Brief Monday Morning Update

Last week was an exceptionally busy one for yours portly, with a number of duties and responsibilities intersecting at once.  I’m sure many readers have noticed this phenomenon, but there is a decidedly cyclical nature to workflow; indeed, it’s almost tidal in the manner it ebbs and flows:  I can go for two or three weeks enjoying a fairly placid schedule, only to have a couple of weeks of intense activity.  Everything seems to come to a head at the same time.

That’s particularly true in education, a field that is structurally cyclical, with regular intervals of heightened activity baked into the calendar.  The third quarter ended Friday, marking the beginning of the end of the school year (fourth quarter—that last, mad dash to summer vacation—starts today).  That means last week was a flurry of finalizing grades and writing report card comments.

My school requires unique, individualized comments for every student, and though we teach (on average) fewer students than the typical public school teacher, we’re expected to go above and beyond.  Because my colleagues and I were scolded as a group for comments deemed inadequate (for the record, I always write exceptional comments), I decided to double-down and write even more ridiculously detailed comments.  Our registrar read through them Friday morning (after I worked furiously and late into the night Thursday to finish them before the weekend) and said, “I felt like I was reading a novella.”  Mission accomplished.

That’s all to say that I’m very tired, so I thought this Monday would be a good opportunity to offer some brief updates.

On the Lamar Town Council front, I’ve been working with our police chief here in Lamar on some issues.  We are desperate for officers, so if you’re reading this post and happen to live in the eastern part of South Carolina, apply here.  Our chief is a good man, but he’s overwhelmed, as he’s running a department with half the officers it needs.

I have my second Town Council meeting tonight, too, and hope to convince my fellow Councilmembers that it’s time to reopen our meetings to the public.  Currently, residents can livestream and chime in via Facebook Live (and Zoom, I think), but that’s proving to be an obstacle for some residents.  Besides, with vaccines rolling out and case numbers falling, it’s overdue for us to reopen to the public.  Council should be as accessible as possible, and residents should be barred from attending meetings by any means that is convenient for them.

In more fun news, I was in Myrtle Beach this weekend with the family.  For subscribers, I’ll be finishing up that SubscribeStar post soon; I didn’t have the time or the energy to complete it this weekend.  I’ll be getting Sunday Doodles finished soon as well.  This weekend is the first time in weeks that I’ve not had posts ready in time.  I’ve been trying to work ahead on the blog, but the tempo of the last week’s events made it impossible.

At Myrtle Beach, we visited Player’s Choice, a nerd mecca that features a retro-inspired, 1990s-blacklit arcade attached to it.  The store sells comic books, video games for various systems, movie memorabilia, collectibles, and all manner of nerd-adjacent paraphernalia.  My girlfriend and I picked up around $75 in various comics and games between the two of us.  The resident comic book guru highly recommended the graphic novel Nailbiter, which he compared to Silence of the Lambs (which I’m currently reading), and I stumbled upon the three-book miniseries Hawkworld, which I devoured Sunday afternoon while convalescing from the long week and fun-filled weekend.

My private lessons empire is rebuilt to something resembling its former glory.  I’m currently sitting at around five-to-six students a week (one students meets only twice monthly).  Aside from one bassist and my music composition student, I’m teaching four students piano.  I’ve become interested in Bela Bartok’s Microkosmos series of piano etudes, and would like to try rebuilding my own piano chops with the first volume.

I hope to get back to some substantive content again tomorrow.  Politics continue to be uninspiring, and I can’t manage to work up any more rage at the Biden-Harris Administration’s continued antics.  Even though they are engaging in some terrible policymaking, and our rights are eroding around us, it all seems like noise.  Let’s hope it’s all sound and fury signifying nothing.

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