BEFORE BEING TOLD to keep our social distance, I went all-in and subscribed to Disney Plus, Netflix, Google Premium, and Amazon Prime--then noticed Mia (12) diving deep into Studio Ghibli (see My Neighbor Totoro above). After stressing my credit card with two new subscription fees (and renewing Express VPN so we can be region-agnostic), we now have a wishlist of films for the kids during the next 10 days of our confinement. Here are the ones we will watch during our first weekend stuck inside the house.
I reference this Oscar Winner from Ang Lee during the Film Studies module I teach on the Clonmel Digital Campus. The film is a "glorious cultural fusion joined emotional sophistication to thrilling Hong Kong-style acrobatic action" according to Kenneth Turan of the LA Times. It's available on Netflix.The Adventures of Robin Hood
We need the 1938 version with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. We can get it for $3.99 on Google Play and it casts directly onto our Samsung TV in three-strip Technicolor, using production values that help our 21st century kids appreciate what their Depression Era grandparents saw during the Golden Age era of studio entertainment.Children of Paradise
Mia (12) wants to learn French so it's only natural to infuse French culture in the form of this epic French romantic onto her viewing screens.Watching the Watcher
One of the most interesting side effects of being locked away for the next two weeks is watching our primary school kids watch me as I watch third level students work their way through assigned discussion items. Every so often, something interesting--like a penguin in a film--appears in the flow of video chats.
[Bernie Goldbach teaches film studies on the Clonmel Digital Campus for the Limerick Institute of Technology.]
Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:
Seeing drone batteries explode.
Monoprix had my nice eco non-handburning washing up liquid so hopefully I can reduce the amount of handcream I am using. It wasn’t cheap and the shop that sells it is kind of closed at the moment courtesy of lockdown.
Another day in paradise. I used to work in a small town called Dassel about lots of years ago, and the tagline that one of my workmates came up with was Arbeiten wo andere Urlaub machen. We lived in a Kurort, apparently.
I don’t remember that much about it although interestingly enough, a lot of the paper I paint on in sketchbooks comes from there. Life is interestingly circular sometimes. Anyway, today’s major victory included the acquisition of washing up liquid that doesn’t burn my hands, so I feel quite happy about it.
Today was a Zen kind of a day. I bought some art online too. I had missed an art sale from a painter I like but he’s done another one and I was lucky enough to find out. Buying art is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, but mostly prints, and I think I’ve mentioned that. I don’t know when this painting will arrive and I’m looking forward to it. It’s of Paris. For personal reasons I am also looking for paintings of Luxembourg as well, although there’s a book of watercolours that is attractive.
I’ve just learned that the schools in Luxembourg will stay closed until 4 May. If I am honest, I was expecting this. France had already made that decision. I don’t have school kids and it must be increasingly difficult for families with fulltime working parents trying to homeschool the kids as well. It’s almost inhumane pressure particularly when you’re not really allowed out much either. I don’t know; I think we need to think a bit more about how we alleviate the pressure on people. Parental leave and part time isn’t really an option for all families.
That being said, more of them are going walking in the evenings around 6pm. Certainly, we have the extra hour now but that hasn’t made much of a difference to the daylight at 6pm. But I am meeting more walkers which makes my attempt to avoid other Human Beings a bit harder.View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Me (@wnbpaints) on Apr 1, 2020 at 10:09am PDT
Lunch time sketch. Targetting more puffins and possibly surfing today. Dreaming.
My days have a rather predictable structure now. Two days a week I go to the supermarket first thing, otherwise, up, shower, breakfast, work, lunch, 20 minutes painting or drawing, work, 35 minute walk, home, dinner, cleaning, phone call to family. It’s the same pattern every day, only variation being the time I escape for the walk. So far, the weather has been largely cooperative and the days are incredibly bright. It makes being stuck inside, with a little piece of work taking up residence in my living room, harder than I could have imagined.
Rick O’Shea mentioned on twitter today that he was finding it hard to read. I know where he is coming from. I do too, and also, I’m finding it hard to write which is somewhat more worrying. It’s not that there is not much happening in my life, although frankly, I stay at home, and work, and stay at home. I have many thoughts, thoughts about this weird experience that we are enjoying, for want of a better word.
When I came in from today’s walk, I flaked out on my bed, in theory hoping to see the figures for Ireland or Luxembourg, but instead, what I heard was one of my neighbours singing. I think, possibly Greek? Not sure. It put me in mind of that style of singing anyway. I could only barely hear it. I have not been dancing for the past few days which is indicative of a change in mood, and today, my own sound track was the Scots Gaelic singer, Julie Fowlis, especially this.
I hope the link works because the soundcard on this machine is a bit unreliable and won’t play anything for me.
It’s a long time since I listened to a lot of Scots Gaelic songs and I love the rhythm of some of them. It’s soothing to have in the background, between the inevitable conference calls.
I don’t know what other people’s experience is like; I love my job for the most part, and have done since I started where I am working somewhat over three years ago. But I find the days very long. Mostly, it’s small things like, oh look you need to do that bit of laundry, or, there’s my sewing machine, my guitar, piano….things I do here, at home. Normally, at home I don’t review spreadsheets, processes, calendars, reschedule things because this meeting can’t take place on that date any more because we are locking down longer than we thought we would 3 weeks ago. I don’t get distracted as such, I get wistful. The music helps a lot. It acts as a base for my heart which is a bit disturbed by the need for my home life to be as regimented as it has become. My hands are in bits because I cook more and therefore wash ware much more often and oh look, I’m sensitive to that brand of washing up liquid, who’d have thought it, just at the time when I am also washing my hands more frequently just because…just because.
Most days at around 12.30 or 1 – just after I finish eating my lunch – I go and hide in my bedroom and I draw. I won’t have the work computer in my bedroom – enough that it lords it over my otherwise usually technology limited living room – so that’s some form of escape. I mentioned in an earlier entry that I miss the sea, and that’s true. There is a slightly tendency for me to pick on sea scenes to draw, paint, be inspired by (be very inspired by on some days). Today though I drew a couple of owls, living in isolation.View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Me (@wnbpaints) on Mar 31, 2020 at 4:40am PDTOne owl doing yoga, one owl looking on in disdain.
Most of my friends in Ireland are now in some form of lockdown now too, many working from home. We were, I suppose, a week ahead of them but now we’re all planning supermarket trips, although at least the toilet paper calamity has ended.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how people deal with this situation differently. In my heart and soul, I know I am not badly off. Certainly, I have my job for now, I can work from home, I’m not overly exposed to risk apart from at the supermarket and that’s only two days a week. I have friends to contact via assorted electronic devices.
I’ve seen people online talk about how easy people living alone must have it. In particular, I saw a family therapist on twitter talk about how much time childless people have. I didn’t find it constructive. People have different challenges with this current situation. Sure, I don’t have a 4 year old wanting to sing her heart out during a morning conference call. But I don’t have a 4 year old to hug and kiss when I put her to bed either. There may be practical benefits to living alone, certainly, but there are major emotional challenges. And I tend to feel very guilty about the days I find it hard and that’s reinforced by a lot of things (people telling me I have loads of time to do loads of stuff). I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that realistically, this affects me, and everyone else in lots of different ways and a little self forgiveness goes a long way. And keep painting.
I also think about the future. Not the Grand Future Full of Meaning, but how we move out of the current lifestyle. It occurred to me yesterday that in one way, we live a modern fairy tale, and that fairy tale is most similar to the Sleeping Beauty. All I need really is for a huge forest to spring to live around Luxembourg; the place is fairytale like in its own right. And the kiss of life will come not from some prince or other, but from a person bearing a needle and a vaccine.
But until that happens, do we stay asleep, do we gradually reawaken our society as the number of infections slowly recedes?
I don’t know. I always thought my life would be defined by 9-11, but now, at least, it will be defined by Covid-19. I think the two events have certain similarities for the fact that they have and will continue to have huge impacts on how we operate, the processes which underpin many aspects of our life. In the meantime, I’m looking for the ways to travel within these four walls and gradually, beyond them again, in some weeks or some months.
We are on day 19 of being at home with our two sons, Optimus 8 and Bumblebee 3, so I feel I can reasonable post with some ideas on keeping kids engaged during this period of cocooning. These ideas are...
The post Kid Crafts, Home Hacks, and Knitting While Cocooning appeared first on EvinOK.
Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:
Keeping social distance.
Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:
Outside SuperValu, Poppyfields, Clonmel.
Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:
While locked down in our bunker.
Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:
The day is fine when my speed holds above 50 megabits per second.
Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:
Careful to avoid piles of dog poo.
The weather continues Fine in Luxembourg. I am listening to Snow Patrol by Alpinestars, something I found buried in the music collection a few weeks ago. Currently it is sitting in the thumbs up play list which is a rather random mix of music.View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Me (@wnbpaints) on Mar 25, 2020 at 5:31am PDT
Today’s little lunchtime sketch which took about 10 minutes while I wasn’t having coffee with my colleagues because we were all teleworking.
Mostly, it was on my mind yesterday but I did not have time to paint, so it escaped out of my head today.
Today was not a bad day. The video conferencing worked mostly, there weren’t many calls and I managed to punch through items on my to do list without other people driving a large truck through my to do list. Days like that are always good.
Additionally, there was not a queue at Monoprix so I nipped in and bought some salted butter. And crisps. They were out of green Pringles but I can live with the disappointment there. Butter is slightly more pressing.
On the plus side – it’s the most trivial things that make a difference – my USB splitter arrived today which will hopefully make my working from home life a lot easier. I will find out in the morning. Maybe.
I’ve mixed feelings. Conversations are now moving to people estimating how long things will be like this, and they aren’t saying Easter any more, but talking in terms of months. I’m starting to think about how we plan for trying to gradually get back to normal. I read somewhere yesterday or the day before that one of the lockdowns in China was around 7 weeks but right now, we’re thinking 12 or 13. I don’t know. Most people are speculating. We don’t know and we cannot really estimate.
I don’t know how I feel about that. Currently everyone I have an actual conversation with is behind a phone, ipad or computer screen. I exchange a few words with the cashiers at the grocery store when I go in there. I’m not sure how long that continue.
In the meantime, I continue to watch Emma trailers on youtube, continue to want to see the film, started re-reading the book and have remembered she really was insufferable at times. I’m back reading Sapiens over breakfast because Twitter is almost impossible to read lately and I’m not entirely sure how.
Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:
Part of my role on the Clonmel Digital Campus.
Google tells me the walk I got in this evening “after” work was 3.2km which isn’t a bad walk; is more than I usually manage when I am coming home from work back in the recent past when going to work meant more than stepping into the living room. I need that walk and I hope, for the time being, we retain the freedom to walk.
The soundtrack to my walk was a new podcast release from Above & Beyond. I like their Group Therapy podcast and I always used to listen to it when I used to go running. It’s quite the change since I spent the day listening to Brahms piano concertos and Sibelius symphonies in between conference calls.
The photo above is from the last trip which was Iceland in January. I wanted to go back in September but I suspect it might be September 2021 at this point. There is so much uncertain in this world at the moment.
Apart from going for a walk, nothing really all that exciting happened. There was almost no traffic, and no delivery of a USB splitter happened (oh please, let that come soon). I didn’t notice any ambulances today, which is 2 less than yesterday, and the buses went by less than every half an hour. Every day is Sunday. Every day is Sunday.
Except it isn’t. Mostly because 5 out of every 7 days, my living room is also my office so I have not yet taken the opportunity to set up a container garden on my terrace and my plans to take over the world are set aside. There is work to be done. I do a spot of stargazing each evening – maybe I should order a telescope online since pondering the night sky is one of the few freedoms I have. But this too shall pass, as there is rain, and even a little snow, forecast for the weekend. This will block the beautiful evening and night skies that I have enjoyed the last few days. And there’s the space station, of course.
I’m going to point at this by Annie West. She told me the other day that yes, she would sell prints of it and I am definitely in the market for one. I’ve also been looking at other prints by artists I like – Iraville for example, and tubidu. Apart from the stuff I paint/draw myself, there is something uplifting about art. So yes, I am thinking about ordering some art for myself. We need things of beauty in our lives now.
I am currently listening to the Sibelius symphonies. Very different to yesterday’s U2. And I want to post one thing before I lose it – the very wonderful Gautier Capucon playing Einaudi on piano and cello. You will have encountered this if you follow me on either Twitter or Facebook.
Today did not bring good news on the Covid-19 front which I do not want to discuss. I’m two weeks into mostly remote working and it’s not getting that easy. I find it very lonely for the most part although to be fair, the tools alleviate some of that. I had to traipse in for IT support this morning. I arrived to sign in at the same time as a colleague who on hearing I worked in the IT team was at pains to tell me that he truly appreciated everything my department was doing to enable as many people not to have to come to work as possible. It shines up your day a little and sometimes I think things like that get lost in the pure operational to do list. And we’re not superheroes.
Upstairs appears to be doing DIY. I’m sort of wishing they’d just watch constant Netflix instead.
Anyway, by way of things of beauty to occupy yourself at various times, the skies [in Luxembourg at least] are generally very clear at the moment. This means the night skies are more interesting to look at, and you can see much more. Especially, you can see the ISS flying overhead. It goes very quickly. I saw it at around half past nine last night and it may well be around an hour earlier tonight. I’ll take a look out in 25 minutes and hopefully see it. For more information, try here: it gives the UK times (I cannot find a definitive guide for Luxembourg and the NASA page is unhelpful on that front). This is a useful twitter feed as well. There is something extremely pleasing about looking at the night sky, a sense that there is something bigger than ourselves.
The whole sense of living in a rather bad novel has already waned. Work is busy. I’m inundated with people telling what to do with all the time I don’t have now that I am working from home. And outside the world seems to have vanished. The buses are down to every half an hour; the sound of an ambulance passing is altogether more piercing. The weather has been beautiful – the clear nights being accompanied by clear days. It feels rather vicious that strictly speaking, we should not go out unless absolutely necessary. I did not have time to go walking after work today because work finished a bit later than I would like and I still need to eat. I’ve not cooked so often in the last 3 years as I have in the last 2 weeks.
But I cannot complain. The feelings I have are mixed in with some guilt that I feel I have anything to find hard. I have a roof over my head, and currently, at least, dependable access to a supermarket. I have music. I have instruments and I can still go out without needing a permission slip. My face is not destroyed by surgical masks, and I am not exhausted making life or death decisions. I don’t have to manage small children. When all of this is over, I’m not entirely sure what I will feel and of course, when all of this is over, the world will be a very different place.
Luxembourg is in the process of putting temporary COVID-19 care centres in place. One will be in the biggest pop venue in the country; another in the main exhibition centre. I know there will be drive through testing in Croke Park and Pairc Ui Chaoimh and still my brain cannot get over actually needing these things. We are told they expect the peak number of cases to hit in the next 2 weeks and that the medical supplies are coming. You cannot leave Luxembourg very easily at the moment, if, like me, you are a public transport eco-rat, and anyway, the airport is closed. All of this is weird. I didn’t plan for it and frankly, my disaster prep involved a battery operated radio and some cash. I didn’t bank on having to stay home not waiting for the zombies to arrive, but hiding from a virus which I cannot even see.
In many ways, scary, in many more ways truly unreal. Something which I hear very often lately is that “this too shall pass” and of course it will; they always do, eventually.
I’m very heartened by some of the things happening to give some solace to what is a plainly unnatural existence. Things like Gautier Capucon and Igor Levitt posting daily pieces. I think Renaud Gautier does as well. I cannot keep up with everything. Access to fantastic concerts on YouTube and Digital Concert Hall. It’s impossible to keep up. I’ve always felt that in general, people are mostly good (although my trust is sorely tried by the recent toilet paper craze). I think to some extent, we still have a lot of hope left; and a lot of trust in the passage of time to heal the wounds we suffer, either mentally or physically.
I still don’t get my head around the reality I am living now. I sometimes wonder if I ever will. But if you want a piece of music to remind you that whatever about the weirdness, we are capable of true beauty, I recommend you look for a recording of Sibelius’s second symphony. All of them are worth a listen, but that is particularly beautiful.
Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:
I get notified via Feedly whenever there's activity about "Podskils" on RSS feeds. Learning really simple syndication forms part of the BSc in Creative Media Design on the Clonmel Digital Campus.
IRELAND HAS TAKEN CONTACTLESS to a whole new level by effectively locking down venues such as community swimming pools, libraries and cultural centres. The Corona Virus Strategy also means changing my teaching style from hands-on lab session to a virtual realm, a new connotation of "contactless" in our daily routines.
I got very good advice about the meaning of effective social distancing while listening to Darren Ryan from Clonmel Child Care. Darren spoke to Fran Curry in the TippFM Roadcaster on the streets of Clonmel. He gave specific advice for parents and spoke about what it means for all licensed child care facilities to close during a critical time as Ireland tries to "flatten the curve" of viral infection.
I need to get a routine that enables me to help my students pass their academic modules. It means revising one of my final exams because nearly one third of the examination material has not been covered in class. I could try to push out the material through e-learning but the academic programme has not been accredited for distance learning.
As I plan to shut down my campus office, I hope to improve my workflow by diving into some trusted assets.Twitter List of Educators
During the past five years, I've added the handles of educators to my Edchatie Twitter List. Several of those teachers and education advocates share best practice online before they present their research at major events or through peer-reviewed publications. I expect to glean helpful advice about home schooling from dozens of these teachers during the next four weeks because I doubt they will return to the classroom before May.Upskilling with Eugene
I'm a fan of Eugene O'Loughlin's YouTube Channel and if I don't have to attend administrative meetings, I should have time to finally master pivot tables and regression analysis through the handy YouTube videos Eugene has produced over the past decade.Documenting Listening Posts
I need to stay in touch with students during this challenging phase of life. So I need to (1) contact every one of my 59 students within the next week to ensure they know what's required to pass their academic programmes and (2) discover the major touchpoints they're using for their learning. I suspect Moodle will be the main focal point. I've also discovered I can see what people are reading by looking at statistics about images on Flickr and on Instagram. I'm using Contactually as my contact manager.Getting Quality Alerts from Newsfeeds
I've set up several alerts with Inoreader, a paid news aggregator I've used for more than five years. It's serving me COVID-19 information ahead of Ireland's national broadcaster. I've used Inoreader to pull a variety of information about the local community from RSS feeds scattered across the internet. I currently offer a small amount of academic marks to students to annotate their creative media products with #clonmeldigital when they post it to their own eportfolio sites or to places like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.Gamifying Remaining Material
The next six weeks will prove whether Socrative can keep students on task as I use results from online quizzes as part of a revised continuous assessment schedule for classes. I'll explain what I'm doing in an upcoming episode of the Clonmel Digital Podcast.Listen to "Clonmel Digital" on Spreaker.
These will be challenging times.