Monday, May 21, 2012


Today I saw an accident.

Let me be clear: I'm sure no one was hurt. At least not hurt badly - it was just a fender-bender.

As I was driving down a pretty big street, there was traffic waiting off to my right at a red light.  They were waiting to right-on-red and go the same way I was traveling. As I looked over at them, I saw the 2nd car in line run into the back of the 1st car in line. I'm sure it was because that 2nd car was looking to the left, to see what was coming, and not paying attention to the 1st car and whether they were going. Or NOT going, as the case turned out to be.

Anyway, like I said, I'm sure no one was hurt badly. They didn't hit very hard, and they weren't going very fast. But as I continued on, I realized that this situation is just like life. So often I get to looking at what is coming down the road a ways, instead of focusing on what I am doing right now. And it occurred to me that it is our job to do well at what we are doing now - not looking at what is coming next.

Make sure to keep your eyes on what God has given you to do right now - not what you want to do later, or what you think He has for you after this. If you don't focus on what you have right now, you're liable to get into a fender-bender.

Though I could stand some body-work...
K :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012


As I might have mentioned at some point, we are nearing the end of school. :)

This week I have been doing a Jazz unit with all my kids. I usually read them a book about a Jazz artist, and then we listen to a couple songs, discuss the person, see if there are any life lessons we can learn from them, and then watch a short clip of them performing. I've done several, all with a different grade level: Dizzy Gillespie, Django Reinhardt, Mary Lou Williams, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and John Coltrane. I have really enjoyed it, and I think the kids like it too, mostly because it is out of the ordinary for them.

Earlier this week, I was reading the book about Mary Lou Williams to a class. There is a section about when they move from Atlanta up to Pittsburgh. In general, it was a hard time. She had to leave her organ behind, it was a long trip, and when they got there the neighbors weren't very welcoming. In fact, at one point, someone threw a brick through their window.

Well, at that exact moment, with better timing than if I had arranged it ahead of time, one of the boys GASPED loudly, and then in a hushed whisper said "NO!". I looked at him and I quietly said, "I KNOW!"

I tried not to laugh, I really did. But his timing was impecable.

But the thing I loved most was that he was outraged. That he couldn't believe that someone could actually do something like that. I loved that his outrage overtook him and made him burst out with "NO!".

Best outburst I've ever had. In any class. Ever.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


On Sunday, I was moved. And I cried. This is a lot to happen in one day...

But the movement in question happened as a result of a concert. Not a shocker that I was at a concert, but what happened to me was totally out of my ordinary.

Several people I know were singing in the Sunday performance of Carmina Burana. This was the Youth Symphony, the local Ballet Theatre, the Children's Chorale as well as about 300 singers from several local choirs. In case you are not familiar, here is a clip of the last piece, which happens to be the same as the opening:

Now I have performed this piece 3 times, and this was my 3rd time attending a performance. But I was totally unprepared for what happened when the first notes played. I had watched the performers walk out on stage. I had watched as the conductor got them ready. I knew the piece very well, so I knew exactly when he was starting, and I knew what to expect. I could have sung along.

But I wasn't ready for this. As that first drum note sounded (BOOM!) and the chorus sang those first words (Oh Fortuna!) I was taken aback, and a tear slipped down my cheek. As they sang more words, more tears. Until, finally, I had tears streaming down my cheeks, and I couldn't stop them.

I think the shocking thing about those tears was that I knew exactly what to expect. I knew the music enough to sing it from memory. I knew the piece, and had listened to it several times before. But still...tears.

As I sat there crying in the dark, thinking about how beautiful this music is, it struck me that music is magical.

I know that there are a limited number of ways to put together a chord progression to comply with accepted western musical theory. I know the nuts and bolts of music. I have performed so much music that I couldn't list it. But still...

The fact that I know music, and even more that I know THIS music didn't change those tears from coming.


Now here's the confession of the day: I'm not really a cry-er. I don't cry all that often, and even a sad movie has to be REALLY moving for me to shed a tear. I'm not someone who cries often.

Which makes this episode all the more intriguing, and makes my gut reaction of tears almost astonishing. I wanted to turn to the person next to me and ask, "Don't you realize how amazing this music is?"

But don't you realize that I didn't even know how amazing this music is?
How amazing music is?


Saturday, May 5, 2012


I believe we are going through a plague.

The moths are among us. How can something that only lives for 20 days be such a nuisance? And why do they always fly RIGHT at your face? My vacuum cleaner is full of moth carcasses. But I will admit that attacking them with a flyswatter is GLORIOUS!!! I bought 4 brand-spankin-new flyswatters last week - 2 for my classroom, and 2 for home. Boy oh boy, I have used those things like crazy. And I am taking out every ounce of hate I have ever had in my whole life, whapping at those moths.

And now that it seems like the moths are dying out, we are being attacked by the cottonwood tree blooms. As I was driving home the other day I was dreaming up a way to "catch" these little natural cotton balls that always seem to get stuck in my mouth. It involved a tennis racket, and some duct tape. But I can't tell you the rest, because I'm pretty sure the patent will make me tons of money.

Yeah, I know, the moths are not really a plague. But they are REALLY annoying.

For reals, the last couple weeks of school is a plague. We have about 2 and a half weeks of school left, and I don't know if I can make it. OK, OK, I can make it. But it doesn't feel like it.

I don't really need a whole summer off - I just need a break. And I know lots of people that feel the same way.

Why does it not matter when the "end" is...we still look for it and count down the days?

Is that a natural human inclination - to always look forward to the end? To look forward to the next thing coming down the pike? What happens if we don't have anything to look forward to? Would that affect our human-ness, if we didn't ever look forward? To the next break? To the next vacation? To the next...

I can say for sure that I am looking forward to being off school for some time. If that makes me more human, than so be it. Human I am.

But I will be human with 10 weeks off work.
K :)