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My Life During COVID: Gayle Levy and Whitney Terrell

Checking in to see how our UMKC community is managing the highs and lows of sheltering in place

Gayle Levy and Whitney Terrell are working at home as their two sons go to school via Google Classroom and their cat, Dusty, composes signs in order to get some sleep.

The advantage for married UMKC professors Gayle Levy, associate professor of French and director of the Honors College and Whitney Terrell, associate professor of English, is that they have a keen understanding of each other’s jobs. They start each day working in their own offices, while their two sons, Moss (15) and Miles (10) attend school online. While Levy moves from Zoom meeting to Zoom meeting, Terrell is finishing up his new novel, “The Crossroads.”

“Miles has made silly signs that we put up on our doors when we can’t be disturbed,” Levy said.

Her sign reads, “Do no desturb! Kat uzally zweepin.”

"We're getting a puppy!" - Miles Terrell

While the family is mostly finding their greatest joys being with each other, they are indulging in some distractions.

“Moss has online piano lessons and drama classes through the Coterie,” Levy said. “Miles practices soccer online, which he does in the living room.”

But some activities are less demanding.

“Miles spends some time on House Party (a social media app) and playing Pictionary with friends,” Levy said. “Moss is generally Snapchatting with friends.”

While Levy is missing her students and the boys are missing their friends, the Levy-Terrell clan is welcoming a big dose of joy. “We’re getting a puppy on Sunday!” Miles proclaims.


What are you reading? 

Levy: Nana by Emile Zola

Terrell: MFA theses

Miles: Wings of Fire books by Tui T. Sutherland

Moss: Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream - for school 


What are you watching?   

“Miles watches 3-4 Simpsons episodes PER DAY!” Levy said. “I’m just thankful that the show has been on for like 30 years! Moss watches “Gossip Girls and I’ve been watching “This is Us.” As a family most recently we have watched “Blazing Saddles,” “Smokey and the Bandit,” and “Rocky.” Terrell and Moss just finished “The French Connection and “Breathless and I showed Moss “Harold and Maude—my favorite!”


What are you eating?   

“Great food!” Levy said. “Moss cooks a few times a week. Tonight, we had miso chicken but he has also prepared shakshouka, curried shrimp, Mediterranean lamb chops and a three-berry pie. I made Guinness cake for Moss’s 15th birthday, which was last week, and lots of banana bread.”

Published: May 27, 2020
Posted In: Our People
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