Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Beauport, for My Own Future Reference

Sometimes you want to share knowledge with people who will appreciate it, and sometimes you want to archive knowledge so that you yourself can find it again. This post is concerned with both purposes. I want to be able to find all this again one day, and I want to you to have seen this at least once in your life.

Several years ago, I read an article about a house. A glorious, labyrinthine house on the sea, designed and enlarged around the Gilded Age by a committed bachelor. Each room led into another. There was no central hallway, no main staircase. Around each corner was something lovely. Everywhere were nooks and views. I wanted to look at it forever.

And I couldn't find it again because I couldn't remember the name of the house or the owner. It was somewhere on the East Coast, in some place where one could find Gilded Mansions, but it was lost to me. I thought the owner's name had been Joshua, or that he was connected with Edith Wharton, but such searches revealed nothing. The house haunted me. I yearned to see the green bedroom room, filled with light and doors to elsewhere. I spent hours googling variations on every detail I remembered, to no avail.

And then recently, without warning, I came across the green room again.

Behold: Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House in Gloucester, Massachusetts, designed by Henry Davis Sleeper. This verdant color graces several rooms, one of the few unifying design themes in this eclectic house.

There are photos galore at the above link, and biographical info on Sleeper, and the history of the house.  Take, and read, and contemplate. But what you really want to do is tour this magnificent house, and this you can do from the comfort of your couch with this virtual room-by-room walk through Beauport. First, though, you must -- no, you must -- have the floor plan for reference.

You must enlarge these photos and use them as you navigate through the tour. My green room is, I believe, the Belfry Room on the second floor. What, this isn't what you spend your nights and weekends doing, ogling the glamorous houses of yore?

Monday, June 12, 2023

Dorothy Sayers and Classical Education

 Local circumstances inspired me to spend some time lately going back to the sources on Classical Education. In particular, I've been re-reading Dorothy Sayers's 1947 essay "The Lost Tools of Learning" and organizing both an in-person discussion of it at our house this last weekend and an ongoing online discussion via Facebook.  Sayers's essay is available to read for free online here.  It's also available read aloud on Audible (paid) and YouTube (free). (If you're interested in joining the Facebook group, you can do so here, or if that link doesn't work email me and I'll send you an invite, though I make no guarantees as to how much further it will go.)

I thought it might be interesting for some readers to pull together some of the material I've been writing in the group about Sayers and her proposals around what has come to be called Classical Education. So far as I can tell, Sayers is the first person to use the medieval Trivium of Grammar, Dialectic, and Rhetoric as the model for stages of primary and secondary education (and indeed for the stages of learning any subject.)

About Sayers

Dorothy Sayers

If you've heard of Dorothy Sayers before, there's a good chance it was due to her mystery novels.  From 1923 to 1939, Sayers wrote 11 mystery novels featuring the aristocratic detective Lord Peter Wimsey, as well as several plays and many short stories. The Lord Peter novels were international best sellers and brought Sayers a degree of financial independence. The BBC adapted the novels for television once in the 1970s and again in the 1980s.

However, Sayers interests and abilities went well beyond detective fiction. 

Born in 1893, the daughter of a Church of England clergyman, Sayers first educated at home by her father (who started her on Latin at the age of six) and later attended boarding school. In 1912 she won a scholarship to attend Sommerville College, in Oxford, one of the first women's colleges in Oxford, at a time when all the established colleges in Oxford were male-only institutions and the idea of women going to elite colleges was still controversial.

This was also the era in education when Latin and Greek were beginning to lose their 2500 year place of honor in Western education. In 1917, just after Sayers graduated from Oxford in Britain, the president of Harvard, Charles Elliot, wrote a piece for The Atlantic Magazine advocating that Harvard cease to require Latin proficiency in order to earn a BA.  (Students earning degrees in the sciences had already been excused from compulsory Latin at Harvard in the 1890s.)  Similar arguments were going on in Oxford and Cambridge, and would intensify between and after the world wars.

Sayers earned her BA and Masters at Oxford in medieval literature and modern languages.  She published several books of poetry shortly after graduating, but in order to support herself ended up taking a job at an advertising agency. She was responsible for launching the "zoo" advertisements featuring the toucan and other animals for Guinness Stout which continue to this day.

The success of her mystery novels allowed Sayers to become a full time writer for the rest of her life.

As World War II loomed, Sayers increasingly began to spend her time on non-fiction, much of it dealing with religion.

In 1940 she published Creed or Chaos, a book of essays on the importance of basic Christian doctrine (such as if found in the Nicene Creed) similar in theme to C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity, which Lewis delivered as a series of radio talks beginning the next year in 1941.

In The Mind of the Maker, published in 1941, Sayers looked at the artistic process in the context of Christianity and discussed the way in which the work of a writer could reflect God's creative power.

Also in 1941 she accepted the job of writing a twelve episode radio series dramatizing the life of Christ for the BBC. The series was attacked by secularists for putting religion on the public radio, and by conservative Christians who objected to Sayers decision to have the characters in the Bible speak in the words of ordinary people rather than the high flown English of the King James Version. The radio plays were considered a notable success bringing the story of the Bible to British citizens in wartime. Her scripts were re-produced by additional sets of actors in four additional times over thirty years and the scripts are still in print today.

Later in the 1940s Sayers undertook a massive literary translation project, translating Dante's theological epic The Divine Comedy into English verse. The first volume, Hell, was published by Penguin Classics in 1947. While opinions vary on Sayers's verse versus that of other poets who have translated Dante into English, I think her notes on Dante's theology and cultural references are the best available. The Dante project took up the remainder of Sayers's life.  She published Purgatory in 1955 and died in 1957 with Heaven still only half complete.  Here friend and collaborator Barbara Reynolds completed the translation which was published in 1962. Her translations of Dante remain in print to this day.

In "The Lost Tools of Learning", Sayers argues that the purpose of education is not to feed students specific expertise but rather to provide them with the tools to continue learning new and difficult subjects throughout life. Poet, advertising copywriter, mystery writer, public intellectual, translator -- Sayers's life certainly provides examples of living that principle out.

On the essay

Sayers takes roughly the first 6 pages of her 20 to lay out the problems she believes need to be addressed in modern education.

In one sense, the problems she sees will seem very modern, though she's writing 75 years ago:

"Has it ever struck you as odd, or unfortunate, that to-day, when the proportion of literacy throughout Western Europe is higher than it has ever been, people should have become susceptible to the influence of advertisement and mass-propaganda to an extent hitherto unheard-of and unimagined? Do you put this down to the mere mechanical fact that the press  and the radio and so on have made propaganda much easier to distribute  over a wide area? Or do you sometimes have an uneasy suspicion that the product of modern educational methods is less good than he or she might be  at disentangling fact from opinion and the proven from the plausible?"

Substitute Twitter and TikTok for the press and radio, and the fear that we are in an age when people are constantly bombarded with information in which it can be difficult to sort the truth from the propaganda seems very up-to-date. Given that Sayers and her generation had just lived through two world wars, and that communism had only recently spread across Europe while secularism was claiming to make religion out of date, her concerns certainly seem justified.

I think it's interesting in the age of the "fact check" that Sayers's solution is not that we need to pour ever more facts into students or urge them to always consult the proper authorities. Rather, her concern is that students have become very good at soaking up facts (at least for the time necessary to pass a test) but that they have become less able to teach themselves new topics and as they do so to judge which is true and what is false.

"Do you ever find that young people, when they have left school, not only  forget most of what they have learnt (that is only to be expected) but forget  also, or betray that they have never really known, how to tackle a new  subject for themselves?


Is it not the great defect of our education to-day...  that although we often succeed in teaching our pupils “subjects,” we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them how to think? They learn everything, except the art of learning. It is as though we had taught a child mechanically and by rule of thumb, to play The Harmonious Blacksmith upon the piano, but had never taught him the scale or how to read music; so that, having memorized "The Harmonious Blacksmith", he still had not the faintest notion how to proceed from that to tackle "The Last Rose of Summer". Why do I say, “As though”? In certain of the arts and crafts we sometimes do precisely this—requiring a child to “express himself” in paint before we teach him how to handle the colours and the brush."

This, I think, is the key thing which Sayers is proposing to address with her approach to education. She believes that our world is changing so rapidly that it is not enough to simply teach children the knowledge and techniques they will need in order to get by in the world. Rather, we must focus on teaching them how to learn entirely new areas of knowledge and technique which will doubtless open up in the future.

For example: When I was in school "learning to code" in school meant learning how to program in BASIC. That skill was nearly useless by the time I entered the workforce, much less now. Careful training in writing BASIC would have been no use to me once I started working, when what I needed to use was SQL and PHP.  Nor does using those two programming languages bear directly on the work in Tableau and R that I do now.  However, two things that were very useful to me as I learned these later skills on the job were learning the algebraic mode of problem solving in math and learning the highly structured grammars of Latin and Greek. Mastering both of these structured modes of logic and expression gave me a good set of tools to learn a programming language or an analytics tool.

Sayers illustrates this difference between learning specific things via training and mastering the tools for learning new things oneself with an example dealing with music (an area I'm conscious of because my wife and kids know it and I do not.) She describes how overly specific training is like learning by rote how to play one specific song. You might learn how to play the one song quite well, but if you don't understand musical notation, intervals, chords, etc. you will have no advantage from that first lesson when to you go to learn to play other songs.  Whereas, if you learn the tools of music (reading notation, intervals, chords, etc.) learning additional songs will become quicker and quicker.

In pages 6-9, Sayers lays out a very brief sketch of the classical and medieval approach to the basics of learning, and how she sees these as relevant today.

She lists the Trivium as three disciplines: Grammar, Dialectic, and Rhetoric

The Quadrivium she mentions only in passing but for what it's worth they were: Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, and Astronomy. These were the more advanced subjects of the liberal education (the education of a free man) and it's worth noting in passing that as such the emphasis different from how we might think of those subjects now.  In arithmetic and geometry, the emphasis would have been on proof, in other words on how abstract and geometrical calculation worked. And with music and astronomy, the emphasis would also have been on the workings and theory of the disciplines, what we might think of as something like musical theory and orbital mechanics (calculating where planets and starts would be at given times and places.)

But like Sayers I'll leave the Quadrivium be after this. Aside from noting that the emphasis in these more advanced subjects was in how to make them one's own by doing calculations and research, I think Sayers is right in the way she goes through the rest of the essay with the assumption that the disciplines modern students will apply the tools of grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric to will be those of modern fields of study rather than medieval ones.

Sayers then makes a distinction that while grammar is in a sense a subject, dialectic and rhetoric are rather methods of dealing with subjects.

Let me first touch of grammar a briefly.

I had "grammar" or "language" classes throughout grade school, but I often found myself simultaneously struggle and getting good grades. I got good grades because my parents spoke with good grammar at home and read aloud to me (and later encouraged me to read to myself) as a pretty high level. As such, I had a very good grasp of what sounded right in English, and so I was pretty good at "what is wrong with this sentence" or "use the right form of this word" exercises. But I didn't have a very good grasp of how grammar actually WORKED until I tackled Latin seriously in high school.  (Thanks, Bruce!)  Sayers gets into this later when she talks about the importance she puts on learning an inflected language (such as Latin, Greek, or if one must be modern Russian.) I'll do a sidebar post on what is distinctive about Latin vs some of the modern Romance languages such as Spanish or French when I get to that section, but here I just think it's worth noting that by grammar I think we just take Sayers to mean not just "put your comma in the right place" and "knowing to say 'they run' rather than 'they runs'" but understanding the way in which a language allows us to express or decode how many people do a thing, who they do it do, when they did it, how they did it, and what attributes the various parties involved had, based on the forms of words we choose.  Grammar is the set of rules which allow us to convey and discern meaning precisely. Taken in that broad sense, grammar applies not just to a language, but to many things. If grammar is the mechanics of language, there is similarly grammar to everything from mechanical engineering to music.

This leaves dialectic and rhetoric.  

Sayers describes dialectic as meaning the combination of logic and disputation. 

Logic is the mechanics of understanding when an argument does or does not follow from some other thing.  If all bats are creatures with things, and X is a creature with wings, does that mean X is a bat?

Disputation she seems to take as how that basic logic is situated within an argument.  The combination of logic and disputation she describes as, "how to define his terms and make accurate statements; how  to construct an argument and how to detect fallacies in argument".

Rhetoric she describes as "he learned to express himself in language: how to say what he had to say elegantly and persuasively."

But she describes both dialectic and rhetoric as "methods of dealing with subjects". By this, I think she means that to reason about a thing or to make a persuasive argument about a thing, one must have something worth talking about. Applying logic and rhetoric to "why I should get a nintendo for Christmas" is a sufficiently pointless exercise that students probably won't even get good practice out of it. Reading disputes in history, science, and religion and analyzing them with these tools will be a much more fruitful exercise in that it will both allow the students to participate in real disputes and also show to them how these skills can be used in later life as they evaluate and make arguments as citizens, parishioners, workers, etc.

The next point in Sayers's essay is where she lays out her idea for three stages of childhood development in terms of education.  As she says, she has not personally had extensive experience with raising or educating children, so as we're all parents here it seems like a good time to see if these fit with people's observations.

Sayers's stages are:

1) The "poll parrot" stage, where "learning by heart is easy and, on the whole, pleasurable; whereas reasoning is difficult and, on the whole, little relished". I'd say that this pretty much lines up with the period (which our nine year old is definitely in) where a child is likely to regale you with lists of dinosaur species, facts gleaned from nature specials, etc.  (ages maybe 5-11)

2) The "pert" or argumentative stage, which is "characterised by contradicting, answering-back, liking to “catch people out” (especially one’s elders), and the propounding of conundrums (especially the kind with a nasty verbal catch in them)".  (ages 11-14)

3) The "poetic" stage which "is popularly known as the “difficult” age. It is self-centered; it yearns to express itself; it rather specializes in being misunderstood; it is restless and tries to achieve independence; and, with good luck and good guidance, it should show the beginnings of creativeness, a reaching-out towards a synthesis of what it already knows, and a deliberate eagerness to know and do some one thing in preference to all others." (ages 14-18)

My own brief take: I think these observations definitely hold some general truth. The poll-parrot stage is most recognizable, in which children seem to be very good and picking up and remembering things (sometimes to an exhausting degree) but where reasoning ability is pretty basic. Kids that age certainly don't shrink from making connections and drawing conclusions, but it's often based on very basic similarities between things or concepts.  "I noticed these two things are similar, so I bet they're connected in the following way which just popped into my head."  In terms of education, this is clearly the age for learning letters and numbers, memorizing math facts, states, countries, capitals, maps, animal classifications, etc.  More in a Classical Education direction, this is probably also not a bad age for memorizing some poems and famous speeches (I still recall most of the Gettysburg address from 5th grade) and Bible passages and prayers.

I can't deny recognizing the argumentative stage, though people who knew me as a kid might say I lived one long argumentative stage from when I learned to talk till some time in my late 20s.  Other (indeed most) kids are must less argumentative than I was.

But even coming from a long argumentative stage, I'd say that there is an earlier stage which is highly imitative.  I would pick up arguments that I heard somewhere, like them, and repeat them to anywho who would listen.  In the middle school years, I started to transition to trying to synthesize my own arguments more, and make my own connections, and was less likely to parrot arguments without examination.  And as I edged into high school I started to move from simply arguing to trying to be more persuasive and to understand how others thought and reform arguments in more imaginative ways to make my ideas attractive to others.

That's also the age when I got interested in writing, and there too my initial forays were incredibly imitative. So even within forming arguments and doing expressive or creative writing, I'd say there's an early stage which is very imitative, and that a big help in one's development in that regard is being exposed to good examples of writing and argument, and helped to understand what makes them good. 

A digression on inflected languages

On page 11, after laying out her theory of the three stages of child development and how they map to grammar, dialectic/logic, and rhetoric, Sayers gets started on some details of the first of these three stages: grammar

She says, "This, in practice, means the grammar of some language in particular; and it must be an inflected language. The grammatical structure of an uninflected language is far too analytical to be tackled by any one without previous practice in Dialectic. Moreover, the inflected languages interpret the uninflected, whereas the uninflected are of little use in interpreting the inflected. I will say at once, quite firmly, that the best grounding for education is the Latin grammar. I say this, not because Latin is traditional and mediƦval, but simply because even a rudimentary knowledge of Latin cuts down the labor and pains of learning almost any other subject by at least 50 percent."

She goes on to talk about how Latin vocabulary is found in everything from anatomy to law. Then she goes on to talk about all the other subjects which she thinks should be covered at this age and how.  However, let me take a minute, as someone who studied Latin in high school and college, to talk through what I think her case is for the value of learning an inflected language at a fairly young age (let's say age 8-11) as being something like the poll-parrot age.

In Latin (and in other highly inflected languages like Greek) the endings of words change in order to make clear what the function of a word in the sentence is.

So, for instance, in English, if you wrote the sentence: The boy gives the pretty girl a rose.

You know that "the pretty girl" is the person who received the rose (the indirect object) and the rose is the thing given "the direct object" because of their places in the sentence.  Move the words around, and you could change the meaning:

The girl gives the boy to a pretty rose.

The words in this sentence are almost exactly the same (we've added the proposition "to") but the meaning is totally different -- and also somewhat nonsensical.

In Latin, the endings of the words explain what each word is doing.  So if you say: Puer puellae bellae rosam dat (the boy gives a rose to the pretty girl)

You know that "Puer" mean "the boy" or "a boy" because the ending is just "-r".  If we meant "of the boy" it would be "pueri".  If we meant "to the boy" it would be "puero".  If the boy was the person acted on (the direct object) as in "the girl hit the boy" then the form would be "puerum".

Similarly, we know that "bellae" meaning "pretty" or "beautiful" goes with "puellae" because they are both in the dative form ending in "-ae".  If the pretty girl did something, say that she loved a dog, we would have: puella bella canem amat.

Nouns (and adjectives to match them) have endings that make clear their position in the sentence:

puella (a/the girl, subject)

puellae (of the girl, possessive)

puellam (a/the girl, object)

And verbs also make clear their purpose in the sentence by their endings:

Amo (I love)

Amas (You love)

Amat (he/she/it loves)

Amamus (we love)

Amatis (you plural love)

Amant (they love)

These endings are also pretty regular.  There are some different groupings, but there are 3-4 standard ways that nouns/adjectives end and 3/4 standard ways that verbs end, and if you memorize them (which is why Sayers assigns the memorization of forms like "Amo, Amas, Amat, Amamus, Amatis, Amant" to the poll-parrot stage) you simply know how your words work.

The sort of interesting result of all this is that Latin (and Greek) as written 2000 years ago are both more complicated and more systematic than English.  English (and more so languages like Spanish, French, etc.) is like the quickie, simplified version, but with a lot of special rules that you have to memorize.  Latin may be complicated, but all the rules are right up front and visible.

So the reason why Sayers is saying that kids aged 8-11 should be learning a language like Latin or Greek is that:

1) there is a fair amount of memorization, and memorizing is something kids that age are good at

2) these ancient languages are extremely systematic and clearly defined, whereas with English a lot of the meaning has to be understood from the placement of the words, context, and irregular ways that words change.

We've all heard kids make basic grammatic errors such as "I gives it to her" or "I runs fast".  Certainly, the child learning Latin will make grammatical errors too.  But both the systematic nature of the Latin language and the overall experience of learning a different language which you can't simply judge based on "it sounds right" allows the student to learn the function of each word in the sentence and the way of expressing what that function is.

This is the sense in which "teach the kids Latin" is not simply based on the fact that people in the Middle Ages and Ancient World learned Latin.  There is something about the structure of the Latin language which necessitates teaching clearly and explicitly things which native English speaking students can skim by based on "what sounds right" and which English as a language makes clear primarily by word placement, not by very explicit things like word endings.

My plan is to write up discussion on the rest of the essay, which I can post here as well if it is of any use to people.

Monday, June 05, 2023

The Boxes are Just Packed

Darwins, after the funeral.

Are the days just packed? Is it accurate to say that, when I'm sitting here writing on a quiet Monday mid-morning, when one of my children hasn't even tumbled out of bed yet? The cumulative feel of life right now is that there are so many balls in the air, one doesn't even know which one to grab. At most given moments, however, there is time to stop and think, if one will take it.

I type this as I am sitting in a chair in my front hall. This is not where the chair belongs, but it has been dragged there by my almost-6yo, who is performing as The Brownie Band on a stage made of the piano bench, also dragged into the hall. I don't particularly want to watch The Brownie Band at this moment, even though the son is very cute playing guitar on a foam sword and singing about how the brownies are cooking in the oven. (This solves the question of what meaning of "brownie" was implied -- I thought it was the little household elves, and someone else thought it was Girl Scouts, but of course it's dessert.) I am at the tail end of a great household clothing sort, the thing we now call "Kondo-ing", where just about every item of wear has been washed and assessed, and now umpteen bags sit in the hall along with the stage and chairs. 

This great sorting was precipitated by the amount of laundry following our trip to New Jersey for Baby Josh's funeral, but the urge to clean house was in general was a direct result of the AirBnB we stayed at with my sister's family. It was a trick to find a multifamily house in the area on short notice for the Memorial Day weekend, but we found a place in the Poconos that was open. It was suitable for our needs: a place to park our sleeping carcasses within an hour's drive of my brother's house. But as a vacation house, it was DIY hell. "This place looks like a 5-Minute Crafts video," my oldest observed, looking at the cheap glam finishes and the atrocious quality of the work. Every fixture looked like it had been acquired at the last-chance table at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Nothing was level, nothing was even. All trim looked like it had been reused. The neighborhood was a gated mountain enclave of architecturally insignificant houses from the 80s and 90s, and even by the offensive standards of taste on offer, this place was appalling. 

So we returned home with renewed drive to do justice to our lovely old pile with our bathroom renovation. But laundry was an easier task to dive into immediately, and it relies only on my availability. Time is money, friends, and my financial contribution to the household economy is my full-time presence. I don't pay someone to sort clothes or cook meals or clean house or care for children because these things are within my purview as the full-time household-managing member of the family. I am no great shakes as an organizer, but I'm here. And I have the authority to dragoon the non-contributing financial members of the household, otherwise known as my children, to help me by sorting their own clothing. (This is not quite fair to the gainfully employed children, but in the first week of summer break, everyone's time is a bit fluid anyway, so I simply commandeered it.)

The amount of clothing in storage has been vastly reduced, because we also went through all the boxes. There are now two boxes between sons 1 and 2, and one box between sons 2 and 3. There is one box between daughters 3 and 4. Daughters 1, 2, and 3 are in their adult sizes and are stylistically different enough that they don't pass clothes between each other. Daughter 4 can take clothes from 2 and 3, and anything she rejects goes in the donate bag. I don't keep clothing that Daughter 4 or Son 3 have grown out of. This isn't even a fate-tempting strategy any more. If (have mercy, O Lord!) I ever end up needing children's clothes again, I don't know that having a decade-old box of hand-me-downs in the closet will do much. 

I am not a hoarder by nature. I love clearing things out of the house, and the danger I run (and why I don't do wholesale reductions more often) is that I throw out things that have been sitting around for years, and a week later need the one thing I got rid of, or find the missing part that makes the trashed item operational, or discover that I finally need that school book I donated because it had been gathering dust for years. We have a large house and so are privileged to hold on to things against the day of their use. The challenge, as in so much of life, is not to be complacent, but to be always reexamining what we truly need, now or in the future. Do we need to keep this item because of nostalgia, because of inertia, because of a misplaced sense of gratitude? Sometimes the answer is yes (and the gratitude is merited). But often a thing around the house has outlived its usefulness, or requires more work than we have time or ability to give it, before it can be useful again. 

Time is the key word here. We are pulled in many different directions, with obligations to church and to work and to theater and to the Brownie Band. Summer is a season in which some of those daily obligations (to formally educate the Brownie Band) give way to a more freeform use of days (such as a week of clothes sorting). Jobs such as the bathroom renovation, which requires more of Darwin's time than mine, are of their nature prolonged because most of Darwin's productive hours go to the day job that keeps us in tea and crumpets and toilet paper and mortgage payments and college savings. The time we would spend on the job is a function of how much we love our house, and our desire to live with beautiful craftsmanship that does not look like DIY hell. But there are also professionals who could achieve the same fine results, in far less time, for money. A quantity of money, granted, but money that buys us time: another functional bathroom months or even years sooner than we could finish it, while we have a houseful of people who need that right now.

Meanwhile, other boxes sit packed: boxes of elegant subway tile, ready to be applied to walls not ready for it yet. What can I do to hasten this process, what time can I spend? One thing that needs to happen is that a bathtub full of debris needs to be bagged up and dumped in the trash. I can do that right now, instead of writing, or I can set my 14yo son to do this job that requires no special training, only work ethic. Time to get up and get moving, before we hit the evening window in which our time is suddenly packed with dinner, rehearsal, scouts, obligations. The days, and the trashcan, and the donation bags, are just packed.