Thursday, February 26, 2009

Don't Give Up Access to Essential Info!

"People who do not read and do not demand a wide range of material to read, especially fiction, give up access to essential information about their world, about their relation to it and to themselves, and about how others think and feel."

- Joseph Gold. Read For Your Life: Literature as a Life Support System. pg 255

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Very Inspiring Rap Performance

"Now if God is Love and hating is Satan
Thin type patience got me sitting here waiting
for the day when it's okay to love
when black men won't pretend that they're thugs,
when teachers and doctors get treated like celebrities,
you can get a job even if you got a felony
check out my melody, let's live in harmony
We in this together."

- Murs lyrics from the second verse of "Everything" from the album Murs for President

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Talk

"When I was 12, my mother gave me my sex talk. I'm not sure either of us has ever recovered."

- Angela narrating an episode of My So-Called Life

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Story Gives Life Meaning

"Classical story design charts the vast interconnectedness of life from the obvious to the impenetrable, from the intimate to the epic, from individual identity to the international infosphere. It lays bare the network of chain-linked causalities that, when understood, gives life meaning."

- Robert McKee. Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principals of Screenwriting. ReganBooks: New York, 1997. pg 52

This is a great quote that can be paraphrased to "story gives life meaning." Perhaps it is not that simple, but I believe that story has a lot to say about the nature of reality.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Beatbox Choir

These guys sound pretty good until they start rapping. Still though, this clip made me stop and say "What!?!"

The beatboxing isn't very precise or complicated but the rhythm and harmonies are nice. This video is definitely worth checking out.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Know Where You Are Going

"People with goals succeed because they know where they are going."

- Earl Nightingale

Happy Monday Everyone!

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Stuff" that makes up "The News"

"The information, the content, or, if you will, the “stuff” that makes up what is called “the news of the day” did not exist – could not exist – in a world that lacked the media to give it expression. I do not mean that things like fires, wars, murders and love affairs did not, ever and always, happen in places all over the world. I mean that lacking a technology to advertise them, people could not attend to them, could not include them in their daily business. Such information could not exist as part of the content of the culture."

- Neil Postman. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. Penguin Books 1985, 2005 edition. pg 7

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'm Allowed

"Waited for an answer
But I waited for twenty five years
They stopped my bleeding
But could never stop all those tears
I waited for the day when
He came out from beneath all that weight
I tried to lift it
But it seems I got there
too late

Just to late
Just to late
Cause I'm allowed

Came to the party
But I got my own signals crossed
Thought I was welcome
But I felt like I should get lost
I know that I'm older
Cause I feel that everywhere
I could talk to no one
Cause I knew not one person there

No one's there
They just stared
But they're allowed

As vivid as a car wreck
Watch them dripping off highway ramps
She came to me smiling
Her heart underneath both her hands
She spoke of a French boy
At least two times through the night
It could have been the liquor
Or the music but that is all right

That's all right
She's allowed
And I'm allowed
I'm allowed
I'm allowed"

- Buffalo Tom "I'm Allowed" from the album Big Red Letter Day

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Change the Picture

"There are windows that don't stay open forever, missed opportunities that never come back to you. And waiting for them doesn't necessarily mean you're strong or even right. Sometimes it just means that you're afraid to change the picture."

- Dr. Jake on TV's "Everwood" Season 4 Episode 21

Monday, February 9, 2009

Find Another Way

"There will be times when things don't seem to be working out, but don't give up. Student attitudes may be less than positive and student achievement may be at an all-time low. There will be days when student apathy seems to be the prevailing mood and other times when your students seem to be making bad decisions about their studies and their behavior. All teachers run into ruts and slumps at some point during the school year. At these times we just need an extra push and motivation to spur us on.
. . .
So when you are faced with the challenges of day-to-day teaching and you students challenge you at every turn, remember the words of Satchel Paige and find another way. What will be the choice for the students in your life? Will you nag them or cheer them on?"

- Deb Austin Brown. Growing Character

This is an excellent book that every teacher should own. It is sub-titled "99 Successful Strategies for the Elementary Classroom."

My day today was a lot like the one she describes above. I thought I'd share this quote now to help remind me that we can have days like this. It is normal. Tomorrow will be a better day. I will try something new to reenergize us all and get us back on track.

Friday, February 6, 2009

News is Inert

"But most of our daily news is inert, consisting of information that gives us something to talk about but cannot lead to any meaningful action.”

- Neil Postman. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. Penguin Books 1985, 2005 edition. Pg 68

Thursday, February 5, 2009

No Escape from Ourselves - Just the Chaos

"When we read, we do not truly escape—there is no escape from ourselves; there is relief from our chaos; we reorganize and regenerate."

- Joseph Gold. Read For Your Life: Literature as a Life Support System. Fitzhenry and Whiteside: Markham, 1990. pg 331

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

All Rappers Do It

The intro to this video is kind of annoying. But suffer through it or fast forward because this song is definitely worth checking out. This kid is spitting some truth here. Check these lyrics as you watch the video.

"We gotta blame it on ourselves as a human being.
Trying to disguise our inner emotions
With big dreams and many lies
From mid-teens ‘til you 25
With a heavy ride
You got dubs sittin’ on every side.
Because it’s cool, the rappers all do it.
I bought this new gun, cuz rappers all use it.
And now I got a new son cuz rappers all screw chicks,
And I’m broke cuz rappers gotta have the new 6.
Seven days, most rappers weak,
So they, listen up when a nigga speak
If not, my gun my word
My bullet, my pen
My aim sucks so they go right over your head.
But then again, who am I to talk…
It’s cuz of a rapper that I got my pants tucked in my socks.
It’s cuz of a rapper I bought this pop,
And because of a rapper I got this hundred dollar top on.
It gotta stop cuz…..

Ain't No Use

Talking 'bout tomorrow.

Shit, I'm still here

Tryna get through the day

And that’s when I realized
I’m the market, the kid making y’all money.
Buying the merchandise,
What more do you want from me?
Whatever you do, I’m gonna try it
I know my shit’s gonna sell, cuz I’d probably buy it.
I got a nice image,
Fit, like I eat spinach.
My hooks is nice, and I got witty lyrics.
And ain’t nobody reppin’ for the suburbs like I do.
And ever since I was a young boy, I was the guy who,
Would dress so fresh and smell so clean.
My coller always popped, my kicks so mean.
Always in a new hat, new gear, new Airs,
Heard Nelly rhyme about ‘em, went and copped two pairs.
Heard about Crystal so I went to Cheers.
Bought a bottle with the allowance I saved for two years.
Then I put my white tee on,
Cuz I heard the white tee song, it was so damn long.
And because I heard Diddy, it was Pepsi first.
Until Labron James told me to obey my thirst.
And I’ve been blastin’ my 50 and it’s starting to rub off,
Cuz yesterday I told some niggas to fuck off!
So fuck off if y’all rappers trying to hate on me.
Cuz I’ve been trying to be like y’all since ’83!
Rockin’ two different shoes like BBD,
Now I cop your CD because it got a DVD???
Don’t hate me cuz I rhyme different!!!

Ain't No Use

Talking 'bout tomorrow.

Shit, I'm still here

Tryna get through the day

Cuz Ain't no use

Cryin' bout your sorrow

And no I can't

Worry about yesterday"

- Famous "Ain't No Use" from the "I Rap Now E.P."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Hope This is It - never have to change again

"The more things change, the more they stay the same. I'm not sure who the first person was who said that. Probably Shakespeare. Or maybe Sting. But at the moment, it's the sentence that best explains my tragic flaw: my inability to change.

I don't think I'm alone in this. The more I get to know other people, the more I realize it's kind of everyone's flaw. Staying exactly the same for as long as possible, standing perfectly still... It feels better somehow. And if you are suffering, at least the pain is familiar. Because if you took that leap of faith, went outside the box, did something unexpected... Who knows what other pain might be waiting out there. Chances are it could be even worse.

So you maintain the status quo. Choose the road already traveled and it doesn't seem that bad. Not as far as flaws go. You're not a drug addict. You're not killing anyone... Except maybe yourself a little.

When we finally do change, I don't think it happens like an earthquake or an explosion, where all of a sudden we're like this different person. I think it's smaller than that. The kind of thing most people wouldn't even notice unless they looked at us really, really close. Which, thank God, they never do. But you notice it, inside you that change feels like a world of difference. And you hope this is it. This is the person you get to be forever... that you'll never have to change again."

- Ephram Brown writes a college application essay for his girlfriend Amy Abbot

- This quote was transcribed from the excellent TV show Everwood.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Build a Rep

"You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do."

- Henry Ford