Now that November is in full swing, I'm sure that you are starting to feel that all-too familiar whirlwind of school + holiday + family activities that seems to kick into warp speed during this time of year. My mind is already awash with holiday plans (what to buy? what to cook? where to go? who to see? what to do?), so it is easy to get carried away with the hustle and bustle of things to come and sometimes miss the many teachable moments that present themselves to us every day.
November 8 is Parents as Teachers Day! You (YOU!) are your child's first and foremost teacher. Who else knows your children as well as you?
Heroes come in the form of everyday people we look up to; they have an idea of changing the world or the community they live in and commit themselves to accomplishing something noble. These everyday people are merely citizens that set out on a journey to solve a societal, political or economic problem or need.
We can leave a lasting mark in life by serving as model citizens.
6:15 p.m. on Friday. Swathed in black velvet and hunched over a small plastic tub of macaroni and cheese, it occurred to me that much of my life revolves around the very High and the very Low, sometimes both at the same time.
It was Friday night, at the end of a crazy-busy day at work. I showered, dressed, and headed back out to the Rochester Early Music Festival.
Until that moment, the whole day had felt stuck on fast forward. Then someone hit the pause button.
Riding the bus last night, I was thinking about Rochester’s Early Music Festival and how to make this Friday night’s event sound exciting in the age of Facebook, Avatar, and Tim Horton’s.
Truth is, I realized, I can’t.
People are drawn to music written before the 18th century for the same reason they like home-brewed beer and hand-stitched books. It’s slow to unfold. It’s a walk down a leaf-strewn path for no other reason than in hopes of glimpsing a flash of feathers. It requires time, patience, and the willingness to park on a hard, wooden bench.
WHAT?? It can't be?? Already!??
I don't know about you, but I feel like October just got here and now it's almost November. I know what you're thinking- things like: It feels like the school year just started! It's almost 2nd quarter and I still have so much to do from 1st quarter! Right around the corner is the season for holiday breaks, vacations, lots of missed school days and cold, snowy weather.
About once a year, a recording seizes my hand and pulls me into a labyrinth. Once there, I want to wander around forever. I spent much of 2006 meandering through a CD called Cloudburst by Polyphony, an English choral group.
I played the song 'Sleep' over and over and over.
The evening hangs beneath the moon
A silver thread on darkened dune
With closing eyes and resting head
I know that sleep is coming soon.
At a party last year, I posed this question to a rocket scientist from the Rochester Institute of Technology. (He's a physicist with a specialty in rocket technology.) His response was, “I'd be surprised to learn someone's discovered a real fuel alternative to gas and oil. That would truly stun me.”
What news would surprise you?
I'd be surprised to hear we'd been contacted by aliens. Surprised, but not stunned. Carl Sagan imagined such an event in his fantastic novel, Contact.
On a more trivial scale, I saw or heard two things on my recent trip to New York City that surprised me.
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