October 12th – 18th

Make a plan to vote! You can request a ballot and register easily in MA. Everyone in MA can get a mail-in/absentee/whatever you want to call it ballot AND if you’re nervous about how the USPS is getting fucked around with, you can drop it off early! You can find more information here: https://www.wgbh.org/news/politics/2020/07/30/13-questions-about-voting-by-mail-in-massachusetts-answered!

Your application for a vote-by-mail ballot for the November general election must be received by 5 p.m. on Oct. 28.

This is a “received by” deadline and not a “postmarked by” deadline.

Make a plan, vote early.

Protests are still ongoing! It’s important to keep supporting folks, not just so that we see actual lasting change but also so that we keep protesters safe from retaliation.

Support protesters by donating to:

Do whatever you can. Find a protest (wear a mask, stay distant, stay safe), donate what you can, call your local government officials and ask why they’re spending more on police than they are on providing for people, go to virtual council meetings, write letters because some people still think letters mean more than emails, support your community any way you can.

Monday at 10AM you can join Odyssey Bookshop on Crowdcast for a picture book story time with author and illustrator Combo Matthew Burgess and Catia Chien, for their new book The Bear and the Moon

The Bear and the Moon is a picture book that follows what happens when the gift of a balloon floats into Bear’s life. The two companions embark on a journey—a magical tale that encompasses the joys of friendship and discovery. This is a gentle book filled with humor, while tackling complex topics like the transcendence of loss and forgiveness.

And Monday from 8PM – 10PM you can join the Far Out Film Discussion via Zoom : Good Manners!

Far Out Film Discussion will have a zoom meeting to talk about the 2017 Brazilian film Good Manners directed by Marco Dutra and Juliana Rojas. View the trailer here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sT2HeNiEc0Y. The film can be found online at kanopy – https://forbes.kanopy.com/product/good-manners. To virtually attend this discussion, click the link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87523942049

Tuesday from 2:30PM – 3PM you can check out a conversation with local author Catherine Newman as she discusses her newest children’s book, How to Be a Person. The Jones Library will be livestreaming the interview on their Facebook page, and it will be archived there for later viewing as well. Always important to learn things about how to be a nice person.

Also Tuesday from 5PM – 5:45PM local youths can learn to Pokemon Battle! Not with animals, though. With cards. Register here!

Learn how to Pokémon Battle from a local teen! Or if you are a battle pro already, meet some new people to play with. Please bring your own Pokémon cards. This event will take place on the Court St Lawn at the Westfield Athenaeum.  You must wear a mask and practice social distancing. For grades 5-12 | Registration required

Wednesday from 6PM – 9PM you can join the fantastic folks at the Northampton Webdive online for a chat about things and stuff! Whatever is nice to talk about. Most folks do some sort of web dev thing but feel free to chat about whatever’s on your mind. You can join online here once you register: https://www.meetup.com/nerdsummit/events/zvlqwrybcnbcc/!

Also on Wednesday from 7PM – 8PM you can check out WSU Professors Present: Presidential Campaigning in Jacksonian America! Register here!

Join Westfield State University Professor and History Chair Dr. Nicholas Aieta for a history presentation and chat/Q&A session about presidential campaigning in the time of Andrew Jackson.  By the 1840s, Americans were increasingly used to a spectacle of sorts associated with presidential campaigning. Why? What happened to create these festive occasions which included parades, floats, banners, speeches, and the occasional live racoon? Dr. Aieta will discuss changes in American political campaigning from the 1820s through the 1840s drawing on coursework, political cartoons, and the research of Dr. Mark Cheatham, Cumberland University. This event is all ages. Registration is required and space is limited. This event will take place on Zoom. 

As always the wonderful folks at Start Playing Games would love to meet you and then play boardgames online with you this Wednesday from 7PM – 11PM! You can hop on the Discord here: https://discord.gg/fAM8yJw!

Also Wednesday at 7PM you can join Odyssey Bookshop on Crowdcast for a conversation with Jennifer Taub, author of Big Dirty Money, in conversation with Amy Siskind. 

There is an elite crime spree happening in America, and the privileged perps are getting away with it. Selling loose cigarettes on a city sidewalk can lead to a choke-hold arrest, and death, if you are not among the top 1%. But if you’re rich and commit mail, wire, or bank fraud, embezzle pension funds, lie in court, obstruct justice, bribe a public official, launder money, or cheat on your taxes, you’re likely to get off scot-free (or even win an election). When caught and convicted, such as for bribing their kids’ way into college, high-class criminals make brief stops in minimum security “Club Fed” camps. Operate the scam from the executive suite of a giant corporation, and you can prosper with impunity. Consider Wells Fargo & Co. Pressured by management, employees at the bank opened more than three million bank and credit card accounts without customer consent, and charged late fees and penalties to account holders. When CEO John Stumpf resigned in “shame,” the board of directors granted him a $134 million golden parachute.

Or maybe you can have a fun time at the Forbes Library Zine Club Wednesday from 7PM – 9PM! It’s virtual now! Zine Club meets on zoom! A virtual co-work time to make zines and other art! zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88448156224?pwd=eTkxUlM1YS91UCsxNi96cGVOd0lsdz09. password – 614664

Thursday at 7PM you can attend a PANEL DISCUSSION | Reading Yiddish Literature in a Time of National Reckoning, moderated by Rachel Rubinstein. To attend, register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_vNj1Bo3OTHmXMMEUg8xQUQ!

Generations of Yiddish writers described racial injustice in America, their adopted home, taking on slavery, lynching, segregation, and everyday casual racism as literary subjects. America is once again confronting its long history and present reality of racial violence in a renewed wave of protests and calls for justice. What can the Yiddish writing of previous generations of protest reveal to us about our own moment? Join our panel of translators and scholars in a conversation about race and social justice in Yiddish literature.

Dr. Rachel Rubinstein is the author of “Members of The Tribe: Native America in the Jewish Imagination” (2010) and co-editor with Roberta Rosenberg of the volume “Teaching Jewish American Literature” (2020). She is currently the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, MA. Her current research examines Yiddish, translation, and racial formation in the Americas.

Also Thursday from 3:30PM – 4:30PM local teens can join the Teen Writing Group! Register here!

Do you like writing fantasy? Science fiction? Realistic fiction? All kinds are welcome at our Teen Writing Group. Each meeting tackles a new topic – suggested and voted on by group participants – with fun activities and writing prompts. In this class, you help pick what we learn and work on your creative writing skills!  This group is for students in grades 5-12. Participents are not made to read their work unless they desire to do so. This class will take place on Zoom on the first and third Thursdays of every month.

Friday from 12PM – 1:30PM you can join the Emily Dickinson Museum Poetry Discussion Group! Check here for registration info! This week the topic is:

Karen Sánchez-Eppler, co-editor with Cristanne Miller of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Emily Dickinson, will lead the group in discussion that draws from new critical approaches to Dickinson. She will  briefly introduce the goals for the Handbook as well as the mix of approaches and perspectives it encompasses. The collection contains many essays that deepen our knowledge of the historical, biographical, and literary contexts in which Dickinson wrote and many that address her poetics—the how and what of her writing. A central goal of the project has been to connect these two scholarly modes. Rather than thinking of Dickinson as writing a poetry of correspondence, specific occasion, and intimate relationship, tightly bound to its immediate historical and biographical context and its unique material form (the chocolate wrapper or envelope flap) OR as a poetry of philosophical and spiritual consequence and universal reach, the collection affirms that both are true. Rather than asking readers to pick between these modes, we prod readers to consider how they illuminate each other.  

Friday from 1PM – 2PM you can head to Virtual Book Chat at Forbes! Join the meeting here: https://meet.jit.si/ForbesLibraryBookChat!

Friday at 7PM you can join Odyssey Bookshop for a talk on Crowdcast with Archer Mayor, author of The Orphan’s Guilt.

In Archer Mayor’s intriguing new Vermont-based mystery, The Orphan’s Guilt, a straightforward traffic stop snowballs into a homicide investigation after Joe Gunther and his fellow investigators peel back layer upon layer of history and personal heartbreak to learn a decades-old hidden truth.

On Saturday you can head to a Virtual music presentation: Walking Blues: An American cultural history told through song and stories!

Musician Barrett Anderson presents a 90 minute program consisting of a historical narrative of southern African-American culture in the 1920s and 30s, and the great migration up the Mississippi River, from the Mississippi delta to Chicago and Detroit, and the music and culture that evolved as it was carried northward, from the fields of the south to the urban centers of the north. This story/journey will be narrated through the specific musicians directly involved in each scene – Charlie Patton, Son House, Skip James, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and more, and will consist of performances of each musician’s songs and style, and stories of the individual artists fitting into the overarching narrative of this great migration northward, also touching on the implications/impact of one of the constant themes throughout all blues music – travel. Please register to receive the Zoom link the day of the event!

Forbes is doing more work-help stuff!

Tuesday has a Career Center Seminar from 1:30PM – 3PM. Or you could do Unemployment Insurance Online Assistance from 1:30PM – 2:30PM!

Wednesday you can head to Effective Job Search Strategies at 10:30AM – 11:30AM. You can also do Getting Ready for Your Next Interview at 1:30PM – 2:30PM!

Friday you can attend Resume or Cover Letter Consultations from 10AM – 12PM.

If someone hasn’t already recommended you play Hades, let us be the people to do so! It’s so good, it’s a good fun game in the same genre as a lot of the developer’s previous work and like all those games it’s very wonderful.

We also had some time to dip into Eastshade today and what a lovely game that is! It’s a first-person RPG where instead of bopping monsters on the head as you explore, you paint nice things for people. It’s so nice! It’s just wandering around talking to people, doing light fetch quests, and generally having a nice time figuring out the coolest things to paint.

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