Monday, May 31, 2004

Memory Day

Up until the ripe old age of 13, I had seven grandparents (four regular grandparents and three great grandparents).
I was a lucky kid.

The worst part about getting older is loosing grandparents.
I have only two left.
Being Memorial Day, I want to write about my five "missing" grandparents . . .

Henry & Margaret Boomsma,Great Grandparents
Often refered to as "grandma and grandpa Boo"
Memories include a toy closet which included a battery operated toy stun-gun (w/o the batteries). As a kid I called them "the grandma(pa) with the gun in the closet" !!

Jody Vander Woude Grandmother
She died unexpectedly - two weeks before Christmas. I found out about her death just after lunch (macaroni-n-cheese and root beer). I was able to control the tears until after dinner (chicken enchaladias with rice) when I checked my mail - - there was a Christmas Card from her which she signed "hurry home."

Hilda Beukinga Great Gram
Everyone loves great gram. (note the present tense!) We went to her house almost every Saturday for lunch. We brought Jr.'s Hot Dogs and she made blueberry muffins (or ice cream!)for dessert. Afterwards we played legos, read the commics she saved for us each week, and played with her magnifying glass. (The fine art of learning how to start fires with a magnifying glass was learned at Great Gram's house!)

Paul Alkeam My Granpa
I still find myself mourning Grandpa A. I miss him so much. My strongest Granpa A. memory is Sunday pepermints after the weekly children's sermon.
As we walked back to our pew, he'd slip a pepermints to us (sneaky - very sneaky) as we passed by him. In 5th grade - when I decided 5th grade was too old for children's sermons - he sliped an extra one to my sister to give to me. (Because 5th grade is not too old for pepermints!)

Sunday, May 30, 2004

God has placed time bombs within us
set to go off and blow a gaping hole
in us to keep us searching.

-Alan Jones

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Creative America
We want the next President to make the maximization of our individual and collective creativity a national priority. We urge the appointment of a National Director of Creativity whose job it will be thoroughly examine the state of American creativity and recommend to the next President ways to preserve, celebrate and extend this vital national resource.

We don't have a prescription for maximizing creativity, but we do believe that two essential underpinnings of America's creative environment are a strong and vibrant system of public education and an open and tolerant society.

From Creative America Website
Inspiring and training artists and creative professionals to run for local office in 2006.


On June 13, I will no longer be teaching at The Little Academy,
and I won't be taking classes at SMU either.
Workaholics don't deal well with under employment.
I'm kinda scared.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Not Impressed With Myself . . .

My much anticipated interview was this morning.
We can all be very surprised if they actually offer me this internship.
I used to be capable of speaking in complete sentences, but not anymore.

Arts and Kids . . . I mean I like arts and kids . . . I mean my goal is to combine my background in education with the arts . . . My background in the arts . . . Administration . . . uh . . . yeah.

I'm consoling myself with the thought that a visual art person would serve their needs better than arts person. I'm consoling myself through the thought that maybe this isn't "the prefect" internship for me (a lot of it is leading classroom type activities, and I have TONS of experience leading and managing classroom activities. I don't need an internship in that).
But I suck at interviews.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Life & Stuff

1.) Phish is breaking up and the '95 Saturn SL is the most stolen car.
That makes me sad.

2.) I sent off an obscene number of grant propsals this morning (not 40 as I had hoped, but 25 is still a whole lotta proposals to send out at once!) And one of my office collegues, while cleaning up our database, found a school with a principal named "Mrs. Skinner" - - heehee - she's Principal Skinner!!
That makes me smile

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Sandra Day O'Connor

Whenever a glass ceiling appeared, O'Connor either ran around it or blasted through. Women like me, who have seldom faced that kind of discrimination, have no idea of the kind of strength required to deal with it. O'Connor uses the phrase, 'I had a great time!' often today, and you know she really means it. She loved working at the DA's office, and then opening her own practice, and then being a state senator, and then a judge. She loved doing it even when she had to, because no one would give her a regular job. When 'disaster struck' and she lost her baby sitter, she just stayed at home and did volunteer work for five years. She felt, and still feels, that she was lucky. But with all the talk of fun and chance, you sense that she forgets how hard she fought to make those chances pay off.[more]

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

From the Blog of Miss Steph (one of my WDM Valley Girls).
I decided to play the cello. That was probably the best decision I've ever made. Ms. Vander Woude was my first orchestra teacher and she. . . . was such a spaz.

(at this point I don't even care that it's an unpaid gig).
Interview = Good!

Saturday, May 22, 2004

This Just In

The Dakota Valley Symphony has announced the summer pops season.
Check it out!

Andrew Lloyd Webber: Spectacular
Suite from Chicago
Badelt: Pirates of the Caribbean
Copland: Hoe-Down
Williams: Raiders March
Ellington: It Don’t Mean A Thing if it Aint Got that Swing
Williams: Olympic Fanfare
Shore: Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
Anderson: Bugler’s Holiday
Stokes: Wings of Life and Wings of Invention

I've really missed the DVS crew and am happy happy happy happy (so happy) that I'll be able to play with them! Yipee!

Friday, May 21, 2004


1. There is blue marker all over my hands - I don't know why (or how).
2. Don't feel like doing any actual "work" today (maybe you've noticed!)
3. It's way to easy to day dream and putz when you're the only one in the office.

4. Only 15 more school days at The Little Academy
5. I've given up on finding a job
6. And have begun inquiring about summer internships
(Dija know MPR pays their interns!?)

7. That's all - for now - La De Dah, Fiddle De Doo!

Seek love and know perfection
Seek perfection, and achieve arrogance

From the Zoo Fence Gazebo

How I can even begin to solve crime when there
are grammatically incorrect signs in the bathroom?
From Ernie

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Music Teaching is Dangerous

Best line in the whole article . . .
A spokesperson . . . said [the school] now provides earplugs to music teachers

The Article
Via ArtsJournal

Yesterday . . .

The Scene:
We are standing outside the Historic St.Paul Hotel, right near the flower garden.
It's raining the light springtime sort of rain that is actually kinda pleasant.

He tells me I'm beautiful,
recites a poem,

(It's so tempting to stop the story here and just leave ya' hanging.
I can almost hear the Valley Girls squealing at the thought of a VW wedding.
But alas, it was not meant to be).

Despite the rain, flowers, and poetry - this was not how I fantisized my first marriage proposal. The doorman/bellhop saved the day by threatening to call the police, and stepping between me and the drunk (possibly high) suitor. The 'fella cused at the doorman, cursed at me, and walked into the street (nearly getting hit by a car).

Always look both ways before crossing the street!

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Marketing the Arts

Arts organizations are not what they produce. They are defined by the moment when what they produce, curate, or create comes into meaningful contact with a perceiver. The product or service requires both the art/artist and the audience, and therefore, both are part of the production.

So, by this way of seeing things, audiences aren't just required for your income and donor base, they are required to complete your reason for being. Extending it further, they are buying an opportunity to be part of that process. They are not consumers, they are co-producers.

From The Artful Manager:

Updated Update to the Last Update About Job Stuff

That job isn't going to happen - but that's OK. The boss and I just had a good chat today about what YA wants vs. my strengths, and . . . you can figure out the rest.
More on this later. I need to think.

Monday, May 17, 2004

I don't have a lot to say (that's why my last 10 entries have mostly been articles or quotes).There are two ducks waddling in my back yard at the moment. I'm going to go watch them.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Free Hugs

Jayson Littman is not especially lonely, or religious, or in need of cash - things that strangers might assume upon meeting him.

He is a financial analyst who happens to think that New Yorkers could use a hug. So it was, a month ago, that Mr. Littman began distributing hugs - free - from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village.

"At first I thought no one would respond," said Mr. Littman, 26, who lives in Manhattan. But on his first Sunday, standing before a giant hand-lettered sign that reads "Free Hugs," Mr. Littman and a friend embraced 200 people in two and a half hours. "There's a lot of war and blood in the world right now,'' he said, "and this helps to even it out."

[Full Article]

Back when I was camp counselor-ing at Logan, we had a waterfront director named Gulliver. Gulliver made a routine of hugging me at breakfast, a memory I had completely forgotten until just now.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

The Skinny on Dieting

If she were to eat, she would have energy; with ample stores of sugar to set off the buzz for intellectual exploration, starch to convert into restlessness in her elongating legs, fat to fuel her sexual curiosity, and the fearlessness born from a lack of concern over where her next meal will come from - she will get in trouble.

What if she doesn't worry about her body and eats enough for all the growing she has to do? She might rip her stockings and slam-dance on a forged ID to the Pogues, and walk home barefoot, holding her shoes, alone at dawn; she might baby-sit in a battered-women's shelter one night a month; she might skateboard down Lombard Street with its seven hairpin turns, or fall in love with her best friend and do something about it, or lose herself for hours gazing into test tubes with her hair a mess, or climb a promonotory with the girls and get drunk at the top, or sit down when the Pledge of Allegiance says stand, or hop a freight train, or take lovers without telling her last name, or run away to sea. She might revel in all the freedoms that seem so trivial to those who could take them for granted; she might dream seriously the dreams that seem so obvious to those who grew up with them really avaliable. Who knows what she would do? Who knows what it would feel like?

But if she is not careful she will end up: raped, pregnant, impossible to control, or merely what is now called fat. The teenage girl knows this. Everyone is telling her to be careful. She learns that making her body into her landscape to tame is preferable to any kind of wildness. Dieting is being careful.

- Naomi Wolf
from The Beauty Myth p. 217

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Why Bother Writing a Thesis?

At least 28 high-ranking government officials, including three managers responsible for emergency operations at nuclear facilities, have fake degrees from so-called diploma mills, according to a government report issued Tuesday... The investigation, which was prompted by a request from Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chair Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), found that these schools -- which charge a flat fee for a degree -- received at least $170,000 in government tuition-reimbursement funds. The GAO noted that although it was able to identify 28 high-level employees from eight different agencies who had degree-mill diplomas, 'this number is believed to be an understatement.' [more]
via ArtsJournal

Monday, May 10, 2004

Found in a photo album
Grandpa and Me

taken 14 years ago on a little mini-vacation
Do I look any different now that I've doubled in age?

**Note - if the above link does work, try cutting and pasting this

Cross Your Fingers!

Background Info: The current Program Director at Young Audiences is leaving to have a baby. The Program Director works directly with our artists and the schools to design and implement arts-in-education programs. (Just the kind of thing I want to do!)

Email From My Boss to Me:
I've attached a copy of the Program Director job description fyi. We haven't posted the position, but are accepting resumes from qualified individuals who are referred to us. If you know anyone who might be qualified, feel free to pass this along.

My Reply:
As one who is intimately familiar with school/teacher needs, very familiar with the work of Young Audiences, and months away from a Master's in Arts Administration -- Would I be considered a "qualified individual" if I referred myself for Kate's job? Nervously awaiting her response . . . Cross your fingers!

Boss just called (she's been out of the office). We are going to chat tomorrow morning! YIPEE!
UPDATED UPDATE Both Boss and I have been busy, (I have 40 little grant applications going out before the end of May) and have not had time to sit down and talk yet. Maybe next week ???

LA Philharmonic Perfroms Video Game Concert
A decade ago it would have been difficult to imagine that the beeping and whirring that accompanied most video games would have been worthy of the concert hall. But with the introduction of high-powered video-game consoles like Sony's PlayStation2 and Microsoft's Xbox, games could finally play on cue large audio files containing recordings of acoustic instruments instead of cheesy synthesized sounds. And as the game industry grew into an annual business of more than $7 billion, having high-quality music provided a competitive edge. [full article]
via ArtsJournal
username = ajreader
pass = access

Sunday, May 09, 2004

In Dishonor of Tomorrow Night

On Monday, ABC will air the first movie version of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic book, “A Wrinkle in Time". . . . In a rare interview held in the apartment on Manhattan's West End Avenue where she has lived for decades, L’Engle talked to Newsweek

NEWSWEEK: So you’ve seen the movie?
Madeleine L’Engle: I’ve glimpsed it.

NEWSWEEK:And did it meet expectations?
Madeleine L’Engle:Oh, yes! I expected it to be bad, and it is. [more]

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Dandelions are pretty.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Wednesday, May 05, 2004


A woman with an apparently insatiable sweet tooth stunned staff at a British shop when she bought more than 10,000 chocolate bars and had them loaded into her chauffeur-driven limousine.

The woman asked staff at a north London Woolworths branch for every single Mars bar in stock -- 10,656 of them packed in 220 boxes -- and paid for them in cash with 50 pound notes, a Woolworths spokesman said on Wednesday.

The total bill was 2,131 pounds ($3,828).

Monday, May 03, 2004

More from The Little Academy

Oh yeah . . . I'm also going to miss having a school nurse around to answer esoteric medical questions and give me free advice.

Enough happy-sappiness. It is time for the list of
Little Academy Things I Will Not Miss . . .

* Paychecks that bounce
* Enforcing and working within an educational philosophy that disagrees with my own.
* Incompetent / inconsistant Administration
* Random letters about my canceled health insurance because TLA forgot to pay the bill
* The stupid-so-called music "curriculum"
* Pink eye and other epidemics
* An almost complete lack of supplies and materials
* Crummy parents (I'll probably miss the good parents).
* The hellish commute
* Unspoken horrors

I have a hard time praying. It feels, usually, like a waste of time. It feels unproductive; my time would be better spent writing a paragraph or reading a book or practicing a conjugation or baking a pie. Sometimes whole weeks elapse when I hardly bother to pray at all, because prayer is boring; because it feels silly (after all, you look like you're just sitting there talking to the air, or to yourself, and maybe you are); but above all because it is unproductive. As Jo once put it, "If you spend a day in prayer, you cannot, at the end of the day, point to a pile of toothpaste tubes you made and say, 'that is what I did today.'"

Lauren Winner
from Girl Meets God p. 135

Sunday, May 02, 2004

It's Official . . .

On June 11, at 4:01, I will no longer be employed by The Little Academy.
I will loose my identity as a teacher.
And I feel surprisingly awful.

Last Friday (after slipping a carefully worded resignation into the boss' mail box), I skipped my plan period to enjoy afternoon recess outside with my kindagarden & 1st graders.
I'm going to miss that

I'm going to miss being called "Ms. VeeDub" (esp. by my ghetto kids - It's the cool street name I never had!)
I'll miss playing imagination / pretend games, singing the Arthur Theme Song, judging Silly Dance Contests, sneaking up on the 6th graders who are cursing behind their lockers, hugs, high fives, afternoon snack, and goofing around (working) with the world's GREATEST staff team.

I didn't expect to feel sad or sappy.
More later . . .

Saturday, May 01, 2004

A frog goes into a bank and approaches the teller. He can see from her name plate that the teller's name is Patricia Whack. So he says, "Ms. Whack, I'd like to borrow some money to buy a boat and go on a long vacation."

Ms Whack looks at the talking frog in disbelief and asks how much he wants to borrow. The frog says "$30,000." The teller asks his name and the frog says that his name is Kermit Jagger and that it's OK, as he knows the bank manager.

Ms Whack explains that $30,000 is a substantial amount of money and that he will need to secure some collateral against the loan. She asks if he has anything he can use as collateral.

The frog says, "Sure. I have this," and produces a tiny pink porcelain elephant, about half an inch tall, bright pink and perfectly formed.

Patti explains that she'll have to consult with the Manager and disappears into a back office. She finds the manager and says: "There's a talking frog named Kermit Jagger out there who claims to know you and wants to borrow $30,000. And he wants to use this as collateral!" She holds up the tiny pink elephant. "I mean, what the heck is this?"

So the bank manager looks back at her and says:

(wait for it ......)

"It's a knick knack, Patti Whack. Give the frog a loan. His old man's a Rolling Stone."