Things are dismal around here. If you saw my facebook feed, full of all sorts of dismal news, political, from friends' personal lives, environmental, and on and on.
I have a relative (well, a relative in that blended family sort of way) who is grieving a spouse's death; but this relative is an artist, and right now is working on some amazing art, and I keep wishing I were close enough to go see the art in person.
Art matters. There, I said it. I have some students in my Chaucer course who are taking (together, even) Shakespeare and linguistics, and it's so joyous watching them make connections between the three courses.
We're talking about free will (or not) in Chaucer, in the way one does with "The Knight's Tale," and the students are getting it, and wrapping their minds around how something can be a great story and also think deeply about knowing and knowledge and what matters.
The most dismal aspect of all this is knowing that our students are really going to be slammed. I just can't comprehend how we voters and taxpayers decided that education is such a low priority for all of us. Personally, I would happily pay a whole lot more in taxes to support our educational systems (and not only education, because feeding and housing people is necessary for them to have real access to educational success).