September 7, 2021- A call came, out of the blue, and in short order, a bit of unfinished business was re-scheduled. The medical procedures that I had to cancel earlier, will now be a fait accompli before Thanksgiving, which seems appropriate.

The friend for whom I am covering, for a few more days, will be back soon. I’m sure the next chapter of needful things will be very clear, shortly after I finish this effort, on Friday. Whether this involves the Red Cross, and disaster relief, remains to be seen.

The tie between these three is that there was a fair degree of lack of communication. It was only this morning that the school situation became clear. The medical business was resolved this afternoon. Red Cross gives hints of when I might be called, but that will depend entirely on the situation on the ground, in northern California and in the areas affected by Hurricane/Tropical Depression Ida. Then, there are Larry, which may hit parts of New England, as yet and an unnamed depression that is taking aim at central and northeast Florida.

I mention these, in owning up to a fair degree of difficulty that I still have, with being held in abeyance. The lesson is to do better at contemplating the whole picture. Dozens, if not hundreds of factors can enter into any one series of events.

In the end, I always find out things when I am meant to find out.



August 22, 2021- I had to cancel, or actually postpone, a couple of medical procedures slated for this week. They will be reset for a time that suits both the provider and the people who are depending on me to help with continuity of instruction at Prescott High School. I have been there for the better part of two weeks already, and have no intention of abruptly springing an absence on an already understaffed faculty and an underserved student body.

The situation came about because the medical facility sent a reminder of the first procedure, at 4 p.m., Friday, when the school office had already closed and arrangements could not reasonably be made. In fairness, the medical facility itself is probably understaffed, at least on certain days.

This particular situation will be resolved in short order, with a brief consultation at the school and a phone call to the medical facility. Arrangements, however, always need to include as many of those affected by the course of events as is possible. Timing, when it involves consideration of people’s schedules and off hours, is of the essence. In a fast-paced environment, with very busy people and heavy workloads involved, arrangements are even more critical.

This brings me, briefly for now, to the issues that arise when even larger organizations are involved. There is the conceit of “need to know”, which engenders an exclusive mentality. Thus do large governments and corporations hand down decisions that affect millions, and not always after allowing an accessible medium for public comment. The evolution of public discourse is likely to change this process. Just how this will happen remains to be seen.

Conversations, Outbursts and In-between


August 20, 2021- The furious man probably shouldn’t have been behind the wheel of the large pick-up-or maybe the guy who laid on his horn and made the other man furious was the one who shouldn’t have been driving. At any rate, as I was crossing the street on foot, the short but intense verbal exchange between the two gave me pause-for a few seconds, as either one, or both, could have bolted through the red light. Such is the mood, sometimes, as we enter the pause in the Southwest’s monsoon season that is known here, as well as elsewhere, as Dog Days.

Earlier today, the nurse at the school where I was working entered our classroom. As she spotted two boys carrying on, in a manner not to her liking, the woman trained in a more authoritative European model of education dressed the class down and warned them not to entertain disobedience. One tactic she used in this effort made sense to me: She made the students stand next to their desks and look at her, while she was issuing the directive. I found that technique very effective, over the next five hours and every time I had instructions for the six-year-olds, they stood next to their desks and listened. Thus went the one-day assignment I had accepted a month ago, before my concurrent long-term effort at our local high school came about.

When I got home and checked e-mails, I found a last minute, after hours reminder about a medical appointment-for Monday. This procedure was tentatively scheduled, before I agreed to help my old colleague at our high school. Customarily, a reminder is sent out a week prior to the appointment. Two days’ notice, when both the medical facility and school are closed for the weekend, doesn’t work. I will need to re-schedule, at a time that works for all concerned. The students, and my colleague are not going to be given short shrift. The medical procedure will happen, though, and soon. No, it is not a life threatening situation.

Thus went, on this cusp of the August Blue Moon.