A Day In The Life


A Walk in the Park
February 29, 2008, 12:38 pm
Filed under: Nature, Seasons

The small, rural Arkansas town that I live near is fortunate enough to have two city parks. The newer of the two parks has tennis courts, baseball and softball fields and the public pool. The older park is ‘downtown’. This park is a beautiful, quiet place to walk and relax.

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The clock tower.

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That mesmerizing fountain.

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The bridge that separates the two duck ponds.

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The ducks.

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More ducks.

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And lovers in the gazebo.



Sparkles
February 27, 2008, 10:46 pm
Filed under: Nature, Seasons

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As I drove by the park, the play of sunlight on water captivated me like the songs of the Lorelei captured the souls of ancient mariners.

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The gentle melody of falling water lured me closer. I wanted to crawl into the fountain and capture the water as it rained down on my face. I yearned to be completely surrounded by sparkles.

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But the temperature was in the upper 40’s and freezing didn’t sound too attractive so I settled for sitting down and trying to capture the sparkles as they fell.

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“Closer, closer,” sang the Lorelei and I decided laying down would be the best way to capture the falling sparkles.

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“Closer, closer, closer,” sang the temptress. 

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I’m a middle-aged woman in a suit laying flat on her back in a public park mesmerized by sparkles of sunlight and water.

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Lucky for me, I’m also a music teacher and this particular Lorelei was singing a bit off key which enabled me to break away from her seductive spell.  Farewell, ye saucy wench. 



Wednesday’s Song
February 26, 2008, 10:06 pm
Filed under: Music, Nature

“When you’re weary, feelin’ small, when tears are in your eyes I’ll dry them all. I’m on your side.

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Oh, when times get rough and friends just can’t be found, like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down.

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When you’re down and out, when you’re on the street, when evening falls so hard I will comfort you. I’ll take your part.

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Oh, when darkness comes and pain is all around, like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down.

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Sail on silver girl, sail on by. Your time has come to shine.  All your dreams are on their way.  See how they shine.  Oh, if you need a friend, I’m sailing right behind.

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Like a bridge over troubled water, I will ease your mind. Like a bridge over troubled water, I will ease your mind.”

Bridge Over Troubled Water  (words and music by Paul Simon)



Quarter Notes
February 24, 2008, 10:13 pm
Filed under: Fun Monday

I can’t believe I only did one post all of last week!  And here it is Monday again.  This weeks’ Fun Monday assignment by Mariposa is an easy one.  She wants us to explain our blog name then share a dish we like to prepare. 

My blog name is simple.  I am a musician and a music teacher so I used a musical term as my blog title.  The quarter note is generally the first musical symbol a student learns to recognize.  In common time, a quarter note receives one beat.  I should have scanned a piece of music so you could actually see quarter notes, instead I am posting an all state choir rehearsal picture.  I can assure you that these young men sang plenty of quarter notes! 

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Now for a dish I like to prepare…..something simple made with ingredients that are staples in my kitchen. I love breakfast and on the weekend when I usually have plenty of time to cook, I like to make pancakes.

One cup flour
Two tablespoons sugar
Two teaspoons baking powder
Three-fourths cup milk
One egg

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. I usually mix them together with a fork. Measure out the milk in a one-cup measuring cup then add the egg to the milk and whip that together with a fork until the egg is thoroughly mixed with the milk. Add the milk/egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a skillet or on the grill then pour out the batter. This recipe makes four medium-sized pancakes.

Sometimes I add a teaspoon of cinnamon to my dry ingredients and when my blueberry bushes are producing berries, I add one-fourth cup of fresh blueberries to the batter right before I pour it in the skillet.  A fourth-cup of chopped pecans is another ingredient I sometimes add to my pancakes. And heated maple syrup is a must for maximum yumminess!

Spring is knockin’ on the door in Arkansas! Enjoy your Monday!

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As I Went About My Business
February 17, 2008, 11:27 pm
Filed under: Fun Monday

I had fun with this weeks’ Fun Monday assignment from Sayresmiles.   She said “As I go to work, I see things around me that make me laugh….take your camera as you go about your business and take a picture of the things that make you laugh along the way…..” 

I stepped outside the box just a little bit and did my assignment in Hot Springs while I was at the All State Music Conference with my student who made the all state choir.

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The first thing I noticed was this wild carpet pattern in the motel.  It made me laugh because I see a man in the design with a large nose, a very thin neck and a swirly eye.  He has a bird’s head attached to the top of his head.  Do you see him?!!  This has to be one of the busiest carpet patterns I’ve ever seen.

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The next thing that caught my eye was this dumpster on a corner vacant lot. It didn’t really make me laugh, but it definitely sparked some interesting conversations with my student every day as we passed it by on our way to and from the convention center.

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Another scene that didn’t actually make me laugh, but I was very happy to have my student walk through the doors into the convention center every day to rehearse with the Arkansas All State Choir.

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The convention center is filled with art. This hand-carved wooden man stands in an alcove near a soft drink machine. I knew he was there, but every time I walked by him, I was just a bit startled. He sort of ‘leaps out’ at you from the side of the soda machine and I giggled every time I passed him. 

For more interesting and funny sights on the way to work, visit Sayresmiles and have a laughter-filled Monday wherever you are!!!



Heart Warming
February 12, 2008, 10:24 pm
Filed under: Music, School Buzz

My all state choir student and I will be leaving bright and early Thursday morning for the all state conference and clinic in Hot Springs. I told my student I was sorry he had to spend Valentine’s Day with me instead of some hot chick. That dear boy told me he didn’t mind. How sweet is that?!! He will spend most of his time in choir rehearsals and I will spend most of my time shopping attend the workshops that are offered to keep us directors busy. The conference ends on Saturday with the all state choir and band concerts which are held at the Hot Springs Convention Center.

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This is the big bulletin board in the hall outside my elementary classroom.   I put up a big ‘welcome back to school’ display on it one year and the next thing I knew I was taking care of it on a permanent basis.  I don’t mind.  I use it shamelessly to promote the music program. 

I recently had my senior high and middle school choirs do a writing assignment.  They had to write several paragraphs telling me what role music had in their lives and why they were in choir.  Here are some of my favorite excerpts from their papers.

Choir helps us find our heart song or the song inside of me.     6th grade

The role that music plays in my life is making me feel good about myself.    6th grade

I want to learn all I can and pass it down to my children….    12th grade

You get all these beautiful voices blended together and it sounds really good.    10th grade

I believe that if your life has no rhythm then you can never accomplish your goals in life.      9th grade

It (choir) makes me feel like I am needed, like I’m a part of something.    10th grade

I am in choir because I love to sing and it makes me feel good, it lets me be who I want to be!      8th grade

Music helps me be strong and gives me inspiration to make the grades I make and to be the person I want to be.     10th grade

The sound of our voices are completely cool especially how they blend.    9th grade

Music helps me express how I am feeling.  I hate to talk to people about my feelings, but music helps me alot.    8th grade

Choir helps me feel more brave and confident.    6th grade



The Song That Is Me
February 10, 2008, 12:35 am
Filed under: Fun Monday, Music, My Life

These Fun Monday assignments just keep getting more difficult.   Julie has asked us to chose one song that truly describes ourselves; the one song that is me.  An impossible task for a music teacher!  I started singing before I could even speak plainly.  My life has been and still is filled with songs.  How could I possibly narrow it down to one song that describes me? 

I’ve been thinking about it all week and here is what I came up with: 

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On the other hand,  this poem that I wrote several years ago in honor of my senior choir students also very aptly describes the song that is me.

I can’t imagine a life without music.
It fills my heart and soul.
It’s a constant companion, a voice within
when the world seems bitter and cold.

And you, my dear students, are my greatest song.
Your lives are a sweet melody.
And no matter how old or how far you’ve gone
You are still the music inside of me.
Your smiles are the harmony, strong and true
Your voices the notes of my life.
Why seek fame or great wealth when I know what I do
Is perfectly, perfectly right?
And you, my dear students, are my greatest song
Your lives are a sweet melody.
And no matter how old or how far you’ve gone
You are still the music inside of me.

 

Now stand up straight, breathe deeply and sing your way over to Julie’s for more life-defining songs! Do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do…….