Keeping It 101: A Killjoy's Introduction to Religion

Very Special Episode: Religion in the Time of 'Rona

March 17, 2020 Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst and Megan Goodwin Season 1 Episode 999
Keeping It 101: A Killjoy's Introduction to Religion
Very Special Episode: Religion in the Time of 'Rona
Chapters
00:02:18
Lesson Plan!
00:08:29
The 101: On Today!
00:20:35
Primary Sources!
00:30:24
Homework: TV + Books for the Pandemic
00:35:40
Kid-Related Bloopers
Keeping It 101: A Killjoy's Introduction to Religion
Very Special Episode: Religion in the Time of 'Rona
Mar 17, 2020 Season 1 Episode 999
Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst and Megan Goodwin

In which we give you a quick (okay, it's not that quick) rundown on where we're at in this challenging time, what religious communities are doing to respond to the crisis, and how COVID-19 helps us think about our own religiosity.

PLUS very special guest host joins us in the studio to talk about how she's responding to the Coronavirus in her community.

Homework: NOPE. It's a pandemic. Read or watch something fun and distracting! We have lots of recommendations in the shownotes.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In which we give you a quick (okay, it's not that quick) rundown on where we're at in this challenging time, what religious communities are doing to respond to the crisis, and how COVID-19 helps us think about our own religiosity.

PLUS very special guest host joins us in the studio to talk about how she's responding to the Coronavirus in her community.

Homework: NOPE. It's a pandemic. Read or watch something fun and distracting! We have lots of recommendations in the shownotes.

Theme Song:

[inaudible]

Megan:

Welcome to a very special mini-sode of Keeping It 101: a Killjoys introduction to religion podcast--hashtag pandemic pedagogy. What's up, nerds? Hi. Hello. I'm Megan Goodwin , your tall ginger killjoy friend who works on race, gender, sexuality, politics and American minority religions. Usually I do that at Northeastern university, but I'm doing it on my couch for the foreseeable future because social distance saying I'm coming at you from the lands of the Wabanaki Confederacy, the Abenaki and the Aucosisco peoples . Knowing this is part of why we do this podcast, why we teach and learn about native religions and why I definitely LOLsobbed when Cherokee writer, activist and podcast or Rebecca Nagle tweeted that she quote "fully supports banning travel from Europe to prevent the spread of infectious disease. She just thinks it's 528 years too late." Wah wah.

Ilyse:

Hi. Hello, I'm Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst your small curly killjoy friend on this here podcast. I'm recording from the traditional and ancestral lands of the Abenaki people where I am grateful to live as well as teach and research about Islam, imperialism, racialization of Muslims, and a history of religion. I have a lot of anger and rage as we watch in real time, just how power operates and how we all s hould've listened more closely to Octavia Butler.

Megan:

Amen.

Ilyse:

We also have a very special guest on today's very special mini-sode.

Megan:

Sela can you say hi to the nerds?

Sela:

No.

Megan:

Hey, what's this on my headphones? Who am I listening to?

Sela:

Sela..

Megan:

Sela who?

Sela:

Sela Morgenstein Fuerst.

Megan:

And uh, why are you on this podcast? Are you a feminist? Killjoy?

Sela:

Yes.

Megan:

Oh yeah. How come? What's feminism? Do you know?

Sela:

No?

Megan:

Do you think everybody should be equal?

Sela:

Yes.

Megan:

Do you think jokes are funny?

Sela:

Yes.

Megan:

Bam. Feminist. Killjoy. Welcome to the podcast.

Ilyse:

And that voice you hear is Sela, my six year old daughter who is an orange belt, into mythology, a future bad-ass and is physically distant from her friends and teachers, but not her mama.

Megan:

feelings. Such feelings.

Ilyse:

Stop stress scrolling through Twitter, nerds. It's time for the lesson plan. Remember back on episode one when we told you that religion is what people do and remember in the very last episode, number five, when when we said that being religious is both about individual commitments and how those commitments get mediated through structures and institutions?

Megan:

Yeah, so about that. Today we're doing what we professor-types like to call applied learning because we're looking at how we can see these ideas. Religion is what people do. Being religious is both individual and collective play out in real time. Welcome to our very special episode on religion in the time of Rona.

DUN DUN DUN noises:

[ inaudible].

Megan:

Today we'll be giving you a few examples of how religious communities are responding or not to the COVID 19 virus and why the steps we take to protect each other matter.

Ilyse:

Before we jump into all these case studies, let's check in. How are we all doing?

Megan:

Not great, Bob, not great. No. I know I am not alone in being asked by my university to transfer class that I very carefully designed and thought out and planned for a long time to an online format in practically no time at all. So I'm grieving the loss of time with my amazing students. I'm grieving the stress and anxiety and fear and just overwhelmed ness that so many of them are going through that so many fellow faculty members and administrators and everybody is just going through a lot right now and it is a hard time to have to be the adult in the room and so I am trying as much as I can to be clear with my students about my expectations and it will be clear with you listeners that I have scaled back my expectations a whole really lot because I have heard from my students, I know they're struggling. I am also sitting in my own body and my own body is not okay right now. Not because I'm sick, but because I'm stressed out. It's not a great time to be trying to learn really anything. So I am trying to shape and revise my pedagogy goals to reflect that new reality. How are, how are you doing Ilyse?

Ilyse:

Yeah, I mean this blows chunks, m'dudes. I--It just does, it's hard to, it is hard to live in work in a space where we know governments are failing citizens grotesquely. It is hard to be yelling at our boomer parents to stay the F inside. Like for reals , what are y'all doing? It is hard to be the adults in the room. I actually really like how you said that because I think as empathetic and let's say faculty members with decent politics--you know like that students are people with a lot on their plate and not vessels to be punished because they don't bend to our will--I think, I think you and I, and we've had this conversation off off the pod and my friends, but but nerds, we're getting a lot of emails from students that are sad, that are stressed , that are unsafe, that are unstable, that have been thrown into real disarray and needing to be clear and tough and advisory for those kinds of spaces, where, at the same time, as you just heard, I'm home with my 6 year old and 2 year old and partner. So you know, everyone's in disarray and so acting like the adult or having to be the adult is, it's a hard space to be in. But I will also say that I miss my students. I'm angry that just like you, we lost all the work we did to build these thoughtful, supportive intellectual communities. I'm worried about my students and I am especially sad for my seniors because this is always a poignant and stressful time on a campus. And I think it is both so much more and so much less all at the same time for them. And for a little bit of context, just so you know where we're at, like we are faculty members. We're not just sitting around. Um , we don't just podcast all day. This semester I teach three preps , uh, two of which are seminars. One is a give and take lecture. Uh, I have one undergraduate TA who's not really allowed to grade. So those are all the things I manage, in addition to being the associate director of a Humanities center, which needed to cancel, like feels like scores of events in the next couple of months. One of those seminars that I teach is particularly feeling uh , pinchy for me because it's a senior capstone meant to like do this year long project, but the literal goal of that class is to celebrate each other's work, to create these rituals of bonding and closure and to cap off four years of community. And Megan, I have to tell you, they call me coach, they call me coach and that now don't get to hang out.

Megan:

Yeah. That--

Ilyse:

they call me coach!!

Megan:

That hurts me in my non-existent sports soul for you. That's like--

Ilyse:

my whole soul is made out of sports and they call me coach! I just, okay, I'm okay. I'm okay nerds. But people know their feels and I think that teaching in a space of total panic while administrators are saying like, carry on, this is fine. You're the dog on fire.

Megan:

Yes, yes you are. You were having coffee amidst the flames. I am like, I got to be honest, I'm not okay. And I am operating from a position of , uh, most of the folks I'm interacting with are not okay either. So--

Ilyse:

That's good pedagogy.

Megan:

Yeah. That's a lying is bad pedagogy. So let's, let's agree not to lie to one another. Hey, Sela, are you home from school and like not getting to do stuff right now?

Sela:

Yes.

Megan:

Oh yeah. Like what kind of stuff are you not getting to do?

Sela:

I'm not getting to go anywhere, even the--I'm not even getting dealer to the supermarket!

Megan:

Not even the supermarket.

Sela:

Well, unless we are running, like out, out, out of food.

Megan:

Yeah, I feel ya, we ran out, out, out of toilet paper, so I had to go to the grocery store this morning. Uh , so we thought in the interest of mutual aid and last minute prep that we would do some professor work around the COVID 19 virus and religion, thus Keeping It 101 on today, the segment where we do some professor work.

Ilyse:

All right . So in the last episode , uh , episode five, which I've anyone else who's teaching intro Islam or a general kind of like intro to religion, I've assigned that episode and so far the few comments I've gotten have been okay . That's it's teaching pretty well. So if that helps you, awesome. Uh, what we talked about is hajj and pilgrimage to the Kaaba in Mecca in our last episode. And so I'm going to focus today on just a few Islamic studies cases and then one of the more striking images I've seen and then I'm going to let Megan kind of take it away. So 'umrah, as I reported last time is, is not happening right now in Saudi Arabia. 'Umrah is the pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina when it is not the official season for hajj. So it's any other time during the year that Muslims might come to Mecca and perform the pilgrimage, but not in the sanctified time of the year when Hajj happens. So there are conversations about whether or not Hajj, which is in late July, and early August this year will be able to happen. And whether or not all of the economic setbacks that people are feeling across the world will mean that folks who might have been eligible for Hodge are no longer able to make it. And like I talked about last time, how'd you so paperwork heavy, right? Like we need visas, we need plane tickets, we need hotels, we need immunizations, we need the the the world health organization to tell us it's safe for X number of countries to, to arrive in Y number of locations. All that stuff has to happen early. It's not as if like, Oh it's late July, we'll just make the decision on July 20 like [ uh-uh ] that's not possible. So the question of whether or not Hodge can happen is simultaneously about what is happening with this virus globally. But it's also about how early do you need to do the work to get there. And that means how early do you need to make a call of whether or not it's feasible. The other thing I'm seeing in Islamic studies and Muslim practices, universes are that these Islamic cities listservs I'm on are ablaze with fatwas or a religious ruling . So when we hear fatwas , often Americans think that those are commandments or frankly they think they're threats, especially the older you get, you hear fatwa and you think Salman Rushdie , there's not a fatwa on anyone's head. A fatwa is just a ruling any ruling. And so they're ablaze with these fatwas was around what to do in shared prayer spaces and around ritual for COVID 19 so I'm seeing it now and I'll try to post them in the show notes, both clear and concise Muslim fact sheets about the virus, what the Qur'an or what hadith a that's the sayings of, of the prophet Mohammad say about things like epidemics. I'm seeing on Twitter whole threads about really famous Muslim scholars and not like Muslim scholars. Like, I dunno my favorite Muslim scholar like Kesha Ali , but Muslim scholars from the ulema, the learned folks from, you know, many centuries ago talking about things like the plague. One of the things I'm seeing a debate about on Muslim Twitter was the Islamic society of North America's council that often deals with religious laws . So they have a council within the Islamic society of North America or ISNA, and they had a fairly conservative take a few days ago around Juma or Friday prayers . So that's the major prayer day. So akin to Shabbat services for Jews or um , mass for Catholics or Sunday prayer services for Protestant Christians. And that take was that healthy bodied men would still attend Friday prayers unless there was a credible threat in their immediate circles or until States of emergencies were declared. So there was some debate about the gendered nature of it, of how silly that was, because don't people exist in family units, et cetera. I will say that one of the more striking images I've been paying attention to around this virus and where we're seeing it impact religion was the image that made its way around Twitter of the Pope blessing like what they clay or what the Vatican puts out as the whole world. But really it was just st Peter square and it was totally deserted. And the emptiness of this vast, deeply recognizable place. Even for someone like me who's never been to Italy who's never been to the Vatican reminded me of those images coming out of Mecca and the Kaaba where it's just deserted and I think those images are visceral visual reminders of the human impact of COVID 19 but since frankly Megan, I tasked you with making a list of all the things that we're seeing change around common or normative or regular ritual and practices: can you give our listeners a shock and awe around around all of that? Can you dazzle us with what's been happening around the world?

Megan:

I do want to say that the shock and awe around hajj a little bit hard to follow! But I can give you some examples of what is being done of how religious communities are adapting or not to this crisis who I've been keeping a list. There's, there's a lot going on. So you mentioned Friday prayers, jumas. I have seen stories about some of the calls to prayer inviting people to pray in their homes rather than to come to the masjid. That was really moving. We talked already about these empty spaces and the Vatican or the Kaaba , which are really striking. I have also been noting in my community where folks are still encouraged to go to church. Local churches have not gotten decisions from the top down always. So lots of folks still showing up for Sunday or Saturday services in direct contradiction to like what the CDC is, is recommending. Um , I also--did you want to hop in?

Ilyse:

No, I was just making a tongue click of disgust. So maybe should calm--I should slow my roll.

Megan:

Yeah . Yeah . No, I think this is no time for calm tits. I think people should be taking this really seriously. And it is, it is frustrating and also interesting from a scholarly perspective to see which communities are calling on one another to take care and stay home and which ones are saying, well, this isn't my problem and I want to be with my community. So too bad. Yeah. Other things, I learned some stuff this week. I did not know, for example, that Eastern Orthodox Christian churches , uh , receive communion from one common spoon. They dip it in the communion wine. So there's one chalice and one spoon for the entire congregation.

Ilyse:

[air noise].

Megan:

that's, that's not great. Just like--

Ilyse:

no, like generally as a, as a, as a parent that just feels like a lot of unteaching.

Megan:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So again, many rituals from the outside seem strange to us from a public health perspective. This I think particularly at this moment gives me pause. And the Australian broadcasting company reported this Saturday that at least in the archdiocese of Australia, congregants were told that quote, the Holy cup cannot carry disease. And so they would continue to use the common communion spoon. So that's happening.

Ilyse:

Yeah. And I think, I think I want to take a pause. Like I want to register my own disgust there because you know, if we were teaching this in class, my, my pedagogical goal would be to say, right , like that old adage or I guess it's an old adage, I don't know , to render the strange familiar and the familiar strange. So I want to note, I want to note that like my reaction of disgust is one that I would want to teach through, around, and really interrogate. But I also think it's completely reasonable from a public health perspective to say, I don't know if I agree with that, right? Like we know that that is, that is factually not true--even if ritualistically, we have ways of thinking about purity that are not based in microbial science.

Megan:

mmhmm, but there's a virus and it's bad. So like, let's just not share spoons right now.

Ilyse:

On the team. I also just want to note that like that, that tone of disgust is not one that I'm especially proud of when we're talking about religion because it's been used at things that are, that are, that are not time of crisis virus, right? Like, it's , we've all seen minoritized religions be rendered disgusting. So I , yeah , I want to note that I made a noise that I am both, I'm willing to stand behind from a scientific perspective, but not from like a socio cultural perspective.

Megan:

I appreciate that complexity. Thank you. Uh, what else? Friend of the pod? Liz Kineke alerted me to Instagram sound baths, this was not a practice I was aware of. So a sound bath she says is a "Sonic meditative practice where participants are enveloped in a sea of sound." She recently reported for the AP about sound baths that were happening at an Episcopal church in Brooklyn, but obviously Instagram sound baths, very appropriate, very social distancing friendly, so you might want to check those out. Also, follow Liz Kineke, she's a good time and she's been reporting on religion for decades. She's a smart lady. Friend the pod Rachana Rao Umshankar also alerted me to the Hindu practice of making demons or goddesses related to diseases. I did not know that the smallpox virus had a goddess, Sheetala, and now apparently there's one emerging for the Corona virus as well. Actually is smallpox a virus? It's a virus, right?

Ilyse:

Yes.

Megan:

Okay. I don't know from infectious diseases, I took one class, my literally--my one science class in college was infectious disease for non-science majors. It was eight o'clock in the morning and--

Ilyse:

Oh honey.

Megan:

Yeah. Yeah. It was also the semester that I scheduled all of my classes for Tuesdays and Thursdays. So as my 8:00 AM class, I had classes until five. And the two things that I remember from the class are, one, the professor trying to turn us all into quote Pontius Pilates or Lady Macbeths, i.e., washers of hands; and, two , one girl definitely passed out , uh , after the professor showed us slides of leprosy. So that happened. Cool.

Ilyse:

So it was a good learning environment for you?

Megan:

It was great. It was great. I learned a lot. Obviously. My last one that I'll hold up now is from my favorite Twitter rabbi, Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg . She's @ TheRaDR, uh, T H E R a D R on Twitter. She has all sorts of amazing resources and thoughts on caring for one another through this crisis. But my favorite thing she's posted in the past week was for Shabbat, which is on Friday for the Jews. A quote, there's a Kabbalistic concept of tzitzum, divine self contraction, that at creation, God contracted God's self to make room for the world to exist when we withdraw into our own spaces. Now we make room for health safety care for one another. Shabbat Shalom. There are tons more stories about how religion is shaping and changing responses to this crisis. Tons of stories about how folks are shaping and changing your religion to respond to this crisis. We will throw them up on the show notes. I will definitely , um, I want to especially hold up religion reporters, Sam Kestenbaum, really interesting round-up thread. He's got a whole list of resources on COVID 19 and faith healing. So check those out. Very interesting. A lot of stuff about healing through the television, fake products being marketed as cures to the virus. Just really disturbing, interesting stuff.

Ilyse:

Thanks Megan.

Megan:

You're welcome, Ilyse.

Mr. Rogers Train Noises:

[inaudible]

Ilyse:

all right. You've heard from us now here about us. It's time for primary sources!

Megan:

Primary sources! H ey Ilyse, how's the Rona affecting your religion?

Ilyse:

I have been obsessed with this y'all. So my family belongs to a synagogue. That is part of the conservative movement. And we can link to that. It doesn't mean that we're alt-right nutters. It's not that kind of conservative though, it might be, I dunno, I don't everybody's hearts and minds, but it does mean that there's a reasonable amount of religious ritual and law that shows up. So this isn't, you know, quote unquote Judaism light, it's pretty down the middle cares about kosher law, cares about, cares about religious law. Let's just say that. So I've been fascinated by the way that this is unfolded really quickly, both out of fear, right? Like it's scary when everything is changing every day people are going from, "it's safe. It's safe" to like "get inside block the door." So last week you got these emails because uh , on March 10th, it was Purim, which is a celebratory holiday cause I cause the Jews win in this one and then proceed to commit genocide...So it's a complicated story. But that was on March 10th and we got this email from the rabbi being like, "Don't worry, Purim is still on. Come and read the Magilla, have a grand old time." Right, because the point of Purim is to gets so drunk you don't know the difference between good and evil. It's a good time. A day later it was like, "No worries. We're hearing a lot from all of you, but we're still holding Shabbat services as usual, but just because you all seem really freaked out,"--the rabbi wrote in this email--"I called the health department, they said older folks (who like for real conservatively is 97% of our synagogue should stay home or those of us with compromised immune systems." Then it was like Thursday. It was, "Oh okay . Everybody, I know that yesterday we said that we're fine unless, unless you don't feel like coming." It was like, "actually Tot Shabbat," which is just like Shabbat service for little kids, "and all in person services are canceled." And then we got a secondary set of emails like before the Friday cutoff for emails on when Shabbat starts was that the shul would no longer be holding evening services at all, which required 10 adults, which is called a minyan, and we could talk about who counts and who doesn't count for minions in some future episode. But here's where now we're moving online. So between Tuesday and Friday of last week, we went from like, "Guys, you're all freaking out. What's the problem?" Like, w w "be healthy, wash your hands." to "shut it down!" And shut it down was not just like "never come to synagogue again" because that doesn't make sense, right? For a community that has to hold minyan services every evening and especially on Fridays, that has all these life rights happening. So we get this email that's like--and I'm seeing this amongst Muslim kinfolk also--First it's, it's couched in the language of saving a life is paramount for Jews. That the preservation and saving of lives is paramount. So you've got these quotes from famous rabbis and from the Torah and then a set of instructions--again, keep in mind, for the insanely elderly community--of how to join zoom minyans as well as zoom lunch hours with the rabbi, I think ostensibly to help folks cope, not really sure. And like the singing club in the synagogue is also having weekly meetings through zoom. So what I have found really both upsetting and interesting about this is that the rabbi has banned any physical togetherness. So no meetings in the synagogue, the preschool there is shutdown , the Hebrew school is shut down, nothing. The only exception for any togetherness are graveside funerals. And so where I'm feeling a little bit raw and gross, and I have to say a little bit panicked, is what this means when and if we start to see fatalities either from COVID 19 itself or during our phase of isolation and distance. So if only graveside funerals happen for Jews, that's a real loss of the ritual of mourning. Beyond that, which extends for , for many Jews up to a week of what's called Shivah, where people sit together and hold each other in community on the family and morning is asked not, not to do anything for themselves really. And it is both a mitzvah good deed , um , and an obligation to take care of those folks in our community. And so the idea that we would not mourn in the way that we would always mourn, we're really is about the survivors of that loss that feels really grim and bleak and fascinating from a, from a scholarly perspective. So I guess, I guess to sum up, I'm fascinated by how quickly the situation is changing and the more and the matter of four days it went from really, "this is fine!" To "nothing for nobody. Let's zoom in our minyans!" But I'm also interested by how technological innovation and a real sense of prioritizing the scientific data as well as the recommendations of our local munic--municipalities and state governments, and I assume the federal government, if they ever got their act together. Um, I, I'm, I'm fascinated by how our religious organization, just this one synagogue in Burlington, Vermont is making decisions to both hold religion and its rules and its community , uh , dear , but also to prioritize public health.

Megan:

Yeah, that's so much. Everything's closed and everybody has to stay far apart. Hey, Sela, did mama talk to you about Passover or Shabbat? What's happening there?

Sela:

Um , Shabbat, it's not really canceling Shabbat cause we don't really go to Tot Shabbat at temple and we can do Shabbat at home and have Havdalah . But um, we're be--we're getting canceled on Passover because we're usually , um, we're usually like, we usually go over to David, Peggy's and Matt's house to have our, to have our second Seder and, and we're being cut off from doing that.

Megan:

How do you feel about missing Seder ? Are you sad?

Sela:

Mm, not exact--I have no idea.

Megan:

Are you excited to do Seder at home with your mom--?

Sela:

I am, but I'm not sure if we're going to have the right ingredients to make everything for the Seder plate.

Megan:

Hmm . I have met your Daddo and I guarantee you that you will have the right ingredients for the Seder plate. Two things. One, I live in Maine, so two weeks ago, three weeks ago, when was super Tuesday, we just voted as a state on whether or not we were going to allow religious exceptions to vaccinations. I am really hoping that this crisis means that I will never have to vote on this ever again. I am so angry and frustrated that we as a country have done so little to make space for religious difference and have done truly the most to make space for white conservative Christians and white privileged , probably spiritual, but not religious folks to say that their feelings are more important than public health. So I'm just, I want to name and claim that anger. In a less rage filled moment, uh , I also want to say that while I am not the historian on this here podcast , uh , I am an internet witch I have a pin to prove it, my TA, Gabe, got it for me after my Witches class last semester. But as an internet witch, it's been funny to realize that my people might be the original religious social distancers? Like this--this is true. It is an antisocial movement. You know, teeny newish religions, like Neopaganism in the United States means that there aren't a whole lot of us. And especially if you don't live in a city or region where it's safe to call yourself like a witch or do demonstrably not-Christian religious looking activities out of doors. For a lot of us, we got to know each other on the internet. That's , that's been happening for literal decades now. So we call this cyberpaganism. All this, like cyberspace is not a term that like anybody uses anymore. But in the 90s, cyber paganism was totally a thing. It emerged with the growing popularity of household internet access. I definitely read my first like witchy sources on the America online's.

Ilyse:

nice.

Megan:

Dial up . Yeah, it's , yeah. Yeah. So we uh, we pagans have been circling and community building online since like animated, sparkly auto Celtic music, playing tripod, build your own websites were a thing which they really, really work. Uh, O G Buffy fans will remember that Miss Calendar was a self proclaimed cyber pagan. I myself was on a listserv with Druids in college. So this whole online religion situation just feels like very retro to me. I'm like gonna dig out my chunky heeled Mary Jane's and head over to the hot topic with Tori Amos. Blasting crucify in my Walkman headphones just as soon as we're allowed to go back outside again.

Ilyse:

Oh, I love tiny Megan and she would have hated me so much.

:

Your whole soul is made of sports . Like what would we have even talked about? It had to wait for grad school. It was b'shert.

Megan:

And on that note, it was time for the thesis. So , uh , because religion is what people do and because being religious gets shaped by institutions and structures, religion changes as people change. Remember when we talked about social construction? And when people are responding to a crisis like COVID 19 religious practices and communities can change very, very quickly.

Ilyse:

Don't pack up your stuff yet. Nerds, you've got homework ! Just kidding! No homework during a pandemic. We'll still have show notes for you though and we'll thread up all of these online resources on Twitter. Instead of homework, here's what we're reading or watching while we're getting through this. I personally recently read the first two books of the Mirror Visitor series in English. I think all four books are out in French if that's available to you. It's a mildly dystopian future with really creative subplots and a lot of world building. I think it's technically why it's pretty good. I also got a real kick out of Laury Silvers', The Lover, a Sufi mystery and her sequel is coming out later this spring in case we're still indoors and it will be called The Jealous. My fellow parents, let me recommend Cosmic Kids Yoga, which works for my two year old and my six year old. I got lots of problems with yoga, but a lady leading my kids through 14 minutes of like physical activity while I check my email, it's dope. I also want to link for those of us who are trying not to let the television become our third or fourth or second parent: I'll link to these aunties, these Indian aunties who, who do these cooking videos that we're kind of obsessed with at our house. They're totally voiceless. Nobody talks. It's just you watch people chop up vegetables and then cook them. It's great. It's called the village life. It is frankly like really poetic and deeply soothing. It's all on YouTube. And for those of us who really need an escape, you know, I'm a sucker for TV rewatches, so may, I remind everyone gently that the Golden Girls are on Hulu and that, dear nerds, is the biggest gift from me.

Megan:

Hey Ilyse, thanks for being a friend.

Sela:

Don't you have, like d-don't you have another question?

Megan:

Can you recommend any books or movies or TV shows to our listeners that they might enjoy while we're all stuck at home?

Sela:

Mine are mostly kid shows, but I really like Carmen Sandiego even though I only watched one episode of it. And I also really like My Little Pony.

Megan:

Solid.

Sela:

Yup.

Megan:

Anything else you want to tell our listeners? Anything else you think they should be reading or watching or listening to you are doing? What's your favorite thing to do now that you're home all the time?

Sela:

Reading!! Oh, the book I can recommend is the Mysterious Benedict Society. I love those books. They're about four kids who call themselves the Mysterious Benedict Society and they go on very dangerous missions for Mr. Benedict.

Megan:

That definitely sounds like something we should all start re--

Sela:

And Mr. Benedict has a case of narc cop cell ee?

Megan:

Narcolepsy?

Sela:

Yes.

Megan:

He falls asleep.

Sela:

Yeah.

Megan:

Yeah, that happens. Okay, so we promise no homework and we stand by that. But if you're really excited about online paganism, you can check out Doug Cowan's, Cyberhenge from ye ole 2005 or Brenda Basher's. G ive m e that Online Religion from ye ole 2004 f or more about cyber religion in the early oughts. Vis-a-vis soothing television. I will own out loud that I watched three episodes from the first season o f Mr. Rogers last night. They were available on the o nlines. Happy to send you all links. I am right now reading an awesome graphic novel called, My Favorite Thing is Monsters b y a Emil F erris. It's about a tiny queer werewolf girl, she solves crime and loves art in 1960 Chicago. O h. Also I just learned how to make pull f rom the middle o f yarn balls. So I am balling all the yarn I bought for stress n eeding projects while I am watching dumb television. U h, last night I made three yarn b alls, which doesn't sound like a lot, but l ike it's super time consuming when you buy sock yarn particularly when you buy a lot of sock yarn. So I made three yarn balls while I was watching the 2011 S teven Soderbergh flop Haywire because I l iked to watch strong women like MMA fighter Gina Carano beat the crap out of b ad m en and Soderbergh also directed contagion. So this r ack is even on theme. Y ou a re w elcome. It's very professional podcast . You can follow Megan. That's me at MPG PhD and Ilyse at P R. O. F, I, R, M F or the show at KeepingIt_101 on Twitter. You can find the website and keeping it 101.com and Hey, if you have friends who need materials for teaching religion online for the rest of the semester, maybe share this podcast with them. They end, you can download and rate us wherever y'all get your podcasts.

Ilyse:

Stay safe out there, friends and nerds. Wash your hands. Don't hoard toilet paper, pay if you can. Your service sector folks, your restaurants. This is not a coupon. This is a pandemic. Take good care of one another. Till next time: Peace out, Nerds.

Megan:

Do your homework. Once things calm down, it's on the syllabus.

Theme Song:

[inaudible]

Megan:

it's so good to hear your voice. Do you want to say goodbye to our listeners?

Sela:

[ Goodbye I'm gonna go now. Going away now!

Ilyse:

Great job, kid--you're all tangled up in--all--of these wires [ crashing, laughing ] Get out of here, weirdo.

Sela:

BYE!

Lesson Plan!
The 101: On Today!
Primary Sources!
Homework: TV + Books for the Pandemic
Kid-Related Bloopers