I am watching “Pretend It’s A City” on Netflix as I write this. It’s a limited series about Fran Lebowitz’s views on New York. Now, I don’t know New York City at all. I’ve never been there. I’m a country mouse. But a lot of what she says applies to the rest of the world at large, and M.V. in the summertime for sure. She sounds a lot like us Island folk by August each year. She talks about how people used to move out of the way of each other when walking down streets and how no one does that anymore. Now they’re on their phone and not aware of their surroundings or, as she says, “They live in a world of one.” She also talks about the crazy things that people do that people in the know would never do. She makes the same sort of observations that many of us make here, in the summer in particular. I recommend it. It’s entertaining and interesting to get an insider’s perspective on New York. There is also a model of New York that is apparently from the Queens Museum that is amazing to see, even on television. I think it’s time I visit the city.
The first week in school with all the kids was great. It feels more normal. It’s not. The teachers move and the kids stay in one classroom, which is challenging. And I was exhausted at the end of every day. But it was such fun to be with them and have things a little closer to what we are all used to. One thing that is really great is that the kids seem really happy to be back in school. While plenty of kids have always enjoyed school, many just weren’t thrilled to be there. But the vast majority now are pretty happy to be there. And the teachers are happy to be with the kids again, so it made for a week of laughter and smiles. And the exhaustion I felt at the end of the day was a different kind of exhaustion than I’ve felt for the last 10 months. I count it as a win.
The superintendent sends us out COVID numbers in all the schools every day. He shares how many kids and staff are out due to positive tests and/or close contact. And there are definitely positive cases and close contacts. But, without doing an official comparison, it seems to me that the numbers in schools have stayed pretty consistent since the first cases popped up. They go up. They go down. I fully admit that I was worried when school started opening and kids started coming back. But I feel pretty safe in school. I wear my mask. I wash and wash and wash my hands. Or I sanitize them. The kids wear their masks and for the most part, are really good about it. They wash and sanitize their hands. We sanitize their desks frequently. Desks are six feet apart. The two hardest things are keeping the kids distanced when they are not sitting at their desks and teachers keeping distanced from students, because you know what? Teachers can’t teach from 6 feet away from their kids. We can’t. We can begin lessons 6 feet away but kids frequently need direct one-on-one help and we teachers are going to help them. It’s what we do. So that aspect is a little tough. But we now have testing in schools and we’re all doing the best we can. Onward.
It’s a quiet birthday week this week. Happy birthday wishes go out this week to Cathy Merrill on Jan. 16 and Pam Alwardt on Jan. 21.
Congratulations to Jamie Craig and his mom, Shirley Craig, on another installment of their father/husband Phil Craig’s Vineyard Mystery books on the Hallmark Channel. The third Vineyard Mystery movie, “Ships in the Night,” premiered on the channel on Sunday night. At the time of this writing, it hasn’t been on yet, but I’m sure we will watch it, as we have the other movies. Though not filmed here nor completely based on the books, they are fun and it’s wonderful to keep Phil’s books alive and fresh to a whole new audience. It’s so funny. My kids haven’t read them yet. Whenever they are looking for a new book I suggest their grandfather’s books. So far, it hasn’t happened. Like me, they like much darker reads. But soon they will discover the fun of them and how special they are.
If you are an Edgartown School family, you may sign up for virtual parent-teacher conferences. Check out the school website at edgartownschool.org for the link to pickAtime to set them up.
That’s all, folks. Get outside. Walk. Get some Vitamin D. Wear your mask and wash your hands. And spread kindness. It makes these days a little more bearable. Have a great week.
If you have any Edgartown Town Column suggestions, email Gail Gardner, email@example.com.