Free Time…Not

I love Lynda Barry’s book on drawing. It’s inspired me to try my hand at drawing. This is an attempt to describe the fact that this virus has given many creative types what we claim to want — unencumbered open time. But it’s not really unencumbered, is it?

Readings: Monday/Tuesday

Steven Johnson on the London Cholera Epidemic, which I excerpted as a discussion starter for my students:

“This is one of the ways that disease, and particularly epidemic disease, plays havoc with traditional histories. Most world-historic events — great military battles, political revolutions — are self-consciously historic to the participants living through them. They act knowing that their decisions will be chronicled and dissected for centuries to come.  But epidemics create a kind of history from below: they can be world-changing, but the participants are almost inevitably ordinary folk, following their established routines, not thinking for a second about how their actions will be recorded for posterity. And of course, if they do recognize that they are living through a historical crisis, it’s often too late — because, like it or not, the primary way that ordinary people create this distinct genre of history is by dying.”  

As you create your own documentation around this crisis, what do you think of Professor Johnson’s argument? Does it still hold in the 21st century, when we are so connected and when there’s plenty of sources of information?   

Ibram X. Kendi, The Other Swing Voter

Christina Rizga, What it’s like to teach at one of America’s least racially integrated schools