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Friday, September 11, 2020

Friday 5ive- September 11, 2020

Welcome to the Friday 5ive, a weekly blog post featuring five things that caught my attention this week. Labor Day was Monday and that means the unofficial end to summer, even though the weather outside my window says otherwise.

1) Today is 9/11, and every year I listen to the roll call of names of people who died during the terrorist attack on that day 19 years ago. This year, the names were not read in person at the 9/11 Memorial, but we heard the recording of names from the 9/11 Museum in New York City. Below is a photo I took at the museum last year of the wall of rememberance. Each blue square is a different shade and represents a soul lost. We must never forget.

2)  I saw this box labeled "trampoline" waiting in the package room of our building this week. I wonder who has room for a 12 foot trampoline in an apartment? At least they don't live above me, I checked.

3)   I watched the movie Strange But True on Netflix this week. It's based on the book of the same name by John Searles, and even though I read and loved the book, I was still gasping at the turn of events in the movie. The story is about a young woman, played by Margaret Qualley (who is wonderful here), who visits the family of her high school boyfriend who died five years prior. She is nine months pregnant, and claims that her dead  boyfriend is the father, which seems impossible and infuriates the mother of the young man, portrayed brilliantly by Amy Ryan. The cast is outstanding, with Brian Cox, Blythe Danner, Greg Kinnear and Nick Robinson all doing stellar work. 
Strange But True

4)  I started a new podcast this week, from the same people who brought us Serial. It's called Nice White Parents, and it tells the story of a Brooklyn public school in Cobble Hill, where the student population is mostly students of color. The principal worries that with only 30 students registered for the 6th grade that the school will close. She encourages parents from the neighborhood, who are white, to send their children to the school and when nearly 100 of them do, it changes the dynamic of the school when the new parents form a committee separate from the PTA to fundraise for a French language program. I just started it and it is riveting and thought-provoking, I can't wait to keep going. 

5)  I didn't do a lot of reading this week, just two books. The first one is Seinfeld- A Cultural History by Paul Arras. The author looks at the iconic show in the context of what it means to our cultural history. He includes his ranking of each episode, which is fun to look at and decide if you agree or disagree with him. 

The second book is Rachel Beanland's novel, Florence Adler Swims Forever. Set in 1934, it tells the story of Florence Adler, a young Jewish woman from Atlantic City who is training to swim the English Channel, inspired by Gertrude Ederle. Her older sister is on bedrest at the hospital due to complications during her pregnancy. When tragedy strikes, the family grieves and the secrets that are kept from each other threaten to tear them apart. The story is told from many viewpoints, including Florence's 8 year-old niece Gussie, her father, mother, brother-in-law and swim coach. It's a deeply felt family story, and based on the author's own family history, which adds a fascinating layer to this wonderful novel. 

I wish all the teachers, students and parents a safe, healthy, and successful school year ahead. See you next week!

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