Tuesday, December 02, 2003


Another teaching day down. One more to go, and then one last trip during finals week to hear all the children sing. Am I counting the days? You betcha. It's interesting to see how students behave when it gets to the end of the semester. Several of them turned into math majors. "This song is 85% memorized. By next week, it will be 98.6% memorized!" Seriously -- someone said that to me today. I counter with the argument that "almost memorized" makes as much sense as being a "little pregnant." Either you are or you aren't, and either it is or it isn't. There is no in between here. Some of my students, bless their hearts, busted their chops over break, and came back with their repertoire down. Believe me, I feel the excitement and celebrate the victories when my students rise to their challenges. I I also worry when they don't. I hope this is something that makes me a good teacher. I think so.

How excited was I to hear that for once I was the real and for true 1000th visitor to a site? Answer: REALLY excited! Woo! I was ten billion times more excited to see my name in hieroglyphics on KatJam's site. Now, I need to think of an effective and appropriate grovel to beg beg BEG (CAPS LOCK!) my good virtual friend into letting me use that super cute picture as an avatar. And she claims she isn't a drawer...

I can't draw. I hit my artistic peak at stick people. It's one of those skills I've always wished I had, but knew I never did. Ask my former Pictionary partners. A blob! A Cow! A Squirrel! A Cow-Squirrel! A, uh....what the hell is THAT? Seriously, every animal I draw looks like an amorphous bovine/rodent type creature. What I don't understand is, if my horses look like cows, why don't my cows look like cows? It's a puzzlement.

I think it is a good idea every now and again to take up a totally new, totally foreign activity. Although it's great to be a teacher and the one who doles out facts and figures and concepts like a big fat know it all, it's equally great to be the student once in awhile. It's important to experience first-hand those feelings of frustration and awkwardness as your muscles and your mind work together in new ways. My "Class Voice" students spent the last four class sessions playing a vocal CD of their choice and talking about it. No rules and no requirements other than it had to contain singing. Over four days we heard pop, rock, alternative, country, punk, contemporary Christian, R&B, rap, folk, and children's music. The students provided some wonderful insights on the performer, the song, the style and the interpretation. I had the chance to listen and learn. It was great to be a student again.

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