Friday, January 31, 2003

The good news . . . I feel great!!! For the first time in 4 days I don't want to crawl back into bed and hide from the world. I can swallow without pain. I can breathe! BUT . . . I have no voice. (none, nadie, zipo, zilch!) Not talking is far more difficult than I would have expected it to be (I'm such a chatterbox you know!!) I'm gonna have a great time teaching this afternoon (a Milli Vanilli Music Teacher!!!)

UPDATE: I was being scarcastic when I wrote "I'm gonna have a great time teaching this afternoon" But it ended up being really FUN!! The kids loved trying to guess my pantomines and sound out the messages I wrote down. (I was quite the novelty - - one kid told her classroom teacher "Ms. VW forgot how to talk!" Several other kids tried wanted me to explain why my voice was gone (Try to explain lyrangitis to a 7 year old without talking!!)

Thursday, January 30, 2003

1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?

The correct answer is: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?

Did you say, " Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator? " (Wrong Answer)Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door.This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.

3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend except one. Which animal does not attend?

Correct Answer: The Elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there.This tests your memory.OK, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.

4. There is a river you must cross but it is inhabited by crocodiles. How do you manage it?

Correct Answer: You swim across. All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting.This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.According to Anderson Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the professionals they tested got all questions wrong. But many preschoolers got several correct answers. Anderson Consulting says this conclusively disproves the theory that most professionals have the brains of a four year old!

Thanks Kristie!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Itzhak Perlman will be undergoing shoulder surgery in February. He'll be out of comission for at least three months.
article via ArtsJournal

George Washington died from a throat infection!!
If I'm not here tomorrow - you'll know why.
Being sick sucks.
(Although it explains why I've been so grouchy the last couple days)

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

You might be a graduate student if . . .
you'd rather have a laptop computer than a Lexus
you correct the local newspaper as you read it
you have accepted guilt as an inherent feature of relaxation
you can study and cook at the same time
you find yourself explaining to children that you are in "20th grade"
you look forward to taking some time off to do laundry
you procrastinate by starting as assignment for another class
you wonder how long you can live on macaroni and cheese without getting scurvy.

More here

IT'S SNOWING (and it looks very pretty!) There's enough to cover the grass, but not enough for a snow day (we don't have to make up snow days - so I'm even worse than I was last year about wishing for school cancelations!!!)

Monday, January 27, 2003

GGGRRR. . . . My boss told me this afternoon that I'm loosing my desk and cubicle at the end of the hallway because they want a place for parent volunteers to work (???????) SO . . . I have to clean out all my stuff and move into the 5th grade classroom by next week (5th grade teacher is "donating" a corner of her room for me and my file cabinet) Not Happy. VERY Not Happy. (Just in case anyone's keeping track, the score looks like this - - Practically No Materials, No Classroom, No Plan Time, No Desk - - and they ran out of snacks today so I didn't get a Rice Krispie Treat either).

Sunday, January 26, 2003

So much work to do (I really ought to work on my Fin Man Paper) But I don't feel like doing it (any of it!) (By the way, get ready for some mega whining - - I have 13 papers to write between now and April 15!!)

Instead of working, I'm re-planing my life. I've considered taking a full load of classes this summer (since I won't be teaching - I should have more time to devote to school). I've also thought about the need to make MONEY this summer (Maybe I should land some sort of day time job (doing what?? Daycare?? Retail?? Fast Food??) and keep with my part time schedule. I also thought about if I ought to do an internship this summer (I'm scheduled to - but I don't know if I'm really ready to do a second internship)

I considered taking out more loans (UGH!) I thought about moving out of Yuppie-ville (can't afford to think about that!) Thinking about the backpacking I wanted to do this summer (probably not gonna happen). Thinking about next summer. Thinking about the case study I ought to be working on (a very boring one!) Thinking about life, thinking about how much I don't like this semmester, thinking about this week, thinking about being stuck in a rut and needing an adventure. Thinking about what else I could be doing to avoid what I should be doing. Thinking Thinking Thinking.

The original framers of the constitution thought copyright protection should last only 28 years! (By contrast, The Happy Birthday Song will be 137 years old before it enters public domain!!)

Friday, January 24, 2003

The Student Council declared today "Dress Like a Teacher Day" (with a corrosponding - "Dress Like a Student Day!" for teachers) at our little academy. Our kids wear uniforms Monday - Thursday - - -so staff dressed in student uniforms today (we were gosh darn cute!!) Most students opted for jeans and sweatshirts instead of "teacher-wear" - but there were a handfull who dressed up - and they did a great job (one second grader copied the style of her classroom teacher EXACTLY!!! Hilarious!! TWO kids dressed up like me! (aaaawwwww!!! Warm Fuzzies!!!) Of course they looked FABULOUS!!!!

I think I just figured out how to post stolen images here! (cool!)
This one is lilfted from Americans for the Arts

From todays paper . . .
* Roughly 11 million out of the 22 million of Iraq's
total citizens are under the age of 18.
* In Iraq, children as young as 12 are
organized into untis for milirary training.
* About 300,000 chidren under 18 (boys and girls)
are serving as combatants around the globe.
* Children are fighting in three-fourths of the worlds conflicts.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Someone from the Public Health Dept. is coming next week to show my 3rd-5th graders THE VIDEO! (As if this job wasn't difficult enough - now my kids are gonna have hormones!)

Back when I was young and stupid (yesterday) I thought it was cool to take advantage of the free parking downtown - - I had to walk a bit to get to my internship, but that was an essential part of the Bohemian Charm! PLUS I saved about 10 bucks a week not using the ramps! Today I realized there's nothing "cool" about it. When the temp is -5 (I won't mention wind chills) that 15 minute hike is downright COLD (and possibly stupid!)

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

An Interview with Mickey Mouse regarding the Supreme Court Copyright Ruling ( - :
(via ArtsJournal)

Monday, January 20, 2003

AAGGHH!!! I've come to the conclusion that this "Cultural Studies" class is going to be every bit as annoying as that "writing class" was. You can tell by the notes to doodles ratio how useless (or useful) a class is. Normally I have 1-2 doodles per page of notes. Tonight I had half a page of notes to half of page of drawings. (By contrast, my Fin Man notes have almost NO doodles!)

Tonight we learned how to operate the multi-media system (press the button labeled "power"!) We defined culture (almost everything is culture!) And spent the remaining time disussing the "essential elements" of assorted art forms. I learned NOTHING. However, the night is not totally lost - I have begun a list of Larry-isms (Larry is the dean and founder of the program - - he is co-teaching this course) Here are the Larry phrases that made me giggle tonight . . .

* It's the type of reverence that is very reverent
* Immigration still happens
* Men are female too you know
(he meant to say "feminists")
* Don't burn a novel until after you've read it!
* St. Cloud has to have art too!
* You can't buy a Playboy in Cincinnati

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal."

Dr. Martin Luther King's
I Have a Dream Speech
August 23, 1963

Happy MLK Day!!!
Happy FOUR DAY WEEKEND!! (Well . . . actually, I'm just lucky on the four day weekend thing - tomorrow is technically a staff development day but only for FULL TIME staff (which I am not!) so I get an extra day off - YIPEE!!!

Sunday, January 19, 2003

From Delfi's collection of e mail signatures . . . . .

Who says you can't fly?
Just throw yourself at the ground and miss

Saturday, January 18, 2003

One must have chaos in one
to give birth to a dancing star.
Friedrich Nietzche

Friday, January 17, 2003

Lessons learned the hard way (the first in what will undoubtedly become a series!)
If one leaves a bottle of water in one's car overnight in sub-zero temperatures it will freeze. If it is a full bottle of water, it might expand enough rip open a seam in the bottle. This, in and of itself, is not a problem. However, when one turns on the heat in one's car, or parks in a sunny spot, the ice will melt and become water. This water will leak out the cracks in the bottle. (Also not a big deal!) The problem comes when one continues to ignore the bottle of water laying on the floor of one's car over a period of several thaws and freezes. The leaked water will re-freeze into the carpet layering the floor with ice, and attaching the cracked water bottle to the floor of the car. The moral of the story - - people who leave water bottles in the car should move to a warmer climate eliminating such problems!

Thursday, January 16, 2003

I "auditioned" for the Dakota Valley Symphony tonight. Only two people in the whole wide world knew about it (Me and the gal with whom I set it up) I spent a whole lotta time over break stressing over, and fighting with, my Bach piece. I shouldn't have worried - the audition consisted of chatting with the director for 30 seconds about what part I wanted to play ("Second!!") And then listening to a 5 minute lecture about the dire need for additional firsts ("alright alright alright . . . I'll play first . . . just stop!"). We're playing Rhapsody in Blue and the guy doing the opening clarinet lick looks JUST LIKE Dr. Martin (I did a double, then a triple take on that one! Spooky!)

Also on the Fiddling Front - - I was asked this week if I'd play on a CD!! (I'm told the request is serious, although, he's never actually heard me play!) It's still kinda cool eh??

Harry Potter book 5 will be published June 21 (YIPEE!! - - about time!) I'm reserving my copy at Barnes and Noble this afternoon!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Jaime (the sister-in-law) has decided to become a pastry cheif. She's postphoning gastric bypass surgery so she can learn "the pastry arts" (giggle giggle giggle!!!)

Monday, January 13, 2003

I got this quote tonight from my Cultural Studies (???) Class -- I LOVE IT! (It's a really good blog quote - don't be surprised when you see it incorporated into my template someday soon!!!)

Originality does not consist
in saying what no one has ever said before,
but in saying exactly what you
are thinking yourself.

(I'm not going to attribute this to anyone - because according to my Google Search - - at least 5 different people can claim this as their own - since I'm not going to list all of them - I"ll just "forget" to give a citation!!!)

We talked a lot about creativity tonight (elements of creativity, antithetical traits of crativity, the creative process and being in "flow" - - I think I'm going to like that part of this class - - I've been thinking a lot about creativity recently and this seems to naturally come out of that.

The part I'm not going to like is the "Panoramic Historical Arts Review" (A historical, chronological method has GOT to be the most boring way to study the arts) The course objective is to expand my arts horizions enough that I'd be comfortable enough to take a job in an art gallery or with a dance company - - but it'd be so much more fun to go disipline / subject approach instead of historical approach (I really can't get that excited about the any art form of the antiquity - - but I can get excited learning about photography or sculpture!!!) Yeah yeah yeah I know the historical context is important (and I like history - but not sluggling through millions of years of old old old stuff!!) Whine Whine Whine.

Next week an arts critic is going to come speak to the class - I think I'd like to be an arts critic (you'd get great tickets to all the concerts, shows, and events!!!!) I think my creative side shows up best in my writing - but it's SO DIFFICULT - so I don't think I'm going to be a writer (although I tend to end up in position or groups where I end up doing the writing . . . ) Maybe in my next life it'll get easier and THEN I can be critic!!!!!

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Planet Julie has a New Theme Song My startling realization of the day is that Andy (my younger brother) is officially a grown up (he's got a wife, a house, a kid, an SUV . . . . you can't get more grown up than that!!!) Now I've always been a slow grower (I didn't loose my first tooth until I was 8 years old - - Brian Wagner, who had a desk next to me in second grade, had already lost five teeth before I lost even one! It's not like he had a 6 month head start or something - we were exactly the same age and had the same birthday! (There was a big snow strom that day, so it was indoor recess, but our class got double treats because my mom made cupcakes and Brian's mom brought cupcakes - - very cool!!) For my party that year we went to a children's theater and saw Pinachio! (other kids went to the McDonald's Playland, or ShowBiz Pizza for their birthdays - but I thought it'd be cool to go to a play - - one person I invited didn't come because she didn't think a play was cool enough for a party! I guess that's her loss - - I don't even remember her name anymore - but she was one of the "popular" kids - so at the time my feelings were kinda hurt (and I had no loose teeth, or tooth fairy money to console me!!)

ANYWAY I've always been a slow grower, but I don't think I'm ready to be a grown up - - - yet most the people from my child and teenager -hood are ADULTS (even Kristie and Stephie - - who are SO MUCH younger than I am - - are ADULTS! Some of my high school classmates have 6, 7, and 8 year old children (who probably wiggling their loose teeth even as I type this!!) Scarey. Very Scarey . . . .
�Cause growing up is awful-er
than all the awful things
that ever were
I won't grown up
won't grow up
never grow uuuppp!

Saturday, January 11, 2003

I just got off the phone with my boss - she is not going to try and hire another Spanish teacher - - SO the schedule has been Re-done (again!) The good news is my Kindgarden, 1st and 2nd graders will now get 135 minutes of music a week (WOW!!!) More good news - classroom teachers shouldn't loose too much prep time. BAD NEWS . . . it's not possible to do all this without taking away my Orchestra Lessons time. (I have not actually seen the schedule yet) This makes me sad (One of the really exciting things about this job is I get to create an orchestra program FROM SCRATCH!!!) I need to come up with a plan before I go talk to my boss on Monday - - I'm thinking about offering to come in early a couple times a week to do lessons and hope she'll offer to pay me some sort of stipend. I could ask for money - but that's too uncomfortable and I want her to know that it's important - - even without money!

I also have this idea floating around in my head about a summer music program. I want my strings kids to keep playing over the summer. Right now we have no summer programs - so this is totally uncharted teritory.I have lots of ideas . . . but don't know what would be feasable with the summer schedule. I'm thinking about bringing that up on monday too - we'll see.

Friday, January 10, 2003

"Sometimes, a person needs a story more than food to stay alive"

from Barry Lopez's Crow and Weasel

According to ArtsJournal The Vienna Philharmonic hired its first female musician!, Ursula Plaichinger, a 27-year-old viola player, appeared unannounced at the New Year's Concert in Vienna.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Why Used Books are Better than New Books
Whenever I read any book I'm in constant dialouge with myself and the author. I also underline, write in the margins, and plaster sticky notes on important pages. Over break I picked up the Cultural Creatives - - (neat book - I like it - watch for some quotes in the very near future!!) But the really cool thing is that the person who owned it before me highlighted and wrote thoughts in the margins - - so there are three peoples ideas (mine, hers, the authors) all floating together - - it's almost like a discussion (and she has some great points to make!) (Used books are also cheaper than new books!!)

Jon's international policy thought of the day . . . . "You know .. . . it'd really suck if some random crazy American went to another country and suicide bombed them . . . And then that country decided to avenge it by blowing up the U.S."

Jon's postal policy thought of the day . . . "IF I get a package, and whoever sent it didn't put enough postage on it - - it gets mailed out anyway and I end up having to pay Postage Due. I can pay the 2 bucks and receive my package - - but if I refuse to pay what's due, the postoffice will ship it back (and presumably it will cost the $2 to return to sender) why don't they just give me the package - it'll save them money?!

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Yesterday I cried.
I came home, went straight to my room
Sat on my bed, kicked off my shoes
and I had myself a good cry.
I'm telling you,
I cried until my nose was running
I cried until my ears were hot
I cried until my head was hurting so bad
that I could hardly see the pile of soiled tissues
lying on the floor at my feet.
I want you to understand,
I had myself a really good cry yesterday.

Yesterday I cried
for all the days I was too busy, or too tired, or too mad to cry.
I cried for all the days and all the ways
and all the times I had dishonoured, Dis-respected
disconnected my Self from myself
only to have it reflected back to me in the ways
others did to me
the same things I had already done to myself.
I cried for all the things I had given, only to have
them stolen
For the all the things I had asked for that had yet
to show up
For all the things I had accomplished only to give
them away to people and circumstances
which left me feeling empty, battered and plain old used.
I cried because there really does come a time when the
only thing left for you to do is cry
Yesterday, I cried....

... Yesterday I cried.
I cried because I hurt. I cried because I was hurt.
I cried because hurt has no place to go
except deeper into the pain that caused it in the
first place,
and when it gets there, the hurt wakes you up.
I cried because it was too late.
I cried because it was time.
I cried because my soul knew that I didn't know
That my soul knew everything that I needed to know.
I cried a soulful cry yesterday and it felt so good.
It felt so very very bad.
In the midst of my crying, I felt my freedom coming
Yesterday, I cried
With an agenda...

Iyanla Vanzant
Thank you O.! (you have no idea how much I needed this!)

Is it Me?? You may recall that the spanish teacher at my little academy quit last November (kind of a good thing) We hired a sub - but she quit after one day. We found a different sub who did a great job through December. Yesterday the NEW spanish teacher started - -- and she quit on her way out the building yesterday (she lasted two and a half hours!)

Monday, January 06, 2003

Blood Pressure Estimate - 220 / 97 . . . . . At 12:55 my boss stopped me in the hallway to let me know about a schedule change - the entire schedule had changed so I had 20 minutes to figure out what I was going to teach my afternoon classes - - then after school, our staff meeting went late (way late) and I had to speed like a madman to get to SMU by 6 - - only to discover that class is canceled - - - I haven't felt that under pressure pressure - adreleine - in the zone - it's impossible feeling for a long long long time. It's kinda fun (I can say that now - I don't think I would have said that at 1:04 or at 5:58 - - but I've had some time to calm down a little!!!)

Beethoven thought that through music he could change the world,
Today, rock musicians are virtually the only ones who think like that"

-Yo-yo Ma

Sunday, January 05, 2003

Blah . . . Feeling very restless. I spent all afternoon being sulk-y. A good ten hour mope ought to make a person feel human again, but I'm still feeling like a big 'ole grouch! I can't even get angry and throw a big yelling screaming tantrum - - - I'm just - - - BLAH. (Usually, when I feel this way, I know I need a vacation - but I'm on vacation!!!) Maybe I need a vacation from vacation. blah blah and double blah!

Saturday, January 04, 2003

What if my cat won't dance with me? Yesterday it was killer rice cakes, today it's The Wonderful World of Cat Dancing!! Maybe I just have a warped sense of humor (it's possible!) but this stuff is hilarious. (By the way, according to the FAQ section, some cats, like some people, will never dance!!) I can't stop giggling over this one!!! (Maybe I need to get out more!!)

Friday, January 03, 2003

Art and Music is the drug of choice for millions of kids.
If we expect them to "Just Say No" to a chemical high
then we must realize the healing alternative:
the power of their own creativity.
Demand and support the real anti-Drug Program

-Fred Babb

Rice Cakes Kill 6 in Japan
Yeah, rice cakes are evil - I'll take a Rusk (with cinnamon) over a crummy rice cake anyday!!

Thursday, January 02, 2003

I just added a "Blog Back" section (it's like a New Years Present to my website!!) SO dear readers, you can now comment on everything I write. You can write random "Hi!"s all over the place, or you can just read the stuff that other people wrote (Yes, everything written in the "Blog Back" section can be read by anyone else - - so think twice before posting your secret plans to overthrow the government!!) The e mail and website fields can be left blank if you'd prefer not to publish that to the whole wide world!

GGGGGRRRRRR . . . The SMU bookstore does not have ANY of the books I need for next semmester (never mind that classes start in 4 DAYS!!!!) I talked to the gal in charge and she said they are expecting books "any day now" (that's reassuring!) BUT they had titles (which is more than they had last time . . . . SO I went across the hall to the computers - - and just purchased 4/5ths of my books from Amazon re-sellers (I'm still within in sight of that awful, horrid, yucky, bookstore - - I even sneered at them as I placed my order! I feel much better now!!) Granted I won't have anything actually in hand for a week or so (but knowing they're coming makes that OK)
UPDATEMy local public library has a copy of one of the books!! YIPEE!! I love beating the system (esp. when the system is messed up!)

Wednesday, January 01, 2003