Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Pic of the Day



Alone



Alone
by Maya Angelou

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don't believe I'm wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can't use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They've got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.


With so many people these days under a stay at home order, it can feel awfully lonely to some. Some of us live alone and are a bit introverted, but lets not forget those extraverts out there who need socialization. If you can reach out to someone who you know needs that extra socialization, reach out to them and let them know they are not alone.


Monday, March 30, 2020

Pic of the Day



Week Two at Home



Some of my coworkers are not doing too well working from home. They are going stir crazy, especially one in particular who is ready to go back to work today.  Extroverts are having a hard time with working from home. I’m just happy I’m still one of the employed because millions of Americans are currently unemployed because of this pandemic. The numbers just keep growing of people with both the virus and the unemployed. Working from home is not too bad for me. I am an introvert, so being at a distance from everyone is not a problem. I do occasionally miss my coworkers. I also don’t like having to document my work. Since I began at the museum, I have been self sufficient and pretty much done things at my own pace and when I wanted to do them. Because of having to document what I do, and knowing it could be used against me if this pandemic lasts a long time, I am often scrambling for things to do, or at least document. While I can say I’m working on this and that (I’m more specific in my documentation), I have to produce stuff too, which can sometimes be difficult in my job. I can write lesson plans and lectures for classes, but unless somebody wants to use them, then it’s pointless. Also, it’s hard to schedule new programs when no one really knows how long this will last.

I also want to say, that I’ve seen a lot of complaints about the government bailout including places like museums. While we are doing our best to continue to operate virtually, at the heart of what we do are people. What’s the point in having over 16,000 objects and artifacts if we can’t share them with people? We are a people business but unlike restaurants, we can’t do take out. Our best work is done in person. So please understand and remember that museums and universities need help as well as any other business.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Pic of the Day



The Wayfaring Stranger



I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger
Traveling through this world below
There is no sickness, no toil, nor danger
In that bright land to which I go
I'm going there to see my Father
And all my loved ones who've gone on
I'm just going over Jordan
I'm just going over home
I know dark clouds will gather 'round me
I know my way is hard and steep
But beauteous fields arise before me
Where God's redeemed, their vigils keep
I'm going there to see my Mother
She said she'd meet me when I come
So, I'm just going over Jordan
I'm just going over home
I'm just going over Jordan
I'm just going over home

Yesterday, I watched the movie 1917. It was phenomenal but also very sad. I think it’s almost impossible to have a happy World War I movie. If you did, it would be inaccurate. World War I was such an awful war. The set really bring that to life in this movie. In my opinion, the sets were very accurate. As a historian, I’d be remiss to say that there were no inaccuracies. There are a few, but I’m not here to talk about that. One of the most moving moments of the movie is when Jos Slovik sings “Poor Wayfaring Stranger.”

The song itself is an old American folk hymn about a plaintive soul on the journey through life.  “I Am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger” speaks of man’s journeying on this earth. Yet, from what and to what does man go? 

From the moment Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, man’s journey has him wanting to return. Yet, this return requires passing through the looming, dark portal of death. We journeyed through life into death.

The song’s line “I’m just going over Jordan” evokes this death. In one respect, the line refers to Joshua, that successor of Moses who led the Israelites across the dry bed of the river into the long-desired promised land. Yet, in a deeper sense, the line refers to baptism of  Jesus in the River Jordan. Our crossing is a watery plunge, a sign of dying and rising, a baptism.We journey through death into eternal life.

As we walk toward that dark portal of death, the baptized walk with Christ. “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). In Baptism, we are changed at the deepest center of our being, we continue to walk in newness and with hope. We are on the way as wayfarers. 

The song continues saying, “I’m just going over home.” This is a clear allusion to heaven. As pilgrims, we journey not just to death, but we pass on to more. “Here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come” (Hebrew 13:14). The deepest and truest sense of our journeying is not about designation of place. Our journeying is about fulfillment, perfection, life, and the all-consuming vision of the beloved, face of God. 

Upon rising from the waters of baptism, we follow Christ, who is “the way” (John 14:6). This following requires renewal and sacrifice. St. Paul exhorts us to put off the old man and put on the new man, even calling for our minds to be renewed in Christ (Ephesians 4:22–24). To put off the old man is a command to leave behind the sin and the corruption which came from Adam and Eve. To put on the new man is to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14). To be renewed in the spirit of the mind is to “have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Therefore, we are poor because we need all from Christ. We are wayfarers because we are journeying from death to life in Christ. We are strangers because we have died to this world and seek those things above. “For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). When our journey—that is, our perfection in the Son—is complete, we will see our Father. “No one comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). 

Friday, March 27, 2020

Pic of the Day



Isabella’s Happy



Isabella seems very happy that I am home all day. She gets up with me each morning, and we have breakfast. Then she follows me into my home office. She’s enjoying her new supervisory role. She likes to be somewhere she can watch me. Sometimes, she’s sitting on the desk micromanaging. Other times, she watches from afar. The problem comes when she tries to do my work for me. Let’s put it this way, she’s not a good typist. She just randomly hits various keys. So for the first hour or so of work, I have to constantly move her from my laptop. Around 10 am, her workday is over. She either sleeps on the futon in my office, or she curls up in the midst of my bed. The rest of her day consists of sleeping. When it’s time for me to stop at the end of the day, she wakes up and let’s me know I am through working and that all my attention should be on her.




Thursday, March 26, 2020

Pic of the Day



Reading



While I have paperwork and some webinars, I’m trying to do a lot of reading and research, mostly on cultural preservation in times of war. I will be teaching a class on the subject next spring, and I am also preparing some other types of trainings on the subject. I’m just trying my best to keep busy while working from home.

A letter went out from our university president yesterday stating that our jobs will be secure through May 1st, but after that they will re-evaluate the economics of the university and May be reassessing our positions. I’m hoping my boss, who’s not a very strong leader, has it in him to fight to keep us on if cuts are made. We have an endowment that I hope can be used to save us, if it comes down to money. It really sucks that the president is considering this because his last day is May 31st. If he does a massive layoff, which he hinted at, it will leave the new president with a big mess on his hands. 

I pray that we can keep on keeping on. How do you justify your job when you’re the museum educator and none of the professors are using you in the new online format? I also handle all the public programming, but if people can’t gather in one place, my job becomes moot. I’m worried the university will see me as nonessential. Therefore I have to find some projects to keep me busy while I’m at home during this time of crisis.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Pic of the Day



At Home: Day 3



Contrary to the pictures I have posted, I actually do get up, shower, and get dressed each day before going and sitting in front of my computer to do work. The governor of Vermont is enacting a stay at home order today at 5 pm which will last at least three weeks. We are only supposed to leave home for essentials. While some of my coworkers have to go into the museum for essential functions, I can do everything from home. I was originally scheduled to work in the museum today, but my boss decided I should continue to work from home. 

As cases grow in Vermont and neighboring New York, I have gone out and done some shopping, at least what I was able to buy. There is no toilet paper, thankfully I have some already, and the grocery stores are almost completely out of pasta and frozen dinners. 

All my medical appointments have been postponed. My physical therapy on my shoulder I injured (I have a torn labrum) won’t begin again until it is safe again to go out and return to normal. At least I have my exercises to build up the muscles around the labrum to help it heal. My six month dental cleaning has also been cancelled. They haven’t rescheduled my doctors’ appointments set for the coming weeks, but I think it’s just a matter of time.

Currently, I have enough food and supplies to last a little while, so I’m good for now. I’ll continue to work from home. God only knows what all I’ll be working on, but I’ll figure out something. How is everyone else doing during this COVID-19 outbreak? I’d love to hear from y’all.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Pic of the Day



Sonnet 2



Sonnet 2

By William Shakespeare 

When forty winters shall besiege thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,
Thy youth's proud livery so gazed on now,
Will be a totter'd weed of small worth held: 
Then being asked, where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days; 
To say, within thine own deep sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame, and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deserv'd thy beauty's use,
If thou couldst answer 'This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count, and make my old excuse,'
Proving his beauty by succession thine!
   This were to be new made when thou art old,
   And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.

The poet looks ahead to the time when the youth will have aged, and uses this as an argument to urge him to waste no time, and to have a child who will replicate his father and preserve his beauty. The imagery of ageing used is that of siege warfare, forty winters being the besieging army, which digs trenches in the fields before the threatened city. The trenches correspond to the furrows and lines which will mark the young man's forehead as he ages. He is urged not to throw away all his beauty by devoting himself to self-pleasure, but to have children, thus satisfying the world, and Nature, which will keep an account of what he does with his life.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Pic of the Day



Working from Home



This week, we will be working from home. Only one of us will be at the museum each day. My day will be Wednesday. We have to document hourly what we are doing. That’s a little annoying, but understandable. I will actually have to get up and get dressed though because we will be in touch through texts and video conferencing. I will actually be doing work though. I have research to do and classes to create. I also have a few articles to write. I should be able to get work done though with minimal interruptions. Isabella will probably interrupt me more than the people I work with. Some of my coworkers are complaining about going stir crazy; however, I am looking forward to working at home.

Also, I hope everyone will wish my friend and regular blog reader Susan a very happy birthday.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Pic of the Day



No Favorites



But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: (KJV) ( Galatians 2:6 ) 

God doesn’t have favorites. He desires to use us ALL and gives us all special gifts that he hopes that you will use to bless others with. Don’t think just because you don’t have a fancy title or that because you aren’t a Bible scholar God doesn’t want to use you! There is only one you in the world. God desires to use in a special only you kind of way.  

Friday, March 20, 2020

Pic of the Day



Home



I had planned to be home Monday for work, but I’ve found myself at home today. Yesterday, I had another migraine and a sore throat. I’ve had the sore throat for a few days. Both are on the same side, so I think the sore throat is at least partially affecting the migraine. Anyway, I went home at 10 am yesterday and called my doctor. I had to wait for a callback, but eventually his nurse did call me back. After consulting with her and after she talked to my doctor, they agreed I probably had a small viral infection and it should clear up in a few days. I haven’t had a fever and they don’t believe it’s coronavirus or anything serious at all, but I’m probably contagious, so they ordered me to stay home today.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Pic of the Day



Finally! A Decision



After a week of indecision, the university finally granted us the ability to telecommute. It will begin Monday and will last at least a week, maybe longer. They are giving us today and tomorrow to prepare for working from home. I hate to break it to them, but I’ve been preparing since last week. Now that I have my new MacBook at work that I can take home, there’s nothing keeping me from working at home except an official okay, which was granted today. I do have to go in to the museum for a full day on Wednesdays to check things out and make sure all is safe. However, I’ll be the only one there and should have no contact with anyone: I dread having to document what I do every hour of the workday at home, but it can be done easy enough.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Pic of the Day



Telecommuting



While more and more people begin telecommuting and limiting their face-to-face interactions, my university can’t figure out what to do with the staff. Faculty and students are working from home and doing everything online, but universities across the nation are putting their staff at risk requiring them to continue to work. I understand that some staff members are essential to the continued operation of the university, but let’s face it those who can work from home, should be working from home. Furthermore, the museum is closed to the public. There is nothing that we can’t do from home at this point. We are not essential during this crisis, yet we are still being made to go I to work. I hope the administration finds their senses soon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Pic of the Day



For Who?



For Who?
by Mary Weston Fordham

When the heavens with stars are gleaming
Like a diadem of light,
And the moon’s pale rays are streaming,
Decking earth with radiance bright;
When the autumn’s winds are sighing,
O’er the hill and o’er the lea,
When the summer time is dying,
Wanderer, wilt thou think of me?

When thy life is crowned with gladness,
And thy home with love is blest,
Not one brow o’ercast with sadness,
Not one bosom of unrest—
When at eventide reclining,
At thy hearthstone gay and free,
Think of one whose life is pining,
Breathe thou, love, a prayer for me.

Should dark sorrows make thee languish,
Cause thy cheek to lose its hue,
In the hour of deepest anguish,
Darling, then I’ll grieve with you.
Though the night be dark and dreary,
And it seemeth long to thee,
I would whisper, “be not weary;”
I would pray love, then, for thee.

Well I know that in the future,
I may cherish naught of earth;
Well I know that love needs nurture,
And it is of heavenly birth.
But though ocean waves may sever
I from thee, and thee from me,
Still this constant heart will never,
Never cease to think of thee.


Monday, March 16, 2020

Pic of the Day



Another Headache



Yesterday, I had a headache that continued to get worse as the day went on. My head hurt so bad that my pillows felt like rocks. Nothing seemed to help. The Emgality that I take once a month is helping with the overall number of headaches I have a month, but it is not 100 percent. I hope I wake up this morning without a headache.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Pic of the Day



Limitless



For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. (KJV) ( 2 Corinthians 4:16 ) 

Have you encountered a snag in your life? ... a lost relationship, rejection from a school or job, financial hardship or maybe simply a lack of determination. You might be praying for God to give you the strength to get back on your feet. But do you know how powerful God is? Instead of limiting your rescue to a level you understand, have faith and believe that God has a plan beyond returning you to ground zero. Through God, you have the capability to excel way beyond your limits. Jot down a goal that you think is impossible then watch God's plan unfold.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Pic of the Day



Moment of Zen: Working from Home



We haven’t been told to work from home yet, but I have no objections to doing so. And if they don’t deliver my new office MacBook soon, that old PC laptop I have will feel like using this old manual typewriter.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Pic of the Day



Wash You Hands



It’s Friday the Thirteenth, and to be honest, I don’t have much to say. I just want to remind everyone that with the coronavirus spreading rapidly, please wash you hands for at least 20 seconds. As one meme I saw said, “Wash you hands like you just masturbated with silicone lube and you need to get it off your hands.”

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Pic of the Day



University Health



The university where I work has extended spring break until March 22. We are expected to resume regular classes on March 23. While we are writing contingency plans for a move to online classes, we won’t know what will happen until after an administration meeting today. If the virus spreads further in Vermont (we currently only have two confirmed cases so far), they may have faculty and staff work from hone. Colleges and universities all around us are either cancelling the semester or going fully online until further notice.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Pic of the Day



Work



Work is a bit slow going right now. I only know of three people other than staff who actually came into the museum yesterday. When students aren’t around, it’s always like this. Today, we will have meetings all afternoon. We have to come up with our 2021 strategic plan. There are few things more boring than these meetings. This one has the potential to be slightly interesting because we will also discuss our pandemic action plan. We basically have to decide how we will continue to work if they close campus. Middlebury College which is south of us will start their spring break a week early starting on Friday and then go to online classes until a reassessment can be made in mid-April. It is not yet known what, if anything, we will do. If we do close campus, we can certainly continue operations virtually until we can return. Since Middlebury is closest in size to us, we will probably look to them for guidance as our schools often consult each other over issues.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Pic of the Day



Before the Dawn



Federico Garcìa Lorca


Federico GarcÌa Lorca, a Spanish poet, was part of the legendary poetry circle The Generation of ’27, which hoped to work with avant-garde forms of art.

Murdered by fascists in the Spanish Civil War for his liberal views, his poetry and plays continue to be read and performed today.

So famous is his work, his name is now immortalized in an airport in Granada.

Here is Before The Dawn:

But like love
the archers
are blind

Upon the green night,
the piercing saetas
leave traces of warm
lily.

The keel of the moon
breaks through purple clouds
and their quivers
fill with dew.

Ay, but like love
the archers
are blind!


Monday, March 9, 2020

Pic of the Day



Spring Break



This week is spring break for my university. As staff, we only receive today off, so I plan to take advantage of it. I’m going to try to sleep in. We’ll see how that works out. Since I’ve begun using my CPAP, I sleep so much better at night and wake up ready for my day in the morning. While this is a very good thing, sometimes I just wish I could sleep in.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Pic of the Day



With Great Joy



And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, (KJV) ( Acts 2:46 ) 

There's something special about sharing meals with others.  Not only is your body receiving nutritional refreshment, but your spirit gets to fellowship as well.  A great joy comes from this simple act.  Rather than view your daily rush to put dinner on the table as a chore, see it as an opportunity to interact with your friends, family, and loved ones. I especially enjoy it when I am able to feed others. I enjoy cooking, and I like to bring pleasure to people through food. However, going out to a restaurant, having drinks, and eating a good meal with friends, family, and loved ones is something I also enjoy very much. Food has always been a way of showing love for me, and having a meal, whether prepared at home or by a restaurant, is a wonderful way to share fellowship.