April 2007

Survivor: the school edition

April 30, 2007 19:38

We are definitely nearing the end of the school year.
On Friday, our middle school had a field day type event. I got to help man the "cakewalk". The slowly self-destructing boom box provided had no CD player and terible reception. We got oldies for a little awhile, but then that cut out, so I played my violin instead. 2 hours later, I had a nice sunburn (standing in a field from 12-2 p.m. in GA and did not think to bring sunscreen-can you tell I used to live in Michigan?). And, as a bonus, I got a couple fire ant stings between the toes of my left foot.
Today, while teaching my sixth grade strings, I had workers in my room running cables through the ceiling while I attempted to teach a couple of Elliot del Borgo gems. And, at our faculty meeting after school (after lots of discussion about standards based assessment), we were told we have to have our final grades in one week before school is actually done. And yet we are still supposed to give finals and tell the students they "count". Otherwise, Ein Heldenleben is this weekend, so I have to squeeze a bit of practice on that before school this week at the lovely hour of 7 a.m.

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not whistling Dixie

April 23, 2007 19:16

Today was a state holiday for government offices in Georgia. It was "Confederate Memorial Day". Yikes! I am glad we didn't have to celebrate that in school.

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How I get to spend my spring break

April 16, 2007 08:04

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody's there, does it make a sound? If a violinist accurately plays the Eb minor 16th notes with bonus chromatic scales during a Strauss tone poem, will anyone notice? I suppose they might, so it's back to page eleven I go.

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important standardized test tip

April 11, 2007 07:20

from the email at my elementary school:

"We didn't have the pancakes that was on the menu for breakfast this morning because you're not suppose to have syrup while testing."

Hmm..I wonder if this applies to practicing...I need to practice the first violin part to Ein Heldenleben this afternoon..with or without syrup?


ADDENDUM: I do remember once having a brownie sundae before a jury (that did not go so well)...

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For My Dad

April 8, 2007 19:25

On April 8, my Dad would have been 82. He passed away almost 14 years ago from an aggressive form of stomach cancer. He is the person who talked me into playing the violin (well, he was hoping for a fiddler). When I was in the fourth grade, we took one of those auditory assessments, and strings were one the top of my list, with flute and clarinet listed last. I thought I wanted to play the clarinet, as that was what my best friend was going to play. Fortunately for me (and everyone in the entire universe), he convinced me the violin was a better choice. My father was a self-taught musician who could play a tune on anything. He did not read music, but I am pretty sure he had perfect pitch. He grew up on a farm in Arkansas during the depression, chopping cotton and had malaria as a kid. He sang on a radio show (very much like Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou) and got fan letters asking him to sing such songs as "Home on the Range". When I would come home from CIM for vacation, he would make me take my violin to his auction and we would play fiddle tunes until his arthritis got the better of him. My father knew nothing about classical music, but I would have never been a violinist without that first nudge towards playing. So when my beginners are playing Liza Jane tomorrow, I'll be thinking of you. Happy Birthday, Dad!

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NCLB: No Circle Left Blank

April 4, 2007 16:20

It's test time in Georgia-here it is called the CRCT. In our district, the test is spread out over 6 days-2 hours per day. I get to assist by proctoring. It's oh so exciting. I get to help the classroom teacher make sure students (third graders) are filling in their bubbled answer sheets and not trying to redo sections already completed. So far each section is 60 minutes. It's absolutely mind numbingly zombifyingly boring. Proctors are not allowed to sit, and students are confined to the room for 2 hours. That includes the girl with pinkeye. The earth quits rotating for this test (thanks W). My classes don't get to meet, and then this is followed by break. And while break is needed, it means some of my students won't have strings class for 2 weeks. Nothing like stopping the learning process to prove your students have learned something.

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