What am I now?
Is the child gone?
Buried by the storms that I've endured for so long?
Down there somewhere he lives
That child is mine just the same as I'm am his
I am his future, and he is my polar south
And I journey on
Treading ground that used to be horizons
That is who I am
A life of footfalls yet to be made and washed away by time
I'm a witness to foreign sights and perspectives
I am a seeker of paths and a cutter of my own
The further I travel away from that child, the more I need him to show me the way
He is my curiosity about this strange world. My fascination.
Movies: I like action, subtitled, and cerebral. I like a lot of unabashed explosions, or I can go the other way with lots of thoughtful direction and exposition. I use a lot of simulacra in my classroom to debunk simulacra. I love media, but I also try to make my students aware of the warning labels on it. Media is not life.
Shows: I like intense or really poignant. I've seen Ms. Saigon way back in college. Love that Engineer. Denzel in Fences. I've taken my students [my kids] to see some good plays. It's then that teaching in NYC pays off. I'm more impressed by really fantastic student productions than Broadway. Yeah I'm often awed by what Broadway can produce, but putting together the story effect with a shoestring budget is more impressive. More like magic versus the science of Broadway.
Music: too much to name. I think the Ojays said it best: "I love music just as long as it's grooving." I've been stealing playlists off of people's profiles, so I'll be fair: There is the obvious stuff, so I won't bother with "known". iPod: Rock and Country/2336 songs: Antic Clay and Bourbon Princess. Classical and Jazz/1215 songs: Chucho Valdes and Django Reinhardt. Hip-Hop/ 1947 songs: [breaking the rule here] Eric B & Rakim [the latter is why] Fugees. Reggae/ 973 songs: Gyptian and Jah Cure. Soul and Blues/ 2755 songs: Kerri Chandler and Lyn Collins. World [No. I only speak English.]/ 651: Mari Boine and Ofra Haza. There. Now I don't feel so guilty about stealing lists.
Food: I'm a Yelper. Exotic or basic. I marinate a mean steak. My french toast is a source of unabashed vanity for me. Oh! And then there is Bodega soup. When I go out, I want to be immersed in a relaxed atmosphere. A restaurant should provide the setting for whatever fits your mood. The waiting staff should be ever present, but never in the way. The food should be better than anything you can cook, otherwise.... cook.
Art: I'm adding this. Art is an inspiration to me. I've had the pleasure of being exposed to some stellar art, and some amazing artists. Art is synthesis. I love art that seriously doesn't take itself seriously. That pushed the boundaries of the societal paradigm, so that I can walk away applying that question to my own life. For example recently I was discussing Picasso with my students. I didn't get Picasso until I viewed development of his Cubist technique at the Guggenheim. I sat. I read. I analyzed, and I realized. If art is simulacrum, why not expose that to get at the real. Understanding that the real doesn't come from the art, but the paradigm augmentation that the art can assist you with. Cubism screams that nothing is seen from head on. That what you eyesight reveal from one angle should be filtered through the mindsight that there is more than on angle. To the world. To people. Sometimes Mona Lisa didn't smile.
SOMETHING TO DO!!!: maybe I'll draw. Maybe I'll paint. Maybe I'll write a lesson plan. Maybe I'll bike somewhere. Maybe I'll watch tv. Maybe I'll cook. Maybe I'll hang out with a friend. Maybe I'll grade that stack of papers. Maybe I'll go to the gym. Maybe I'll nap. Maybe I'll clean. Maybe I'll travel somewhere. Maybe I'll read. Maybe I'll pay a videogame. Maybe I'll go to the museum. Maybe I'll work on my photography. Maybe I'll go for a walk. Maybe I'll research music. Maybe I'll do whatever moves me in the moment.
MUSIC!!!: I'd give up limb before I'd go deaf. Every year for a decade I've been searching the web for someone who performs Ravel's Tzigane live. Last year I found it at the Bergen PAC. Amazing. People will do other stuff by him, but they won't touch that piece in NYC. Too many variations, a friend told me. Too many chances for things to go awry. That and the piece gives you no resting periods. I got to see Rakim in concert at Summerstage. I love Sade's acapella of "Woman In Somalia", unmic-ed!!! And NBA box seats for a Wu-Tang Concert is heaven. Who doesn't love the mini-burgers they serve. I still remember Grace Potter being close enough to count sweat drops. My student's rendition of "Home" made me a bit tearful. I still get tearful when I sing a song I wrote about my mom's passing that a student provided the music for. Music is in most of memories.
GOOD CONVERSATION!!!: I'm not good at small talk. I really don't care about how this star or that athlete spends their lives. Why did we start conversing in the first place if it wasn't to expand the understanding of our mutual experiences. I like conversation that involves listening to each other. I mean really listening. And Ooooh! Maybe asking a question to really try getting at what the other is saying.
FOOD PREPARED WITH CARE!!!: I'm southern at heart. You can tell when love is in the food.I'm a big Yelper as well.
TIME TO THINK!!!: I like... you know... people. To say that people are more than flesh is reductive. Observation: Apes have opposable thumbs. Lots of things that crawl and slither have languages and social patterns. People think. People manifest their thinking. This is what has separated us away from the food chain. I am my thoughts. I am the culmination of the thoughts of others. I am the phenomena of previous phenomena. It would be an insult to whatever force that created this moment of being known as me, to ignore the mind through which life is cultivated.
Lessons: Teaching increasingly fascinating. It is the most fascinating when the students are engaged in co-learning. Discovering new ideas, turning an old idea on its side to see it from an angle that I hadn't or they hadn't contemplated before. Everything becomes a lesson. I repeat conversations from my life in my lessons, and versa vica.
My Next Step: This is always subject to change.
What makes things "good": On going. Learning makes my life good. Fills me up with something all my own. Awareness of the world, in myself, in others. Seeing people comfortable in their lives, and grasping their potential. Pushing that potential to its limits.
calling a friend