I really had no decided direction for today's Education blog- I took a "something will inspire me" approach (which is so not like me) and have been justly rewarded with two themes: snow and happiness. Clearly, the snow needs no explanation unless you're reading this from somewhere where it's not still snowing. As for happiness, after reading Brenda Tremblay's blog, it made me think about the things that make people happy. Hence, snow and happiness.
"And I need you like a heart needs a beat
But it's nothing new - yeah
I loved you with the fire red-
It's too late to apologize, it's too late
I said it's too late to apologize, it's too late whoaa ohhh . . . "
- from the song “Apologize” by Timbaland
How many times can you listen to the same song over and over again?
A commercial radio station in Philadelphia had faith that its listeners wanted to hear Timbaland’s song “Apologize” 123 times. In one week.
That’s a record, according to Jeff Leeds’ recent article in the New York Times. “Apologize,” by the modern rock band OneRepublic and producer Timbaland also broke the national record for the most plays of a song on Top 40 stations in a week. It played more than 10,000 times.
I must say, it’s fun to walk into a concert hall with no expectations.
On Tuesday night, I entered Kilbourn Hall with my fashionable friend Carin, a notebook, and two kids: I told my children to sit wherever they wanted to and draw pictures. They hopped up to the back row.
We went to hear Ossia (pronounced “oh-SEE-ah”), the student contemporary music group based at the Eastman School with a time-honored tradition of omnivorous, unpredictable programming.
On another operatic note, Bryant Manning, a music stringer at the Chicago Sun-Times and Time Out Chicago sent an e-mail to the NEA Fellows I met in New York last month. He writes:
“Yesterday I interviewed the Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and
he voluntarily brought up Renee Fleming. When we were in NY, Ms.
Fleming was lambasted by some as a terrible and overrated singer. So
for entertainment purposes, I thought *some* of you might be surprised
he said this:
Maybe I’m too scattered to concentrate on reading a novel. Maybe I’m becoming too obsessed by blogging. Maybe I’m going through a phase. Whatever the case, I’ve been reading a lot of short stories lately, flipping through Anne Panning’s new collection Super America and the new anthology edited by Stephen King, The Best American Short Stories 2007.
Writer Anne Panning speculates that since we usually expect novels to end on a happy note, short stories provide a vehicle for loneliness and bleakness in a way that novel can't.
The thought crossed my mind the other day when I picked up the November 19th New Yorker and started reading Antonya Nelson’s engrossing short story, “Or Else.”
Does your child use the computer? Chances are, since you are reading a blog, that your child is a computer user and is somewhat technologically savvy. November 29th is Electronic Greetings Day and November 30th is Computer Security Day. Both of these days give you a good excuse to re-examine and refresh your child's computer use.
This Sunday morning, all across America, hundreds of thousands of professional musicians rolled out of bed, got dressed, and headed for church. I was one of them. I’ve played the organ and directed the choir in an Episcopal church for five years.
Christmas Eve will be my last service.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up and tell you a bit about my experience as a professional musician in a small town.
First of all, I never quite shook the sensation that I was playing a part in a Thornton Wilder play. Once, while I was practicing for a funeral, a woman I knew from high school walked in, her arms full of flowers.