I Tried Going West


Making my way.

We seem to be headed backward.

The governor closed all of the bars statewide. Actually, he just renewed their closings. If things don’t improve by cutting infections in a little more than half, we may revert to phase one. That’s the one where we stay home, eat too much and start day drinking. For some, anyway.

Meanwhile, the teachers are on the warpath. Orleans Parish is fine. School won’t begin until after Labor Day. That gives the teachers a month to prepare and to hope that the virus settles down.

In Jefferson Parish, which is about five miles away from New Orleans, the schools are in turmoil. They are starting on time come hell or high water. The teachers want to work from home. Half of the students do too. Or, rather, their parents do. The school board doesn’t seem to care. The teachers report on Monday. Nothing has been done.

All of the school board’s promises have been broken. No safety gear. No specialized cleaning people. Not enough distance between students, even if they are only kept three feet apart. The students will not be able to socialize. They’ll eat at their desks. There will be no physical education. One more thing. at one school there is no hot water or soap dispensers in the lavatory. So much for the twenty second thing.

The teachers are understandably scared. And, uninformed.

In order to keep enough distance between those students who ride the bus, there will be two bus schedules. Forget the fact that the bus drivers will have no time in between runs to clean the buses, the teachers haven’t been told what time to report to school. Today is Sunday. Did I mention that the teachers start the school year on Monday?

In my dual careers, I make plan A, plan B and a fall back plan because the minute that you implement plan A everything changes. The school system has a board members who run things, and about a billion administrators. They had three months to plan and to communicate. Crickets. Twice.

They are messing with people’s lives. Students, parents, teachers, staff and school administrators.

Just like the people won’t wear masks and keep their distance, I don’t think the parish school boards are taking this seriously enough.

I say keep the schools closed until we know which way the wind blows. Louisiana has the highest rate of infections per capita in the country. We are about fourth in the world. And, we are just a state.

The real problem is that teachers have become nannies, social workers, policemen and even nurses. If they got paid for that, maybe the administrators would have some second thoughts. Maybe parents won’t dump all of that on teachers.

The Picture

You know me. I’m a pretty simple photographer. I just stick my camera or phone into the middle of things and make a picture. Of course, I have many years of practice because I am an old colonizing white privileged grump. Read yesterday’s Storyteller to find that reference. Please.

The all seeing dog and I were walking just as the sun started to get low in the sky. I was looking for a subject, when I saw how the light fell on the leaves. I thought, “Why not?” I stuck my phone right into the middle of things and let the auto focus do its thing. I helped make the leaves pop out a little and almost look three dimensional by softening the bokeh.

Don’t get me started on bokeh. That Japanese word that westerners don’t understand is raising its ugly head again. Some days it’s like playing whack-a-mole.

And, so it goes.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Enjoy yer so-called bokeh.

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