Social Distancing Journals: Michael St. Thomas

The world looks very different today from when spring break started at the end of February. Instead of students returning to campus this week, faculty and staff are working to develop online curricula in the face of this rapidly changing global pandemic. Everyone is also adapting to this new normal of staying home and social distancing to help stop the spread of Covid-19.  We asked a number of our faculty for their recommendations for reading and watching, as well as other creative ways that they are spending their time; we will be sharing these over our spring term of distance learning.

Michael St Thomas, head of the English Department and head houseparent in St. Leonards has been passing the time with listening to some legendary musicians and reading some classic novels, see his recommendations below 

I’ve been reading Henri Nouwen’s The Genesee Diary. Nouwen was a well-known spiritual writer, and this book consists of his informal reflections during an extended visit to a Trappist monastery. It’s very easy to read, often quite funny, and filled with wisdom. Monks have been quarantining themselves (voluntarily) for 1500 years—perhaps they have something to offer as we find ourselves with more time for our own thoughts these days! I will also plug an album I’ve been listening to a lot lately—Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline. Compared to his other albums from the late 60s, this one (1969) has a warmer, more polished sound, and the songs are really beautiful. Watch for his duet with Johnny Cash on “Girl from the North Country.”