A Few Things

Hello, Friends. What’s up? How has your week been? Our school starts on September 1st, so we’re still in summer mode, but we did tackle the school supply lists for Betty and Flora June this week.

French school supply lists are epic and legendary — and I find them very intimidating. I rely on Google Translate quite a bit and it’s incredibly helpful. But the supply lists are so specific and use such technical words, that Google Translate doesn’t seem to work. So it’s a bit of a treasure hunt trying to figure out what to buy. Hah!

In August, a lot of French businesses shut down, and pretty much all of the tradespeople who work on our house are gone for the next two week. So we originally scheduled a trip to the South of France. But that particular trip has been put on hold — without Ralph and Maude it didn’t feel quite right. We may do an alternate trip instead, but if we do, it will be last minute.

What about you? Are you still in summer mode?

I’ve got a great list for you today. Here are a few things I’ve wanted to share:

-Documents from an internal Facebook investigation into Qanon show, for the first time, the massive scale of the conspiracy theory’s community on the platform. We’re talking thousands of groups, millions of members.

Nearly nine out of 10 Democrats approve of Kamala Harris as their party’s vice presidential nominee, and she is more popular than presidential candidate Joe Biden among women and young voters.

-If you eat fruit, you need to read this article. These are the superhuman struggles of the immigrant workers who put peaches and cherries on your tables.

Their mail was not delivered for days.
(Are you watching what Trump is doing to the Post Office?)

The days of secrets are over.

-The number of U.S. residents who have died since March is now more than 200,000 higher than it would be in a normal year. We are vastly undercounting pandemic-related deaths.

She Faces Life in Prison After Allegedly Buying Red Protest Paint. This story gives me a headache.

-After an extended break, my sister Jordan has started blogging again at Oh Happy Day.

-I just ordered Kate Manne’s Entitled and Stephenie Meyer’s Midnight Sun. What are you reading these days? (You can also check out the New Yorker’s review of Entitled.)

Here are some tweets I saved for you:

Put this on a t-shirt/poster/billboard please.

I keep thinking about this.


-Would you agree to a six-week nationwide phase-one-or-stricter lockdown?

-A really good thread about the realities of [non]-support white people gave the Civil Rights Movement.

-The fact that we’ve tied NFL recruitment and training to universities is super weird.

This is horrifying.


-Put Warren in charge of the post office, schools, the banks — pretty much anything. She’s a productive, compassionate, justice-seeking, problem-solver.

-This made me laugh so hard.

The Democratic party is currently center. If it feels left to you, then you’re not looking at how far right the right has moved.


I hope you have a lovely weekend. I’ll meet you back here next week. I miss you already.


16 thoughts on “A Few Things”

  1. Regarding college football, look one level lower to see that high school football supports college football which supports the NFL. It is insane that high schools support the NFL and do not get the money from football that universities do. The covid infection rates in my city have been deemed too high and thus too risky to hold school in person so all classes are starting online. Except…you guessed it…..football. I about lost my mind when I got an email this week from the high school football coach encouraging parents and students to buy tickets for the game tonight.

  2. Ooh, would love to know more about the school supply list. What kinds of things are on it?! I know you’ve posted before a bit about French office supplies, but I’m so curious what kids are asked to provide.

    1. it’s like: two highlighters, one blue one purple; small scissors, a pencil hb, 12 colour pencils, 2 transparent plastic covers size x, 1 size y; it’s all about size and colours. I think french teachers are maniac. It is also a ritual. We all talk about it. And THEN first week of september, we will be covering books like crazy.

    2. I still remember your post from the first time you were in France, Gabby, about the confusion over needing 100 “trombones”! (Paper clips, in English.)

  3. The tweet about the Democratic party hits home. I have only recently realized that there’s a reason I was always surprised and disappointed in the policies implemented by Democrats- it’s because I’m not a Democrat. I guess I can credit Bernie Sanders for helping me figure this out. Not sure that I am a socialist either, but suffice to say a two party system is reductive and unrealistic.

  4. The school supply list! such a big thing, I don’t know, teachers probably do that as a joke; it is SO precise! You really have to do the shopping in june, else it will ruin your holiday ;-) But I get it, it makes teachers’ life easier. There is this website Gaby, called scoleo, and you can send them your list and they will do the shopping for you (check it, it is useful but also funny: “we’ll find erasers that erase and pencils approved by teachers”. they also gove you advice about lice, the other good news about school. Why do we have lice in France? do you have lice in the US?

    1. Yes, we have a LOT of lice in the U.S.! But since the kids have been out of school 5 months and counting, my family is enjoying our longest reprieve from lice in several years.

  5. My children’s primary school BUYS THE SCHOOL SUPPLIES FOR US. It is amazing. We pay the school a certain amount per child, and they buy and supply everything. We’re not even asked to cover books. Left over pens and things are sent home with kids at the year’s end. It’s not the norm here, maybe half our local schools do this, but it’s beyond convenient.

    Not long until I’ll have high schoolers, so then I expect I’ll have to start school shopping in the holidays…

    1. Imagine if all schools did this for free so that kids of any economic means could show up and receive the free education that they are entitled to? My kids’ school is Title 1 but it costs several hundred dollars to buy the full uniform, with summer and winter versions, blazer, tie, black shoes, etc. Now school is online, but the supply list the school thinks parents can run out and purchase on short notice in a pandemic is totally unreasonable.

      I wonder if instead of the obsession with Internet connectivity as the key to pandemic-era education, what if schools distributed basic school supplies, paper, and books to kids stuck at home? How many American kids have not had access to basic opportunities for reading and writing these past 5 months? What if every kid got 10 new books a month and a simple hand-out to the parents about how to foster learning at home? Instead, parents now have been conscripted to proctor 4 to 6 hours per DAY of virtual “school-at-home” regimented down to the minute by people who seem to have forgotten what home life is.

  6. We have the same problem in Austria! Even my Austrian husband doesn’t know what half of the school list items are. Our local stationary store (Libro) has a service where you drop off your school list and they put everything together for you to pick up later.

  7. Not-That-Type-of-Karen

    This year, b/c of 100% distance learning, to start the school year (SoCal) our public elementary school gave each child a tablet and a bag of school supplies (scissors, pencils, pens, paper, sharpener, etc). Crazy – that is BIG MONEY for the district! You don’t just run to Target and buy 700 scissors.

    On a brighter note, our city (San Diego) is now in our 14-day period to have school reopen! We met the initial 3-day low infection rate which lets us enter into the 14-day period to get off the Watch List. Fingers crossed for us! Whenever I’m out and about and I see someone without a mask (it’s an Order to wear them in public here), I mumble to myself “YOU are the reason my kids aren’t going to school…”

    1. My daughter was going to be the first in our family to go to college and live in a dorm.
      I too silently say the same to the anti-maskers.
      So many milestones delayed for our children.

  8. That’s great of your school district to buy the supplies for all the students – probably in bulk and at a lower cost per student than families would have paid. It also helps reduce a lot of people shopping in stores during a pandemic and the carbon footprint of home deliveries from shopping online.

  9. I love reading your blog. Still laughing about the school supply list and owl tweet (goes back to organising every single piece of paper into different colored binders…)

  10. Laughed out loud about the owl tweet! Hilarious!

    Have just finished: Anna K., The book of longings, and will be reading vanishing half life.

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