Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to the Day Before Sridevi’s Birthday?

Happy Wednesday! I am sleepy. Two days in a row I have popped away before I wanted to be awake. There must be some alley sound out my window or something that is waking me up. Oh well, this is why coffee exists.

I’ll start!

Reading: Angela Thirkell! I highly HIGHLY recommend her! It’s like Midsomer Murders if there were never any murders. So, just people gossiping and falling in love and having petty feuds in British villages. Everything always works out for the best, and there’s a village fete or concert or something too. The only challenge is access, especially if you happen to be a bit obsessive about order. All of her books are available at the Chicago public library and in normal times I would have just gone to the main branch and swept them off the shelves. But now I had to request them and wait for a notice they are available for pick up at my branch. And now you say “why not just by them on kindle?” And I am, but kindle doesn’t have every book, so I have to read them OUT OF PUBLICATION ORDER!!!!!! It’s all very difficult. But yes, they are very good, and if you are not obsessed with reading books in publication order, you can read loads of hers on kindle right now if you like.

Pomfret Towers | by Angela Thirkell No. 91 1949 | liam | Flickr

Watching: Last week I showed my friends Don 2, and of course they loved it. My parents and I finally watched Hamilton, I told y’all about that already. Tonight I’ve decided on Prem Ratan Dhan Payo for Friend Movie Night. It’s a little long, but it’s so happy and light and fun. Like the opposite Don 2.

Thinking: The more I lie here with my foot, the more I dream about what I will do when I can finally move about again. I need to set up another doggie date with my friends in their backyard, and I think I’m going to try to go for a walk or something with as many friends as I can right now, just to see them once while the infection rates are lower and the sun is shining. And I may need to find some household (besides my parents) to share the quarantine bubble in the fall. Chicago weather stays pleasant for outside meetings until about late October usually, but November through March I can’t just be with my parents! I will go insane.

Listening: Prem Ratan Dhan Payo! In preparation for tonight.

Now, question for you! Borrowing from an anonymous commentater who asked me this yesterday, What is a movie you love and everyone else hates, and what is a movie you hate and everyone else loves? (you can define “everyone” as “most people in the world” or “most people on DCIB”)

For “love”, this question is what inspired me to repost my Love Aaj Kal 2020 review. I love that movie and I think it is mostly perfect, and no one else seems to agree with me (except for a few fellow obsessives here, but even most of DCIB disagrees with me). Oh, and there’s also Raabta, but I think DCIB is far more unanimous in liking that one than in LAK2020.

For “hate”, that’s tough! I dislike a lot of movies, but DCIB agrees with my opinion on this (as on all matters), so I can’t think of one I hate that everyone else likes. Hmm. Maybe Mahanati? Most of you who saw it seemed to like it, and I very much did not.

61 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to the Day Before Sridevi’s Birthday?

  1. Everyone??? – Can Aarzoo be here by the sheer love I have for it its whole craziness that is practically everything in it?? I mean, not many people know about it and even you didn’t know it existed, Margaret. So does it count in a way, because I can’t think of anything else?? BTW: you should see it (it’s on Einthusan with subs) and it would definitely make a good Friday watch along at some point in time for the amount of CRAZY in this movie
    Most people in the world – LAK 2020 and JHMS
    Most people on DCIB – SLB Devdas (to be fair this goes with my feelings on remakes in general, the original book and b&w movies are still there to be their own perfect adaptations of it, so that’s why I don’t mind the SLB remake since it is so much it’s own thing and stories are meant to be adapted by simply the law of human nature, it’s just one in the cycle and we kinda did get Dev D as its own fanfic version of the story as well)

    And in other news! I got accepted to a semi-University (a single year with courses that have points that matter that I don’t know the English word for) to study Creative Writing!!

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    • YAAAAAY! I’m so happy for them!!!! Saif’s gonna be an oooooooooold Dad.

      On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 9:06 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Also, to answer your question, there are so many movies I really love that others hate. Of the top of my head, besides LAK2020, I can think of OK Jaanu (I love this movie so much), Yaadein, Shaan, De De Pyar De ( I know you loved it but I don’t think others did), Aakash Vaani. I am sure there are many more.

        I’ll get back to you on movies that I hate that everyone else loves besides the obvious ones like anything by SLB and most Ranbir movies.

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        • Yes! Another De De Pyaar De fan! I was just trying to convince Genevieve to give it another shot.

          On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 7:04 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I would love to give it a shot if it can be found with English subtitles. For a while Einthusan had it without subtitles, and I tried to watch it twice, but ultimately just got too frustrated not knowing what people were saying. But now I can’t find it anywhere. Phoo.

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          • I was thinking after you last mentioned it, I think this film really needs subtitles because part of the style is the disconnect between the visuals and what they are saying. Like, the heroine’s “stripper” intro turns out to be a test for the groom, and she has a really intelligent logical conversation with the bride and groom about why it is silly to fight over this stuff. Which is why Ajay starts to fall for her, not the stripper part, but the logical conversation, and you have the kind of “ha, audience, you were tricked as well, dismissing her as just sexy because of how she looks”. All of this is to say, you are correct, wait until it has subtitles.

            On Thu, Aug 13, 2020 at 12:58 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • The only place I see De De Pyar De with subtiltes is on Hotstar. Given that Sadak 2 and the new Vidyut Jaamwal movie are coming out on Hotstar, I got it for a little bit.

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          • I was about to cancel my Hotstar before they got Sadak 2. It’s so evil, I don’t use it for months and then they announce one thing tha tmakes me keep it going just before I can cancel.

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          • And now I am paying twice, because I’ve got Disney Plus too! They gotta figure out a way to at least give me a discount. Although so long as they have classic Mickey cartoons and Disney Plus and Sadak 2 on hotstar, i’ll keep paying for both, so I don’t know why they will want to change. BAD!

            On Thu, Aug 13, 2020 at 12:22 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • So, I have regular Disney Plus (American version) but did not realize I can get it through Hotstar. Hmmm. . . maybe I can cancel the one I have and just get it with Hotstar. Thanks for the information.

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          • No no, you CAN’T!!!! If you were in India you could, but in the US you can’t, because Disney is evil and will squeeze every penny out of us. The US Hotstar app and everything says “Disney Plus Hotstar”, but it doesn’t have any Disney content, so I still have to subscribe to both services. Doesn’t seem fair AT ALL.

            On Thu, Aug 13, 2020 at 12:29 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • EVIL!!! Well the good thing I have going on is that my sister and I split paying for these apps and then just share the accounts with each other. So, I pay for Hotstar, she pays for Disney Plus. I’ll just take that as my 50% discount and not fuss about it too much.

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          • Same, my sister has Hulu, my Dad has HBO Max, and I have Disney and Hotstar and Prime. Wait a second, that isn’t the same at all. Hmm. I may need to have a family meeting about Margaret’s Overburdened Streaming Budget. Which will probably turn into a family intervention about Margaret’s Addiction to Streaming Services She Never Uses.

            On Thu, Aug 13, 2020 at 12:39 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. Have you ever tried Overdrive? It’s an app that lets you add your libraries, browse and check out books. If the book you’re looking for is available in any electronic form, you can borrow it and read on whatever platform works for you. Sometimes it’s Kindle, but PDF and e-books are also common. Libby is another app that lets you read alternate versions.

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    • Yep, I am addicted to Overdrive. Here’s the real secret, you collect the logins for all your friends and relatives all over the country, and thereby gain access to Overdrive accounts for 7 different library systems at once.

      Still stuck with these books though, the library only has them in physical copies so I have to wait and wait and wait. So frustrating! If it were Normal Times, I would just bop downtown and pick them up from the main branch myself. Oh well.

      On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 9:43 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Ooo, yes! I have run out of all my friends with college library logins and it is tragic.

          Do you know Project Gutenberg? If the copyright has expired, you can probably find any book you want there. Unfortunately, the books I am looking for are in that limbo of being so old there isn’t a lot of interest in digitizing them for profit, but still new enough that the copyright is in place.

          On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 9:49 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Thank goodness my libraries are open again, but it’s still slow and a pain to wait for the books now instead of browsing on shelfs for myself.

            Oh, do you know about the website abebooks? I put up a post about it months back, but just in case you missed it. It’s a direct site for small bookstore owners. If you are ready to buy a book because there is no other way to get it, abebooks can help you find a cheap copy of any old obscure thing, and you are supporting small bookstores. Much better than Amazon both ethically and in terms of price and selection. If I get sick of waiting for the library, I’m gonna give up and go there for the books I want.

            On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 10:58 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Exactly! Makes it so much easier to justify book purchases, I’m not spending that $5 on a frivolous thing I will read once and forget, I am donating it to a struggling small business owner.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Honestly, people don’t hate the things I love, they usually just don’t bother with it because it’s unknown. Sometimes critics hate it though. Mostly people like stuff I love though when I can somehow force them to try it. I love Padmaavat which all rightminded people hate, but they should, because it’s the worst.

    On the other hand, I do hate most things other people love, so there’s that.

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  4. I was saying Ishqeria is terrbile and I won’t finish it but during the travel it was or that or some random hallmark movie I downloaded and so I finished it. Now I can say without any doubt it’s not worth your time. Confused movie. It starts with Neil Nithin Mukesh returning after years and asking Richa Chadda divorce. Then we have definitely too many flashbacks about their love and separation. I was excited in the middle because it looked like Richa forgot Neil and fell in love with a man who stayed by her side (there was even a super sexy hug). Unfortunately the movie forgot about it 5 minutes later! I’m still angry about it. The only good things: Richa, the hug and the hug guy. All the rest is useless.

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    • I will continue to ignore Ishqeria! Saaho and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo are the Neal Nitin Mukesh films I need.

      On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 11:52 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. “What is a movie you love and everyone else hates, and what is a movie you hate and everyone else loves?”

    There are so many I don’t know where to start.

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    • Start with a movie you hate, I feel like there are far fewer of those. At least, in DCIB-land

      On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 2:38 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • The first movies that came to my mind are Manam (I know you love it, but for me it was unwatchable) and 1: Nenokkadine. Oh, also Jersey (everybody is like “I cried so much”, and I’m : Why? This script doesn’t have any sense!) Looks like I have strong feelings for telugu movies.

        From hindi: Ek Villain (I was sick for days) and Dishoom (you know those chinese copies of original toys? From far they look quite ok but when you open the box you see how cheap and ugly they are. Dishoom for me is a cheap copy of a real movie)

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        • I think all of these are “DCIB/Margaret likes them but not a lot of other people” picks. Just means you and I in particular have totally opposite views! How is that possible? And yet we get along so well.

          On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 5:06 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Jersey is very loved out there on twitter. Ek Villain and Dishoom were big hits, so a lot of people like them a lot I guess.

            I checked my letterboxd raitings and found two other popular movies I hate:
            Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (I had to mute this title on twitter because almost everyday somebody talked about how beautiful and amazing it is and I had to fight with myself to not comment)
            Hasee Toh Phasee (how I wish this movie was better!)

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          • I also wish Hasee to Phasee was better, but not so much to actually dislike it. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, on the other hand, I mostly really like! Wish there was slightly more with Kalki-Dips, but otherwise like it.

            On Thu, Aug 13, 2020 at 9:22 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Thinking:
    I hate having to go back to work. It leaves zero time for any deeper thinking, much less or research. I’ll take a while to complete my rewrite of the MDK medley. But it’s still something I never knew I wanted this much.

    Which leaves me with vacation leftovers for
    Reading:
    I solved a Miss Marple mystery on my own, “The mirror crack’d fro side to side”. Well, solved it mostly based on meta clues, like the law of conservation of detail and what the title refers to, but still.

    Watching:
    I finally got past my hang-up on the 1980 Dostana, and I have to admit, beyond that it is pretty great. Bell bottoms, clashing patterns, Amitabh singing to Shatrughan Sinha about what an unfaithful friend he is. I can definitely see now how it makes sense to repurpose the title for the 2008 film. And that cast! It’s pretty much the perfect condensation of 70s/80s masala. I was even tempted to revive the game my friends and I used to play, where you had to figure out what kind /color of phone can call what other kind. They’re so outrageous!

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    • Yaaaay! I look forward to your MDK medley redo

      I need to reread The Mirror Crack’d. I can’t remember who the killer is and I want to see if I can guess too! I’ve gotten very good at figuring out the killers in Midsomer Murders, but that’s because it’s always the best actor and/or the oldest actor. Not really useful for “real life”.

      Everyone is saying Dostana is so great! I should really check it out.

      On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 2:47 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. Just finished watching Evariki Cheppodu on Netflix. Telugu romcom which I really liked. Will recommend it. Has anti-caste messsage too but not in a preachy manner.

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  8. I’ve re watched a bunch of movies – like I said most of Hrithik’s movies. Kaho Na Pyaar Hai is still pretty entertaining, and has aged better than a lot of other movies of that time. I wish they had spent a little more time on the love story in the second half but it was a good movie.
    I also re watched Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and I love the Abhay-Farhan chemistry. They’re just having such a great time in all their scenes, especially in the first scene when Abhay’s mom is singing an english song. That scene is everything!!
    Oh and what’s wrong with Alia in the new Sadak trailer – her face suddenly looks longer and older (compared to Kalank even). Anyway she looks completely out of sorts.

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    • It’s Ranbir!!!! He is the Actress Killer!!!! He’s made Alia all flat and boring and old now.

      On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 4:18 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. WordPress is suddenly glitchy for me so I hope this works. But I’m breaking this down into all 4 categories because it’s late and I’m bored.

    Movies that I love that everyone hates (critics/public):
    Basically every big budget action/comedy flick that’s come out in the 2010s. Happy New Year, Dilwale, A Gentleman, Main Tera Hero, Dishoom. I wanted fun and camp and silly, and that’s exactly what I got, so I was not disappointed.

    Movies that I love that everyone hates (DCIB):
    I don’t LOVE SLB, but I don’t despise him as much as most of the blog. Ram Leela was the first one I watched by him, and I still adore it. A few others by him are tolerable. And I didn’t hate Sanju *hides* But I probably don’t know enough about the real Sanjay Dutt to have major problems with it.

    Movies that I hate that everyone loves (critics/public):
    On the SLB train, Devdas was bad. It’s pretty, but something about the story I could not connect with or care about in any capacity. Also Om Shanti Om, but I probably watched it too early in my Bollywood days to really appreciate it. And even then, I still haven’t seen much of anything from the 70s. But it also crossed the line to so over the top that it was annoying.

    Movies that I hate that everyone loves (DCIB):
    I’ve said in previous posts how I felt really let down by JHMS. Some stuff was fun but overall I was not impressed. ELKDTAL I also kind of liked but not nearly as much as the blog does. And I tried to find others through the watchalongs, so I don’t know if the 2008 Dostana is a blog favorite, but it physically pained me to get through that movie.

    But I am also with you about the book stuff. My library is doing pretty much the same thing yours is, put books on hold online and waiting for the call to go pick them up. In normal times, there’s like 10+ libraries they would swap books between, so if something isn’t available at my library they could get it from somewhere else locally, but they’re not doing that with everything still not being great. Anyway, my point is I also hate ereaders but I’ve had to deal with it to some extent for when my books aren’t ready but I need something to read, and there are library “apps” that do exist that are not OverDrive.

    And I also might actually pick an apartment complex for the move this weekend so that’s something?

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    • You don’t hate Sanju?!??!?!?!? What is your MIND?!?!?!? It is clearly the worst movie in, like, forever.

      I will continue to ignore your dislike of JHMS because it is too painful to think about.

      YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! APARTMENT!!!!! I am SO EXCITED for you!!!!!! continue to keep us updated.

      On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 9:58 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Like I said, I don’t think I know enough about the real Sanju to have so many qualms with all the liberties they took and how they painted him to be such a great guy. And also Vicky Kaushal!! I loved him in this, he was so good.

        The apartment plan is we go on (hopefully) one more tour on Sunday, and then I go over to my roommate’s house with my laptop and look at everything and we finally make a decision.

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  10. I’m still reading the Girl of Fire and Thorns series. I’ve read it all, and I’ve read it again. And I’ve read the first book aloud to the kids, and am reading the second aloud now, but then I’m also re-reading the second at the same time. And at this point, it is like I can smell the wood polish on the furniture and feel the sheep skin carpets beneath my toes.

    I have always loved the movie Hudson Hawk, and I don’t think anyone else does. But in Hindi films, I don’t love DDLJ as much as the rest of the world, though I do like it. I think you have to see it young to really fall in love with it. And I love Bhangra Paa Le, and no one else has seen it. But I don’t get the sense that it is hated, critics on the web say it was a standard romance, which isn’t really an insult. Oh I also love Parugu, and the DCIB community hasn’t seen it, but it isn’t Hindi, so that really isn’t shocking. I will always remember the feeling of relief I felt when I stumbled on your community and found others that loved JHMS as much as I did. For a while I felt really lonely.

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      • NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Jagga Jasoos is THE DEVIL!!!!!! It is the destroyer of worlds that brings upon us all bad things!!!!!! No Jagga Jasoos, no Disney Hotstar merger, no weird restriction of licensing rights, no Disney push to bring their dubbed films into the Indian market and thereby kill the local family film market, no turn towards jingoistic violent films to please the non-family market, nothing bad would every have happened.

        But, you know, opinions vary. You have a right to yours. Even though it is WRONG.

        On Thu, Aug 13, 2020 at 1:24 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I am so glad you found us fellow JHMS folks! It’s lonely out there desperately wanting to talk about the thing you are obsessed with and no one else cares.

      And someday I will read that book series and then you and I can talk about it together.

      On Thu, Aug 13, 2020 at 1:14 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  11. Reading: A Suitable Boy, just going to cut and paste that every Wednesday until approximately late October. But Angela Thirkell sounds right up my alley, and I’m thinking I should just Kindle her out of order.

    Thinking: Finally done with this stupid semester! I have a few weeks to do some research and relax inside my apartment in the sweltering heat.

    I hate lots of stuff but I hate SLB a lot less than everyone else does (except Guzaarish, blech). I put this down to a sentimental attachment to Devdas, which was one of the first Indian films I saw. Also, I saw DDLJ and then I saw Chalte Chalte and then I saw Devdas, so you can see it was a fascinating look at a whole new SRK for me. And it’s pretty. But it did take me over a couple weeks to finish because the theatrical acting was so off-putting.

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    • Thirkell is great! And you can read High Risings or Wild Strawberries all standalone. It takes about 2-3 hours to finish a whole book, a nice brief A Suitable Boy break.

      You are done, and Courtney is starting! None of my teachers are on break simultaneously, it’s very weird.

      I think your SLB answer manages to be both what you like and what you hate. Of those people who like SLB, I think many of them also like Guzaarish, so the combo of opinions makes you unique.

      On Fri, Aug 14, 2020 at 2:12 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I am still on break for a few more weeks. September 2 is the first day for the kids, and September 1 is the big day-long meetings for teachers, but they’re usually in the cafeteria so I have no idea how that’s gonna work with social distancing and NJ possibly changing their minds about reopening schools in person. I think I might have more free time, considering it felt like I did in the spring, so I might be around. Friday watchalongs will be iffy though if those continue.

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        • My sister has had a couple of mass teacher meetings by zoom, and the best bit is watching the people who don’t know how zoom works. One person fell asleep on camera, another kept moving his phone up to his ear and face to hear better.

          Anyway, Friday watchalongs! Feels like they should continue, but I may take roll call in a few weeks and see where folks are at. We could also change them to Saturday watchalongs or something, although the Friday time is best for me.

          On Fri, Aug 14, 2020 at 10:53 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • We’ve had department Zoom meetings in the spring, and they’ve gone fine aside from the occasional person who doesn’t know how to mute themselves. Never a giant all staff meeting with 100+ people, which we usually do at the beginning of the school year and at least once a month.

            The current time would probably still work, since it’s late enough in the day. Unless I have to grade papers or something.

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