listen to [him]“. Apparently, he has never been in a forest for more than a photo-op and doesn’t quite get that YOU DON’T CLEAN THE FOREST FLOOR LIKE YOU DO CONCRETE AND ASPHALT!!!!!

I’m more than a little displeased and upset tonight, so I’ll stop here and just ask y’all to pleasepleaseplease pray for all those affected by the fires. This is breaking my heart.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Weighing in On The Week Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

On Kamala Harris. When Joe Biden announced his vice-presidential pick was Kamala Harris, I was over the moon. She’s a northern California girl like me, she’s brilliant, and she is well-versed in the law. I had the pleasure of voting for her twice as Attorney General of California, and my last act before moving to Washington was to vote for her in the California Primary election in 2016.

I’ve been getting the “who should Biden pick as VP” emails from various focus groups for months, and I can’t say I’m sad that those emails have stopped… though now I’m getting emails from groups on what the Democratic platform should be. It’s probably a good thing that I use a specific email for all my political stuff so I can delete it all when I don’t have the spoons to deal with it.

— 2 —

This is inexcusable. According to the Seattle Times, Trump says he’s blocking postal funding because Democrats want to expand mail-in voting. Seriously, that’s petty as heck! NPR just updated their story on it to say that Trump is opposing it but will sign a bill including it. Still, it creates the impression that he’s trying to prevent people from being able to vote. The postal situation would also affect a few states like mine where the entire state votes by mail.

The irony here is that Trump and his entire family as well as others in his administration vote by mail regularly.

— 3 —

The payroll tax holiday. I’m not gonna lie… the executive order signed by Donald Trump on Saturday put my stomach in knots to the point that I could barely eat. The reason? I know payroll taxes. It creates a really difficult situation for businesses because those payroll taxes are just deferred until next year, and it is highly doubtful that Congress (the ones who ACTUALLY make the decision on this stuff) will forgive the amount owed.

I have a while until it starts affecting me as the quarter ends this month and Fall Quarter doesn’t start until the middle to end of September, but I’ll have to see if the college is actually going to take the amount out of my check and just hold onto it. If not, I’ll have to calculate out 7.65% of my paycheck and put it aside so that I don’t suddenly have to come up with the money next year.

— 4 —

New doctor. My PCP left in June (and I didn’t find out about it until July), so I had to find a new doctor. My parents like their PCP, so I made an appointment and was finally able to get in with her yesterday. I do like her and she seems amenable to things like me staying on omeprazole despite insurance refusing to cover it after a certain point. (It’s an OTC medication, so I just wanted her permission to stay on it. I’m fine with paying for it as it’s cheap through Costco.) She ordered a ton of labs, and I was really happy to see that my iron is actually in the higher levels of normal for women. (Yay hysterectomy!)

— 5 —

Mask take. I thought this was cute.

Masks are comfortable

— 6 —

School update. I got in touch with Daniel’s teacher this week. She hasn’t had the necessary meetings to tell me a whole lot about what will happen, but she was glad I got communication going. School officially starts the first week of September, so I’ll be getting Daniel used to doing stuff on the iPad with me this week so that things aren’t a complete shock in September.

— 7 —

Some music.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Washington State Primary Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Gubernatorial race. The good news is that Governor Inslee had triple the votes of the other 30+ people running. Even better news is State Parasite and chair thief Tim Eyman doing poorly. (A friend of mine in state government told me that he is a succubus, not a parasite. I still stand by my designation.)

The bad news is that Governor Inslee’s challenger Loren Culp is an absolutely incompetent police chief from a tiny town in eastern Washington who is running on a spite platform not enforcing any of Inslee’s policies… and also being sued for intimidating and threatening a teenage sexual abuse victim while refusing to investigate her abuse by her step-father. The reason this is bad news? There are idiots in this state who will vote for a can of Goya black beans if the Washington State Republicans named it as their candidate out of sheer cussedness because the Democratic western half of the state has all the population and thus controls the government. Governor Inslee has mandated masks and put a stop to reopening statewide due to our COVID spike, and there are people who are cranky about this… most of whom also live in counties where the COVID case rate is now higher than Seattle’s. There were better people in the race to have voted for instead of Culp.

To demonstrate why I think Culp is an idiot: he held a COVID party an “Insubordinate Victory” rally on a meadow in Leavenworth for over a thousand people with no masks or social distancing… IN A COUNTY EXPERIENCING A HUGE COVID SPIKE!!!!! (Chelan County, home of Leavenworth, has 50,000 fewer people than Skagit County where I live, and their case numbers are 1.5 times ours.) I would be willing to put money on a chunk of COVID cases being reported as a result of that event (if attendees tell contact tracers the truth).

— 2 —

Lieutenant governor race. This is the one good piece of news–the top two candidates in the lieutenant governor race are both Democrats, so we’re covered if something happens to whoever wins the gubernatorial race in November. They’re decent enough people that my county’s Democratic party was chill with us picking between the two of them.

— 3 —

Voting by mail. Washington is a vote-by-mail state, and our primary was fine… BECAUSE VOTING BY MAIL WORKS. Our very Republican secretary of state Kim Wyman (who I actually like) has written op-ed’s on the subject this year and has even explained why undocumented immigrants voting is a fallacy, citing voting rates in Yakima County (huge number of farmworkers) as her example and pointing out that it would be ludicrous to register to vote if you’re trying not to be noticed by the government. (I also live in a county with a large number of migrant workers and can tell you with certainty that they’re not voting, partially because some of the people in county government are strongly anti-immigration and would not be in power if the migrant workers could vote.)

— 4 —

Mask take #1. I thought this image was good…

Don't be that person.

— 5 —

Mask take #2. I also thought this was good, and it has been shared by friends of mine who fall all over the political spectrum, so it isn’t just a “liberal” thing.

— 6 —

Why I support teachers right now. Friends of mine who are teachers are COVERING Facebook with posts right now on their back-to-school prep, which is normal for August… but my friends are all talking about the online apps they’re looking at to reach their students and making recommendations for their various subject areas. They’re taking all the lessons they learned from being thrown into remote education this spring and making changes based on what didn’t work well.

I have heard so much complaining online about how teachers are lazy because they don’t want to teach in person during the pandemic, and all these posts are showing the exact opposite. Teachers are readjusting their teaching styles and the way they used to teach to fit the current situation in order to keep their students and themselves safe.

— 7 —

Aid for Lebanon. If you want to help after the explosion in Beirut, here are some charities that are good:

Aid for Lebanon

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.