March 25, 2020 – Live to Blog from the Kitchen
Hello, I’m Winthrop Dijkstra-Baum and this is the news.
Actually, that’s just my Public Radio alter-ego who decided to horn in on my blogging today. I had too much fun today on a couple of Zoom meetings. Actually, so did the other participants. I think we are all beginning to crack just a little bit under the pressure of COVID-19 stress. The fun, though, was my fault…I must confess.
Here’s what happened. For the multitude of my readers outside the United States, all two of you, we have National Public Radio (NPR) here, which is a terrific source of award-winning news reporting, classy classical music, jazzy jazz music, and wonderful programming that includes variety and game shows and radio documentaries. Think American style BBC or CBC. I’m actually an NPR junkie.
Funny thing about NPR. It is known for having top-notch reporters, journalists, and anchors with some of the most lovely yet interesting and fun to hear and say names you could ever imagine. The names of some of the real NPR personalities which lilt off the tongue include, David Folkenflik, Lulu Garcia-Navarro, Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi, Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, and Ofeibea Quist-Arcton. You may also have observed from these there is quite a fondness for hyphenated names. By comparison to these, my name is terribly unexciting. Can you imagine me saying, “For NPR in Laurel, Maryland, this is Tom Klaus.” You can just imagine the sound of digital buttons being pushed to switch stations, right? Now you understand why my Public Radio name shall forever be Winthrop Dijkstra-Baum (but don’t call me Winnie).
I got my name from the Public Radio Name Generator. At the start of two Zoom video meetings today I shared the link to the generator with the participants. We each looked up our Public Radio name, changed our Zoom names to it, and went by our new names throughout the consultation. What a fun way to do a video conference! So, who was on the air with me?
- Thema Meyers-del Barco
- Hadassah Nakamura-Ibdah
- Ajaya Murphy-Mori
- Ivan Ajram-Ofili
- Liu Zaykaothao-Ahmad
- There was Augusto and Coco whose last names I can’t find in the Zoom chat anymore and one other whose name I can’t find at all.
- We even had a toddler stop by a Zoom meeting who got christened Juan Rossi-Diallo by his mom.
- And, of course, I’m Winthrop Dijkstra-Baum, reporting live from Laurel, Maryland, for NPR.
The name generator doesn’t always work for everyone though, especially those who already have beautiful interesting names. Clemencia has tried the generator but her name is unique enough that nothing sounds more public radio-like than her real name: Clemencia Maria Vargas.
Here’s my best tip of the day: At your next Zoom video meeting invite everyone to generate their own Public Radio name and use it as their own for the duration. It will change your meeting!
Today I baked a birthday cake for Clemencia. That’s it. No fires. No messes. No burnt socks. It actually came out really great. Well, except, it wasn’t a cake…it was birthday brownies. She has a bit of a thing for chocolate.
Don’t forget…tomorrow is the BYON (Bring Your Own Nose) Coffee Break/Happy Hour at 5:00 PM Eastern. The Zoom connection information is below my signature.
I was at the computer about 12 hours today so my world revolved around a monitor, a keyboard, and an endless mug of coffee. Working 12 hours a day is tougher than it used to be but I’m grateful to be keeping busy. It’s tough for me to be confined to home. However, I’m mindful that sheltering-in-place is much tougher for many others. Others may be trying to work and manage children home from school. Many are home, out of work, and wondering how they will simply feed their children next week without any income. Many simply do not have a home in which to shelter-in-place. This time could become one of anger, animosity, turmoil, and destruction if we let it. Or, it could become a time of caring, compassion, sharing, and grace if we choose it. I hope we, as fully human beings, will be wise enough to choose this better way.
Stay safe, be well, keep calm, keep washing your hands, and remember to give a lot more grace than grief to others during this tough time we share.