Thursday, October 31, 2002

From ArtsJournal
The President of the United States apparently has a bit more time on his hands than many people think. According to author and Marine Reserve veteran Gabe Hudson, President Bush was anything but pleased to receive a copy of Hudson's well-reviewed story collection entitled Dear Mr. President, and sent back a note calling the book "unpatriotic and ridiculous and just plain bad writing." Hudson further claims that FBI agents have been showing up at his most recent book signings. The White House isn't commenting.
Read the entire article here

2 other interesting artsjounral articles today This one about the purpose of education (Only read the first page so far) and another one about why an orchestra SHOULD shut down. (insteresting ideas, I ought to disagree, but I don't think I can)

There's been an idea floating around in my head for at least 5 months now - and these articles are feeding that idea a bit more than I'm comfortable with. I'm still thinking (and if I follow through on this idea, it'll be a whole lotta work!) I donno - we'll see (I need to think more before I can do anything with this tiny little silly impractical notion - but it's slowly growing bigger and less silly.

Anyway - I've been on this computer all morning long and I still haven't checked my e mail or gotten anything productive done (but that's not too big of a deal because I only teach one class today - - yippe for reward parties - UGH for Halloween parties and kids out of uniform! It's gonna be a crazy day!)

THE WEST WING (aka the only thing worth watching on TV) aired some pretty lackluster shows this month. BUT they came through last night with a FABULOUS script. (I tape the show and usually watch it on the weekend, last night I planed to watch "just a little of the opening" but got sucked into it, stayed up too late, and watched the whole thing). EXCELLENT stuff (and now we know how Rob Lowe is going to leave in January)

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

I had a wonderful night hanging out at Ole Mexico last night. It was good. Totally comfortable and much better than a tuesday night speech class!!

Thomas said he was talking with someone about me, and couldn't quite remember where I lived. I told him and the conversation turned to other things. It wasn't until I got home that it sunk into my brain that he said someone was talking about me. I'm not quite sure how I feel about that, (I wonder what they're saying - even if they said something wonderful (how could they - no one there really knows me) it's kinda weird.) I wish I had realized it THEN (instead of 4 hours later as I was lying in bed) and asked about it (or even just made a silly comment like "uh oh - people are talking??") I wish my brain worked faster on those things. Ah well. . .

Monday, October 28, 2002

Another great Article From ArtsJournal!

From Arts Journal
I like this. A well thought out lawsuit (in my not-so-humble opinion) that just looks for infomation. Nothing to make the government too mad, but enough to start poking holes in the Patriot Act. Someone's Thinking!

Part of my Fin. Man. homework involves analyzing the financial statement for The Loft. I had not heard of this place until last saturday, but it's a spiffy idea! THAT is why I want to work in the arts. There are SO MANY places doing SO MANY cool things. Everytime I "discover" another local arts oganization I want to be a part of it - the passion, the excitement, seeing things done. This is exciting stuff (even if I'm just analyzing numbers on a balance sheet!!!)

Saturday, October 26, 2002

I feed my brain a high protein breakfast and hydrated it with a pint of Aquafina
I remembered my calculator
Financial Management begins in 5 minutes! !
Let's go grow some dendrites!!!

Friday, October 25, 2002

An USA Today article from todays Arts Journal
Recording artist Janis Ian says that recording companies are wrong about downloading piracy. "Attacking your own customers because they want to learn more about your products is a bizarre business strategy, one the music industry cannot afford to continue. On the first day I posted downloadable music, my merchandise sales tripled, and they have stayed that way ever since. I'm not about to become a zillionaire as a result, but I am making more money. At a time when radio playlists are tighter and any kind of exposure is hard to come by, 365,000 copies of my work now will be heard. Even if only 3% of those people come to concerts or buy my CDs, I've gained about 10,000 new fans this year."

I haven't sorted out how I feel about all of this - as a disgruntled consumer I want to download and listen to music, but I sympathize with the musicians and the industry. (I will probably never record my own CD - but I am a musician - - even if it's only playing Twinkle with 10 year olds, and Pachabell Cannon at boring weddings!) I'm looking forward to the Arts Law class I'm scheduled to take in the summer. I'm ready to sort out all the "stuff" behind this issue!

While no government can call a great
artist or scholar into existence, it is necessary
and appropriate for the Federal Government
to help create and sustain not only a climate
encouraging freedom of thought, imagination,
and inquiry, but also the material conditions
facilitating the release of this creative talent.

Taken from the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act of 1965
(the law that established the NEA )

Thursday, October 24, 2002

NONPROFIT FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT has gotten way too difficult for my little brain. I think they just throw in extra numbers to confuse people who wait until the last minute to do their homework (guilty!) I'll be spending some serious "quality time" with my accounting workbook in the next 24 hours. (YEAH! I have a workbook - the bookstore still doesn't have them in - so I ordered a used one - which took over a week to arrive - methinks the entire textbook industry is conspiring against me!!)

From todays ArtsJournal
You know the music industry has hit hard times when the president of the Juilliard School is saying things like "I'm just as much thrilled if someone gets a job teaching junior high school music as if they get a job in the Chicago Symphony." Joseph Polisi also indicated that, with the job market in music tighter than ever, it will be essential for young musicians to find new ways of bringing music to the public if the form is to survive.
WOW!! who'da thunk I'd have the same job as a Juliard grad?? You can Click Here to read the entire article.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Last night, Danielle recited this Tom Petty song as her memorized poem. I've never heard Tom sing it, but Danielle's presentation was excellent! Here's what I remember of the opening lines . . .

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
Sail away, kill off the hours
You belong somewhere you feel free

GOOD THINGS happened last night in my silly writing/ speech class.
Good Thing #1 - The Man canceled class next week (yipee!)
Good Thing #2 - Julia is coming to town!!!!
"How," you ask, "Did you find out Julia's gonna be here?"
Well, that's the crazy part. We were on a break from our silly speeches, and Kate asked me out of the blue if I had a copy of the piano part to the lords prayer in D flat. I gave her a werid look, and she expalined that it was for her wedding, and her fiance had messed some things up and she really really needed to get this music to the accompanimist (her wedding is next week!)
As she was talking, she said some things about her finace, where he went to school, the fact that he played cello, his first name . . . AND THEN, she mentioned this tiny town in Iowa and I thought "Wait, Julia's brother plays cello, he went to that school, that's his first name, and that's his hometown - - could Kate be marrying Julia's brother???" So I interrupted and asked - and it's him. Very cool, but very werid!
Good Thing #3 - The test over all the APA rules is CANCELED!! (yipee!) (It's just silly to have a test on that anyway - since one can look up whatever one needs to know in the book)

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

This is the I WANT Game (ala SARK). The rules go like this - write I WANT, and then let yourself go wild. It's not about goals, or being realistic -just about personal amusement. SARK plays it much better than I do, but that's ok - - I don't think anyone's reading this anyway!

I WANT . . .
Hot Coco, warm socks, a lap top computer, the cats to quit marking territory all over the house, my hair to stay out of my face, my plants to quit dying, to go to the library, people not to scream through the house, a good pair of black shoes, to do laundry so I can wear wool socks today, to eat dessert first, to be more socially graceful, for the lib rary to have more of the books I want to read, to play outside in the sunshine on a trampoline, the roads to be ice free all winter, deep friendships, my Financial Management textbook to arrive today, to be less scraed, worried and stressed, to do or plan projects that I can be passionate about, new glasses, to be totally amazing, a tankful of fish, a massage, an indoor swimming pool in my basement, a tankful of fish, a sledding hill, to give boxes of crayons to grownups for no good reason at all, to undrstand poverty, to let go, to read more, to know more, to meet and have deep discussions with interesting people, my own beach, little cream puffs with rasberries, to see my students succeed to make school worthwhile, to backpack in Europe, to randomly plant apple trees, to play tag in a big hotel.

Here's the poem I'm reciting tonight (I'm typing from memory so excuse any spelling mistakes!)
Terry Jones
If you're feeling jaded,
or if you're feeling blue,
Have a little battle,
That's what soldiers do.

When Gengis Khan was feeling bored,
He'd gather up a mighty hoard,
and say "Today we'll devistate,
as far as Kiev" and they'd say "great"

A khan who wants to spread some charm
into his life will bring some harm
a little killing here and there
brings life to armies everywhere

It's very hard you see to train
in the latest ways of causing pain
without occasionally trying
out the latest ways in dying

The Goths, when life began to pall
Would simply go and ravage Gaul
And evey Vandal, evey Hun
agreed on ways to "Have some fun!"

Ceasar and Napoleon too,
did what all good soldiers do,
by giving chaps a little thrill
and a chance to kill.

So if you're feeling jaded
or if you're feeling blue
have a little battle
that's what soldiers do!

NICKNAME?? The 4/5th grade teacher has taken to calling me "Underwear." She says my last name reminds her of some one named Underwood, and when she thinks "Underwood" the brain jumps to UNDERWEAR! (VW - Underwear is a big stretch if you ask me!) I think the woman is crazy - but that's an essential part of her charm!! Yesterday JoAnn slipped and called me "Underwear" infront of a student - - TOO FUNNY!! She appologized at least 10 times and was so embarrassed! (I just luaghed - I'm so used to her calling me "Underwear" that I didn't even notice until she started appologozing!)

Sunday, October 20, 2002

11-10 joined the "other" service today.
I don't know why.

It was horrid.
I hated it.
It was everything I've been trying to avoid.
I sat there and stewed
(I should have just left - but I didn't want to draw attention to myself)

Last week was SO GOOD (clear logical thought, that happens to reflect MLE writing, honest open conversation, . . . it was just good stuff. I was ready to see . . . have . . be . . . watch . . . MORE OF THAT. I was SO excited to see what would happen today - Ready for more of the same. But instead, I sat, butt glued to a pew, trying not to get angry (I hate being angry) remembering all the things I hated about WVC - all the things I hate in general, the reasons I was never gonna go back (I'd forgotten a lot of that stuff - I don't like to feel it all over again)
I can't blame the guys for needing a week off - but I wished they would have just canceled it (and said "It's canceld") instead of trying to merge the two services together.

I feel like I was tricked into attending the big service.
I'm not happy.
Right now I don't even know if I want to go back.
I wanna throw things, and hit and yell for a while
Instead, I'm going to put on my happy smilely face and have Sunday Dinner with my whole lotta family in town this week - - I can already feel a "perma smile" headache coming on.

UPDATE I no longer feel the need to throw a general temper tantrum. Anger has been replaced with disapointment, but I'm not sure at what or to whom the disapointment is directed (I think it's me - although I doubt it matters).

I tell my kids they always (ALWAYS!) have a choice. I didn't like the options, but I did have a choice. I chose to stay. I could have gotten up and left once I recognized the "toxic environment", but I decided not to draw unwanted attnetion to myself. It's OK! If there's a next time, I can make a different decision (and because I stayed today, next time will be an informed choice!)

( - : There's nothing like quality journal time (and a good dinner!) to sort things out (that's also a MLE idea - you just gotta love that woman!) My relatives think I'm diligently working on my important school stuff! (I haven't cracked a book all day!) A graduate education is a nice excuse to be anti social ( - :

Saturday, October 19, 2002

Tuesday, in addition to reciting my poem, I get to give a presentation advocating for Arts Funding! Everyone in my silly communications class will get to practice begging for cash, and we will give the same presentations 3 times between now and December! (yippee! Not only do I get to givie my own 15 minute presentation three times, but I also get to listen to my classmates present their 15 minute speeches three times! Now my classmates are great people, and I'll enjoy listening to them the first time around, but after that I'm going to need to find seomthing else to keep my brain occupied!)

Big Surprise - - I'm going to approach my plea for money, from an education angle, with the latest brain research to support my claims. I looked through some of my notes from the brain "stuff" we did at Jordan Creek last year, and did a quick search for more info. I came across this fabulous article. I don't know how useful it will be for my mock presentation, but it's a worthwhile diversion!

Selected Gems:
- Because the arts can be expensive, their presence throughout human history reflects their importance.

- The arts, language, and mathematics have important biological values in themselves, beyone their marvelous interactive properties. Must math also enhance music to remain in the curriculum?

- Is spelling really biologically more important than melody, when both express culturally significant sequential information? Are our innate music networks something like unwanted tonsils or appendix tissue to be removed rather than to be understood and enhanced?

- Humans have a seemingly innate desire to go beyond the mundane, and to do it with style and grace.

- The arts are often the celebration of the ordinary, but we tend to celebrate artists, musicians, dancers, and athletes whose movement patterns are extraordinary.

- One marvelous aspect of the arts is that they cognitively stimulate both those who do them and those who observe others do them. The arts are a total win-win situation.

Read the entire article here.

Friday, October 18, 2002

AAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!! We had a technology "training" today. AAGGHH! I endured the painful two hour process, but it wasn't pretty. They hired a professional from some Ed Tech consulting firm to come speak. OH MY!! OH MY OH MY OH MY!! I think I lost 15 IQ points during the presenation! The woman said "uh" 28 times in five minutes (I counted!) I didn't count all the "you knows". One would expect a professional consultant/ speaker to have overcome "you know. . uh . . problems"!

She told us how to "copy and paste" into a word processing file, and then how to use a search engine, then we did a mini lesson in groups (my group was quite surprised to see my evil- sarcastic-this-is-a-waste-of-time-side) . The technology "standards" she presented were so vague and broad that it seems pointless to even have them, and we wrapped up by talking about things students and teachers need to know about technology (I totally zoned out at this point and began memorizing the poem I'm going to recite Tuesday. It is one of many Public Speaking Exercises "Mr. Writing Teacher" piled on us for this week. (We get to choose our own poems, but they MUST take 60 seconds to present.) I found a cute little poem full of violence and rhymes!! I'll make sure to post it this weekend - after I've memorized it (I'm very close - between that awful training, and a half hour traffic jam, I have 5 of the 7 stanzas learned - so I suppose today was not a TOTAL waste!)

Benjamin Zander dreams big dreams. His dream at the moment is to put a recording of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in the hands of every man, woman, and child on Earth. Neat Guy - I read an excerpt from his book (at his website) and downloaded his Beethoven. It's not the greatest writing, or the best performance on earth, but he tries. A fun little website.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

The guy in charge of the Natulius Music Theater called me today. I'd say "we talked" but he did most of the talking (I'd heard he was rather extroverted!) He is mailing me some info this weekend (Philosophy, a copy of the grant proposal that would pay me, and "stuff") and said he wants to experiment with "new management techniques" (whatever that means!) It's an 8 month gig (because that's how long the grant goes) with an expecation that as a part of the job, I'd find funding to continue the job (Now that's a reason to get up and go to work in the morning!!!!) He wants to find someone who will "fit" - and I like that a lot (Sure a paid internship - which could last indefinately, provide contacts, and lets me in on the messy details of a crazy growing organization - is GREAT!! But it's nice to know that if I land the postition - it's not just because he needs a warm body to do scut work - - - - ya know?

On Planet Julie, Madeline L'Engle is the definitive authority on almost everything. (It amazing, but this 80 year old woman, whom I have never met, totally understands me. She just "gets it." In the course of conversation last Sunday, some things were said that reminded me of a MLE quote. I looked up the other night (it took forever to find, I almost had to re-read the entire book!) . . . .

Strange: If a review is good, I am delighted,
but I don't take it quite seriously.
If a review is bad, I fall right into that
old trap of hurt pride: hubris.

Mr. "Writing Teacher" has been feeding me LOTS of compliments (and nice grades) the last few weeks. When we presented our first speech - no grade, no points, strictly an assessment thing to create goals and such. THE MAN loved my presentation and make me the classic "good example." But . . . but the man is a turkey. I am happy he likes my work. I LOVE the grades that come with the compliments. But really, what does he know about anything (Afterall, he believes all sentences should have a word limit of 14!!!) MLE understands - and that's part of her amazing-ness!

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

I've got a secret.
I'm not supposed to know, but I'm such a good guesser that I figured it out!
It's a really good secret too .
I giggle everytime I think about it
Only 4 people in the whole world know this secret!
But that's all I'm saying
So don't try to get any more out of me!!!

Sunday, October 13, 2002

I was once teaching at a workshop and saw a kid wearing
a t-shirt that said "If you don't practice, you don't deserves to
I immediately wrote this on the chalkboard in my classroom.
Then the first student of the morning walked in, looked at it, and said
"If you don't dream, how will you know what to practice?"

Excerpted from a (Very Recent) Ed Sprunger Post to the Americian String Teachers Listserv.

ANOTHER FABULOUS SUNDAY MORNING!!!!!! Every Sunday morning. my housemates (a.k.a. The Parent People & Brother 'fella) leave for a couple hours, and I have the entire house to myself. I can to do whatever I like and BE ALONE!! I can turn up the CD player. I can read in peace. I can think, I can breathe, I can sleep, I can hog the computer or the bathroom without guilt. It's a good good thing.

Saturday, October 12, 2002

I forgot to bring a calculator to Fin Mang. Today (OOPS!) That means what should have been simple calculations become long division nightmares!! I think that's sufficient punishment (i'll never forget my calc. again - Lesson Learned - even if it was the hard way!) I love the Finc. Management Class. The lady teaching it is a firecracker and I love her style (except she calls on me too much!) She never gives up on a student. If I don't know the answer to her question, she will not let me off the hook - instead she sticks with me asking more questions until I finally 'get it'! And it's not super uncomfortable because she does that to everyone no just me!) All this accounting stuff makes sense then I expected it to(but only in a abstract-controlled-workbook- theoretical- classroom- kind- of -way) It's a happy class!

Friday, October 11, 2002

It has occoured to me that my last couple of posts have been less than happy, sunshiney, joyous, giggling, lollypops and rainbows kind of positive. A lot of what I've written in the last week sounds downright negative (I didn't know I was in such a bad mood until I saw it on the computer screen! Amazing thing this technology!)

So, I'm going to make a concentrated effort to post something fun, to prove to myself (and anyone reading this) that I'm not as big of a grouch as it looks like!!!

I got to see my brother's band performance at the High School Football Game. I have not gotten to attend any of Phil's band things for a couple of years. . . Those band uniforms may look really dumb up close, but on the field, he looked so professional (I think he stands up taller when he's playing with "his band") Now I only went to 2-3 football games in High School ( I only went because I was dating a guy who was a football player) I think to half a game during my entire college career. It's SO B O R I N G ! ! ! Anyway, going for 15 minutes to hear the boy play was good. I enjoyed it!

Another Happy Shinny Smiley of course is the Miller-Boy. My brilliant newpher can say "uh ohh" and "up" although he hasn't got a clue what the words mean (He'll say "uh-oh" when he wants to be picked up. Or he'll say "UP" when he's already being held. Sometimes he just says "uh-oh" for the fun of it!) Of course, It's lots of fun to watch him try and talk - I'm still working on the word "COOKIE" (I've been training him for "cookie" since we first met!) He is now a proficient crawler and loves to stand up. My favorite game is AIR PLANE - the same air plane uncle Rob and aunt Lynnie used to play with us. Happy memories! (uncle Rob took his nephews for motorcycle rides - - I need to get a motorcycle - not for my own enjoyment - but so I can take Miller for rides!! It's practically a VW family tradidion right??!!)

The William Tell Lesson Plans I'm trying it today with my 3rd Grade. My 3rd Graders are Holy TERRORS at 2:45 on a Friday, and I'm feeling lousy - the lessons I PLAN just don't work with those kids we'll see how a prepackaged lesson plan works. (Maybe it's a self fulfilling prophecy, but I don't hold out much hope!)

From This mornings ArtsJournal
Couples matched via HurryDate's fast-track mating service are offered, for their first date, a pair of free tickets to a Tronto Symphony Orchestra concert � plus a $50 gift certificate toward dinner at the Duncan Street Grill, within walking distance of Roy Thomson Hall. For the TSO, it's a chance to fill empty seats with people who might get hooked on concert-going.
Read the entire article HERE. I'm impressed - way to go TSO! That's some pretty creative, out-side-the-box thinking.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Inspiration usually comes during work
rather than before it.
- Madeleine L'Engle

MORALE CONTINUES TO FALL Half the teachers were gone today - they got subs for most (not all!) of them (The janitor covered a reading group this morning!) The 4/5th grade class is now at 22 with another kid starting next week (in a school that promises parents and teachers they'll cap at 20). One staff member is seriously considering resigning. The principal lied to a teacher about staffing adjustments that aren't going to be made. The computer lab techs have taken over the computer lab (as they should!) But they don't like it when I teach in there (I don't like to teach in there BUT there is no other room for me to teach in!) And they don't allow students to work on computers (OK - so what's a computer lab for then???)

I've said before that this school was a great dream - a beautifully impossible dream. But I'm starting to wonder if the director is dreaming more than doing. Her door is ALWAYS closed (with a "Do Not Disturb" sign permanently taped to it). She does not want to be involved in disipline issues (we can't send kids to the principals office . . . ) The troops are not happy and she is choosing to ignore it. The whole "at will" employment thing works out really well FOR HER without a contract she can stick an extra 2 - 3 kids in every classroom. Of course staff can quit at any moment - but most teachers aren't going to leave their class after 5-6 weeks (that's so unfair to the kids!)

The bummer is, there is so much I like about this school. There are so many kids who are there to really learn and do great things (but the kids who are there because they were kicked out of the public schools far outnumber them!) It's sad.

Monday, October 07, 2002

I'm a whimp and it's too cold outside! On the plus side, I'm wearing a lovely sweater I haven't seen for 6 months (it's like a long lost friend!) and sipping wonderfully rich hot coco. It might be cold (and wet and windy) but life is good!

The staff development workshop was so-so. They didn't say anything I hadn't already heard, but it was a nice review. The speaker presented well - although my attention span was about 5 minutes today (I'll be honest - I wasn't really taking notes - I was working on my latest stupid paper for my stupid communications class) Tomorrow is our LAST writing class (That means we are half done!!) The second part of the class will be public speaking. Next week's homework . . . "Give a speach on why your favorite art form is your favorite" (I don't really have a favorite art form - I know and understand music, but I love literature and theather and visual art just as much . . . Ah well - that's a delima I choose not to think about right now!

Sunday, October 06, 2002

Whatever you do will be insiginficant,
but it is very important that you do it.
- Mahatma Gandhi

New-ness is cool and exciting!
But I have (way too often) confused novelty for "right-ness"
I've been searching for years for someone(s) or someplace to have serious conversations about "deep stuff." The problem is I can't just discuss really heavy things with strangers (and I'm slow to warm up anyway - it takes time for me to consider anyone as something more than a "stranger"). I've looked in lots of places trying to find the right kind of people to connect with and have serious conversations. Every time I find a place worth checking out, I automaticially starting thinking it's "THE MAGIC PLACE" because I mistake the novelty and new-ness for intergrity and depth.

After spending significant time in the "new place" I realize it's the same as everywhere else. People don't go beyond small talk, (or "correct talk"). They are shallow, dangerous, people who never had an original thought in their life! I don't want to have discussions with puppets who say what they think they ought to say and just recite the standard party lines. (I know the "correct" things to say and think - but I don't like them, don't believe them, and don't want them!) I want real thoughts and ideas with real people (or persons) who can't be shocked. People who dream and imagine. And I really want it now. I'm tired of searching.

I don't want to be let down again. I've met some people here in MN over the summer who might be real. Of course, what I want them to be, what I've imagined they could be, is most certainly way off. Things never happen according to the imaginary script in my head. BUT they've said some things, things that give me hope, things that suggest they might be open minded and able to do "big talk" about real things and ideas (i'm almost giddy at the thought!) I don't want to hope too much . . . I don't want it not to work out.

Saturday, October 05, 2002

MUSIC REVIEW! Sony Classical sent me a promo CD in exchange for a bunch of demographic data and my e mail address (let the spam begin!) But it'll all be worth is for Track 8- Mythoda by Vangelis - - FABULOUS PIECE. Must play loud and often.
from the liner notes
Composed by Vandelis, Mythodea features world renowned sopranos Kathlees Battle and Jessye Norman. Inspired by mythological sources, the work was chosen to commemorate the Nasa Mission: 2001 Mars Odyssey. Catch a live concert performance of the piece form Athens Temple of Zeus on PBS."

The other really spiffy piece on the album is the FAURE Pavane for Guitar and Orchestra (with John Williams on guitar!) I played Pavane in college, (with a flute soloist) and HATED IT!! (There is nothing worse than a slow, soft, repetitive piece at the end of a long, long rehearsal - and for some reason Holcomb always scheduled Pavane last!) Anyway, it's a rotten piece to play, but a great listen ( - :

Friday, October 04, 2002

The average three year old, living in wealth, has a larger vocabulary than the average adult on welfare!!
This blows my mind - A three year old (someone not allowed to cross the street, someone who can't tie their own shoes, has never been to school, and probably can't remember their phone number) knows more words than a 30 year old adult!

I can't decide if the Culture of Poverty frustrates me or inspires me. The lack of words (as documented by Payne) frustrates me. The concept /attitude of "fate," instead of personal decisions and choices, frustrates me. The lack of respect frustrates me. The constant touching bothers me (I like hugs at the end of the day - I don't like being huged or having my hair braided while I'm teaching!) The laughter when it's time to be serious bothers me, and the constantly loud voices bother me..

BUT . . . the community and relationships inspire me (Students and parents look out for each other and take care of each other on a much deeper level than would ever be allowed in Middle Class Suburbia). The forgiveness half of the "penance - forgiveness ritual" inspires me. (No one holds a grudge - - there might be a couple hours of intense anger, but my students get over it relatively quickly -- no matter how deeply they were hurt). The humor, the creativity, the commaradary, it's totally amazing and it all inspires me! I love it, I hate it, it challenges me, it frustrates me - - it's a lot of fun (except for when it's not!)

Next week, one of Ruby Payne's minions will be in town to do a workshop on teaching in high poverty situations. In any other school district, 2-3 teachers might get to go, while remaining teachers taught a regular school day. BUT . . . Because we are a charter school (and don't have to follow silly state regulatoins!) our principal decided to CANCEL school on Monday so staff could attend this workshop. (Cool - Very Cool!) I'm looking forward to it. I wanna know more. I wanna figure it out. (Do you suppose it's actually possible for a staff development day to be useful and relevant??)

Thursday, October 03, 2002

Do you really think this government is going to use terrorism as an excuse to censor art?" one silver-haired socialite asked her friend . . . "How can they get away with that?

"Earlier this month . . . a Yugoslav concert pianist scheduled to play the Carmel Bach Festival in California was denied a visa because immigration officials concluded he was not gifted enough. . . . It doesn't take much effort to imagine that these seemingly subjective, often silly decisions, will be streamlined for use in this country's cultural wars. This administration is aligned with right-thinking censors who routinely attack arts organizations such as the Walker. And just as the U.S. Patriot Act defines "terrorism" so broadly that it could include labor unions and political protestors, the Border Security Act makes it possible for the Justice Department to wreak vengeance on artists who produce work critical of the U.S. or its behavior abroad."
Read the whole article here

According to this article on Arts Journal Anyone who bought a CD between 1995 and 2000 could, as a result of a settlement with the music recording industry, get refunds. BUT one needs a receipt to qualify for the cash. (Are there really people out there who are organized to keep and file SEVEN YEARS worth of CD receipts??)

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

It's time for me to get cracking on interships and practicums!
Of course, the two obvious places are The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and The Minnesota Orchestra BUT they aren't the only music gigs in town. I'll need to spend time at 3 different sites, and I'm thinking Smaller is Better and the SPCO and MN Orch might not be the best places. My current list of places to research . . . .

WAMSO�Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Association provides support for the Minnesota Orchestra and promotes music education.
Core Values - Music enhances life.
- Music education is essential to lifelong learning.
- The Minnesota Orchestra is a vital resource in our community.
- Volunteers provide an invaluable link between the Minnesota Orchestra and the community
SNORE! Are those really the best values they can come up with?? I'm trying to stay open and positive - but COME ON!!

It is the mission of Nautilus Music Theater to explore the dynamics of individual and communal integrity through the creation, development, and production of new operas and other forms of music-theater, along with innovative producitons of existing work.
This is the one could involve a paycheck - VERY COOL!

Our mission is to explore the interaction of voices and instruments through innovative programming of music, past and present.
We seek to engage and enrich our audiences, who expect from us the unexpected.
Our focus is on commissioned and first performances of music as well as important, but rarely heard, works of the past.
VocalEssence is VERY exciting - they are the ones who do impossible things and DREAM! They also have an opening for an education director . . . . hhhhhmmmmm.........

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

COMPLIMENT OF THE DAY . . . A kindgardener told me that I tie shoes "almost as good as Mr. G!" (With 40 some kindgardeners around, I get lots of practice!)