Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Random Musing

Today I saw this guy. He was walking out of the bank as I walked in, and he had a PARROT on his shoulder! My brain thought "Kinda like a pirate." And then my brain thought "But why would a pirate have a parrot on his shoulder?" (It's not an obviously useful pet, and training an animal to do anything takes time and patience, what would a parrot eat out in the middle of the ocean?)

Word's Worth and A Pirate's Life both have interesting info on the parrot/pirate relationship. A few tidbits (for those who have become curious by my random forray into pirate-dom!)

The more exotic the animal, the more in demand and the more valuable the animal would be. A talking bird would fetch a few doubloons in the Royal Courts of Europe, as would New World Monkeys. We also know that if something was of value, then pirates would plunder it. We also know that some pirates were known for their garish costumes. Whatever was good enough for the royal courts was also good enough for the well-to-do Pirate. To own an exotic animal would have been a status symbol. A parrot's social behavior has always made it a good pet. They seem to instinctively accept humans as one of their flock which makes touching and holding the bird possible. They may learn to imitate human voices. Their ability to learn tricks and behavior which is not typical for the wild bird have also made them popular with humans.

Monday, June 28, 2004

A Long Story You Probably Don't Care to Read (but I'll tell it anyway!) UPDATED

Contrary to the impression you may have gotten in the past few months, I did not resign from The Little Academy because of poor leadership, philosophical differences, or crummy policies. I left because my temporary Minnesota teaching license expires this year (I'm certified to teach in Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota, and Arkansas until 2008 - but that means nothing in Minnesota).

Being a fully certified Minnesota Teacher would require taking English, Math, and Music Tests (each costing $200-300!) Ans it's just not worth the money for a part time job that I don't particularily like, when I don't even know if I'll stay here (or continue to teach). IF I could have taught un-certified, I would have stayed on at The Little Academy (despite everything) for another year (or until I landed a better gig). But the licensure thing kind of expiediated my departure from the land of education (or so I thought!)

* * * *

A few weeks ago I was reading the classifieds and came across a position for a Part Time Strings Teacher at a local hooity tooity private school. I said "interesting" and turned the page.

The next day, one of my Arts Admin. Buddies said to me, "I saw a job for you yesterday at "Hoity Tooity School"! I told her I saw it too, but it was too much work to re-do my resume. (I'm trying to become an Arts Administrator - not a strings teacher!) She told me to apply anyway (ugh!)

I didn't plan to take her advice. But out of curiousity, I looked at the ad again, and then followed up at their website. The website job description said

The ideal candidate will possess extensive knowledge of both traditional and Suzuki curricula. In addition, the ideal candidate will have experience teaching small group lessons and large group repertory classes, and will have directed elementary orchestras. The successful candidate must demonstrate the facility for developing positive, professional relationships with others in a school setting.

(For any strangers lurking through - that *is* my resume. The job description is actually a "Julie Description." It is such a perfect fit!)

SO I re-worked my resume to look like a strings teacher (instead of a struggling arts administrator) and sent it to "Hooity-Tooity Private School" (By the way, hooity tooity private schools don't require certification). I didn't know that I wanted the job, I didn't know that it'd be helpful to my future career aspirations. Besides, string players abound in these cities, they'd probably get resumes from a million qualified applicants. But I thought I'd just try and see what happened. Here's what happened (so far) . . .

They called me for an interview - which went well.
They asked for extra 5references - which they *actually* called.
Today, they called me for a second interview.

Maybe (maybe) I'll be a teacher for a little longer.
Part of me hopes this'll work out (it'd be fun to teach strings again!) Part of me worries that this will push back any Arts Administration jobs for at least another year (probably more). AND it means another winter in Minnesota (UGH!!!)
I could be very happy if they didn't offer me the job.

But it'd be nice to be an orchestra teacher again!

UPDATE - The second interview went incredibly well. Like I was the best, most gracious, talkative, impressive me that I've ever been. (Horray for me!)
The commute is long - - almost equal to the job time (it's very part time).

The person being interviewed right before me . . . was none other than Ms. Christoffersen (aka - the former collegue that just happened to show at Symphony last week.

I don't see her for well over a year - and in the last 8 days she has appeared TWICE

Weird, Weird, Very Weird.

Funny Story before I left WDM, I had Ms. Christoffersen write a recomendation letter for my credential file (-: (-: (-:
(Do you think she remembers? I wonder what she would say if she knew she recomended me for the job *she* wants?
It makes me giggle.

Favorite Word

Some people already know that I think the prettiest word in the English language (for sound, not for meaning) is syphilis (It's a fun-to-say word - - - but you really can't say it often without people looking at you werid!)
Book Slut has a link to this site where people
can share their favorite word. (Lottsa good words - like "puddle")!

Friday, June 25, 2004

Characteristics of the Creative Personality

1. Creative individuals have a great deal of physical energy, but they are also often quiet.
2. Creative individuals tend to be smart, yet also naïve at the same time.
3. A third paradoxical trait refers to the related combination of playfulness and discipline.
4. Creative individuals alternate between imagination and fantasy at one end, and a rooted sense of reality at the other.
5. Creative people seem to harbor opposite tendencies on the continuum between extroversion and introversion, seem to express both traits at the same time.
6. Creative individuals are also remarkably humble and proud at the same time.
7. Creative individuals to a certain extent escape rigid gender stereotyping.
8. Generally, creative people are thought to be rebellious and independent as well as cultured/traditionalist.
9. Most creative people are very passionate about their work, yet they can be extremely objective about it as well.
10. The openness and sensitivity of creative individuals often exposes them to suffering and pain yet also a great deal of enjoyment.

From Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi

Thursday, June 24, 2004

The Dakota Valley Symphony's Summer Pops Concerts!

July 3
Pan-O-Prog Festival, Lakeville
Time: 7:00pm

Rescheduled to July 10
Antlers Park, Lakeville

July 4

Lowell Park, Stillwater
Time: 7:00pm

July 11
Caponi Art Park, Eagan
Time: 7:00pm

July 29
Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley
Time: 6:30pm
Dakota Valley Electric Customers Only!
(but I can get 'ya a comp pass if you need one!)

August 1
Time: 7:00pm


Wednesday, June 23, 2004

How authoritative someone sounds is a measure only of how firmly this person believes in what he is saying, not of how accurate the information is.
Masha Gessen


Pet Peeve of the Morning
Know-it-alls make me crazy. I hate being around them (and I hate that I become a know-it-all when I'm around them). gggggrrrr.......

Symphony Update
Orchestra rehearsals are fabulous! We are gonna have a terriffic concert. Everyone should make a pilgrimage to Minnesota just to hear my little Symphony!

A former collegue from WDM showed up to the first rehearsal. And last night, a former collegue from my first year at The Little Academy called (I think she was just fishing for gossip - not going there). Work people make crummy friends (esp. work people who left on bad terms and just want to gossip). I've tried - but all we have in common is work (and if they don't work with me anymore, we don't even have work in common). Am I a horrible person for not wanting to reconnect with these people?

General Whining
Not sleeping well. Part of that is because after orchestra rehearsal I"m too wound up to sleep (the music gets stuck in my brain - - and it's just not possible to sleep while singing Hoe-Down). What does Julie do when she can't sleep??? THINK (and sleeping while thinking is more difficult than sleeping while singing Hoe-Down!)
Thinking about life, death (lots of death thoughts - weird). Also thinking about career/job/school things, personal flaws and shortcomings, as well as the personal flaws and shortcomings of everyone else on the planet.

The result of not sleeping well is being tired and cranky the next day. (And people annoy me more than usual).

Job/ Internship/Life
Don't ask.
It 'aint good.
I'm scheduling meetings with my advisor at SMU, and my boss at YA, with the hope that they can give me some direction and insight (or maybe just a pep talk to counteract the rejection letters).

Monday, June 21, 2004

Odds and Ends

1. I love Chaim Potok. He's one of the few people that just gets it.

2. The Soundtrack to Avenue Q is hilarious. Kudos to Joe Gratz for the recomendation!

3. Symphony Rehearsals start tonight! (-: (-:

Shinny Happy People Suck!

The happier your mood, the more liable you are to make bigoted judgments -- like deciding that someone is guilty of a crime simply because he's a member of a minority group. Here is The Case Against Happiness

Article via Arts & Letters Daily

Sunday, June 20, 2004

An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t.
- Anatole France

Thursday, June 17, 2004

At 6:10 p.m. last night, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Arts Caucus Amendment to increase funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) by $10 million and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by $3.5 million. The amendment passed by a vote of 241 to 185. By way of comparison, last year's votes were 225 to 200 with 35 Republicans voting FOR the Arts Caucus Amendment. This year, 48 Republicans voted for the amendment.

The House also defeated an amendment by Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) which would have decreased NEA funding by $60 million, by a vote of 313 to 112, identical to last year's vote.

Via Americans for the Arts

Happy e mail !

The president of the Young Audiences board sent me an out-of-the-blue e mail today

Thank you again for all of your help in pulling all of these materials together. You have such a great attitude about everything. Thank you for being at YA.

(-: (-: (-: (-:
Nope, it doesn't take much to make me happy!

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Michael Moore is a screwed asshole, that is what I think about that case. He stole my title and changed the numbers without ever asking me for permission. . . . He is a horrible human being. Horrible human! - Ray Bradburry on Fahrenheit 9/11


p.s. Fahrenheit 451 is an excellent book. If you haven't already - read it!

UPDATE: Morre is embarrassed. yeah yeah yeah. (skip the movie - read the book!)

Life of Lesiure

My Masterpiece (brought to you by Mr. Picassohead)

Random Thoughts from Reflections in d minor

If the sign says 'No shirt No shoes No service,' does that mean that pants are optional?

When I was a kid - back when 'hell' was one of the really bad cuss words - we would always say 'heck' when we really meant 'hell,' but just look at the word 'heck.' It's actually a combination of 'hell' and 'fuck' which should make it one of the nastiest cuss words of all.

Have you ever found a blog in your blogroll that you don't remember linking and can't even imagine why you would ever link?

Cultural diversity is listening to Pink Floyd in your pickup on the way to the opera.

It annoys me when bloggers who get 2 or 3 times as many visitors as I do complain about how 'few' visitors they get.

Reality show idea: Confine Paris and Nicole in a house with 6 or 8 gourmet chefs from the TV cooking shows for about nine weeks. For every pound Paris and Nicole gain the chefs each get $1000.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Australia's Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and a local software designer have created In The Chair, a cross between a karaoke machine and flight simulator, which allows you to play your favorite symphony via a computer, with a conductor on screen and tuition while you play
Full Article
Via ArtsJournal

Life of Lesiure

Life of Lesiure
Went to work in the morning
Wandered through the Co-existance display in the park
Picked up groceries
Came home
Made a Bannana Sour Cream Pie
Cleaned up the Bannana Sour Cream Pie Mess
Checked e mail
Checked websites
Transplanted aloe vera plants
Made a snow cone (blueberry!)


Monday, June 14, 2004

Class Reunion

Information on my HS class reunion came today!
For a little while I was tempted to attend, just so I could play the role of Ugly-Duckling-Turned-Swan!

I spent two whole minutes imagining myself in the standard sit-com-class-reunion scene. You know, where the "popular kids" are miserable and the former loosers are now sucessful, rich and happy. (While I'm not exactly sucessful, rich and happy, I could play the part! After all, I DO have a GRAMMY award from NARAS, and my jeans from HS still fit perfectly! I had a delightful dinner with the Princess of Holland. I've raised thousands of dollars as a grant writer, and am only a thesis away from my Masters Degree, Plus there's all that volunteer work on behalf of abused children (just to round things out!)

* * * *

Yeah . . . the imaginary scene made me ill too - -
High School wasn't BAD, and I wasn't an Ugly Duckling.
I might have been the "The Loner Duckling" (but I still am)!
And this "Duckling" has absolutly no desire to spend an entire Saturday/Sunday driving through endless Wisconsin/Illinois construction, just to sit in a bar and remanise with people I don't know/like. I don't want to hear other people's inflated accomplishments, and I don't want to share mine. (Except, I'll share my inflated accomplishments with the lovely people reading my site - but you all know and don't care about that stuff!)

And so . . . to make a short story long . . . I'm not going to the HS Reunion.

And they all lived happily ever after
The End

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Morning Amusement

Candy Bar cross sections

Camp is for COUNSERLORS! (not campers)
Some of camp's strongest effects are on the counselors, not the campers. . . . As they struggle to teach, organize, survive and, somehow, sleep, they — even more than the campers — are having their lives transformed. Moreover, because most staff are between the ages of 18 and 25, it is they, and not the campers, who are in the most critical period of identity development in contemporary American society — a time known as "emerging adulthood." To paraphrase a well-known camp song, the kids may be brats and the food may be hideous, but studies suggest that the experience of being a camp counselor is more than just fun and fooling around; it can be even more life changing than that of being a camper. [Full Article]

As a camper, I didn't like camp. I got homesick, cried too much, swam poorly, and just wanted to go home. But as a *counselor* I LOVED it! Camp counseloring was one of the best things that ever happened to me. And I miss camp.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Rain rain go away,
Come again some other day.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Pseudo-Deep Thoughts About Breakfast & Life

Generally, I'm too poor to buy cold cereal. Breakfast usually consists of something cheap and practical (like oatmeal or a peanut butter sandwhich). BUT in my overwheleming free time, I've managed to become slightly more culturally affluent by watching a few cartoons (as well as the sugared cereal commercials that go with them).

Here's the thing, The Trix Rabbit can't seem to get breakfast because those MEAN KIDS won't share ("Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids"). And then there's the Lucky Charms Lepracauhn who runs away from kids who just want to eat his cereal - MEAN LEPRACAUHN!

The Trix kids should share the Trix-is-for-kids-cereal with the Lucky Charms kids, and the Leprachahun should share his Lucky Charms with the Rabbit - that way everyone would be able to eat breakfast! (Breakfast is important if you don't want to be crabby all day long) And then no one would be cranky, and peace would break out in cartoon-commercial land.

* * * * *

In other news, Planet Julie is collapsing (maybe you noticed!) or perhaps it's blossming (I'm not sure)/
Right brain thinks that life is grand! Right Brain is kind of excited to have TIME to do things. Time to say "yes" to people (instead of being too busy). Time to bicycle along the river (I found a georgeous trail that is not ruined by over population!) Time to play frisbee, read, color, daydream, go out for lunch, help with stuff, or just do nothing all afternoon/evening/weekend.

Left Brain doesn't like having nothing to do. Left brain is afraid of dead brain cells. Left brain rolls her eyes when I giggle over commercials for cereal and doggie power bars. Left brain is scared of being lonely in the afternoon, scared of moping around the house feeling awful, or bored. Left brain really wants me to figure out what's next, get a full time job, move somewhere warm, pay off my loans and contribue to society. Left brain doesn't want to enjoy this forced break; Left Brain would rather worry, make contigency plans, find something "useful" to do. Left brain is very cranky.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Doggie Power Bars - uh . . . yeah.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Summer Reading List

The Real Pinocciho
Delinquency and rebellion are more interesting and more fun to read about than moral perfection

I had an appointment with Dr. Hand Surgeon this morning. Back in October, he said it'd take another 3-6 months for the stiffness to go away; it's been 8 months and it's still sore (sometimes painful).

SO . . .(under the guise of testing the sensitivity)Dr. Hand Surgeon poked, scratched, and said everything was healing nicely. I was able to feel more today than last time - which means the nerves are growing. BUT growing nerves hurt, and as the area gets more nerves, the growing will hurt more simply because there are more nerves there to feel it. (yeah . . . I suppose that would make sense).

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Summer Reading List

Killing the Buddha is a religion magazine for people made anxious by churches, people embarrassed to be caught in the "spirituality" section of a bookstore, people both hostile and drawn to talk of God. It is for people who somehow want to be religious, who want to know what it means to know the divine, but for good reasons are not and do not. . . .

Killing the Buddha is about finding a way to be religious when we're all so self-conscious and self-absorbed . . . .

Killing the Buddha insists that if religion matters at all it matters enough to be taken to task. . . .


Purple Jesus, my favorite crayon,
You don't make me a soldier
in Your army. You don't ask for
the numb repeated prayer.
You simply want my sadness.

I go in churches as a tourist
to look at art made in Your name.
One Good Friday I stood in back
with my arms crossed, and an angry
man made me unfold them.
If that's all it takes
to dis You,
I'm in trouble.

We don't get to see the Purple Jesus
very often, though when I smoked
a lot of pot, I imagined I saw Him often.

From Blue Jesus by Jim Daniels

Longer Excerpts (including Red and Blue)are here

Friday, June 04, 2004

It was one this day in 1919 that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote, was passed by the United States Congress. Women across America voted in their first national election in November of 1920, though there was still some resistance to the idea. Some cities instituted a rule that voters would have to state their age in order to vote, with the hope that women would be discouraged enough to stay home—but it didn't seem to work!
via Writers Almanac

According to this article, 17 democrats voted against it (compared to only 8 republicans). Interesting.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Note to My-Workaholic-Self

* Americans work more than medieval peasants did. We work more hours per day, more days per year than citizens of any other industrialized nation.

* Countries such as Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Norway, where fewer hours are worked, are more productive per hour of labor. Norway, for example, has an hourly productivity rate 10 percent higher than that of the United States, and its poverty rate is a quarter lower.

* Passing on vacations doesn't pay off in productivity, Robinson argues. Being present but exhausted won't get the work done; productivity decreases as stress and fatigue increase.
Robinson cites several productivity studies, the most revealing dealing with health: Annual vacation reduces risk of heart attack by 30 percent for men and 50 percent for women.

Full Article

Lessons Learned the Hard Way
(Part 4 in a continuing series - Part 1, 2, and 3 are also avaliable for your common amusement)

- Grants should not be written en masse at the last minute.

- Should circumstances require last minute grant writing, it should not be done as a team

- If teamwork is necessary (to complete the mass grant proposals by the deadline) DO NOT trust team members to do anything and do not allow team members to trust you.

- Do not use mail merge mass grant proposals.

Failure to follow this advice means that important pieces will be missing, data will not line up with itself - - and no one will know why or where.

* * *

When a "kind and sympathetic soul" calls from the granting organization to tell you that a page is missing from your application. DO NOT panic. Do not assume that all of your mass grants proposals have missing pieces. Do not spend an entire morning calling all of your contacts to appologize, and begging for permission to fax the page that "kind and sympathetic soul" claimed was missing. (Because the "kind soul" may have gotten mixed up on what page was actually missing). This means you'll fax the wrong form to all the contacts, and still be missing the piece that was missing in the first place.

By the time you discover the mistake of "kind and sympathetic soul" (and have only begun to weed out the mistakes in your own processes) it will be long past the deadline and you will have wasted way too much time on a project that was not supposed to be this difficult.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Animal Thoughts

There is a bookstore in Minneapolis that has a couple of cats (as well as spiders, birds, turtles, hamsters, and a chicken - it's one of my favorite places in the whole wide world!)
I'm told the Opera has an office cat.
And the Clay Center has a cat (it isfeatured in many of their marketing pieces!)

And I think more spaces need animals - - cats, birds, dogs, and stuff
And I think schools should have more pets - not just classroom guinea pigs, but a dog, or a cat that freely roams the whole building.

It would have to be a well trained dog

and kids would have to learn how to be gentle, and leave the cat alone when it is sleeping, but that's no harder than anything else we do at school

And kids could read to the dog

and the dog could nap during math

and play frisbee durring recess

(If it is a sheepdog - it could herd students and help keep them in bounds durring recess!).

A REAL animal is better than a silly school mascot.

Someone would have to take it home on nights / weekends / summers.

When I open my school (or become Ex. Dir. of an organization) there will be an animal or two roaming around.

It's just good karma

Morning Giggle!

New York - The world of classical music was in turmoil this morning when officials of the Professional Orchestra League revealed that seven principal players of the New York Philharmonic had tested positive for steroids and would receive automatic life suspensions from the league. [more]
Via Arts Journal (-: (-:

Art for Arts Sake

Supposing you were a potter, and you went to your bin of clay and scooped out a lump, and threw it on a wheel, and took the result, and baked it, and glazed it, and baked it again, and at this point the minister arrived and asked what you were up to, and you had the wit to say, 'I am attacking adult illiteracy' - you would be a very savvy potter indeed. This is precisely the kind of potter the government has been on the look-out for. This is the kind of rhetoric they have wished to reward.

"Too often," writes Jowell, "politicians have been forced to debate culture in terms only of its instrumental benefits to other agendas - education, the reduction of crime, improvements in wellbeing..." One might quibble, perhaps, at this way of putting it: too often it is the politicians themselves who have forced others to justify their activities in these terms. Too often they do so still. [more]
Via Arts Journal

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Cars, Condoms, Countdowns, Cookies, Books, Ringworm, & Nephew!

Cars - Today, while walking to school, one of my kids got hit by a car. A good kid, not the trouble makers you'd expect to be playing chicken or runing out in the middle of the street.

Condoms - (Speaking of trouble makers) I had third graders trading condoms for Cheetos today. My New Rule for the Universe - - You must be able to spell C-O-N-D-O-M before you can trade them at school.

Countdown - There are only 8 more days at The Little Academy

Books - Today I ordered a whole lotta books - probably more books than I need (but books are good for you!)

Cookies- Today I made peanut butter cookies (Peanut butter cookies are good for you too!)

Ringworm - Today I have ringworm - a gift from one of my students.

Nephew - Today, I got to hang out with my nephew. (It's ok - I washed my hands before touching him. But don't tell his mother I have ringworm; she will freak out!)