Move

For reason that are known only to (real) ninjas, blogs will now be added to a different page: Look, <- follow the link, it will take you there. Thank you for your patience. Please feel free to follow me there.

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In the nude – a case for arts education

 

sfnude3

My field of work so far has been mostly various shapes and forms of arts education. Music education, youth empowerment through arts, talent development in the arts. I enrolled in this business in 1999 and have written and read more funding applications than I care for.

The current Big Question seems to be: why do we do this? This is always a good question to ask about anything we do but recently the answers tend to be political, more than anything else. We do arts education because it is good for our brains. We do it because we need to protect our cultural heritage. (Against whom?) We do it because it is good for our societies when we can make art together and marvel at our joined efforts in a warm haze of social cohesion.

To me, art education is important because of this:Read More »

Black Lives Matter

blacklivesmatter

My sis in law posted this today on Facebook.
I agree with it.
But I cannot use the ‘we’ in this statement because I am, clearly, not a black person.
It is easy these days to make a wrong step in any debate. To admit to changing ones mind, to support a statement, to try to understand more deeply. It is easy to be smashed in the face for appropriating something or trying to own a struggle that is not ones own.
I have no intention to do such a thing.
I do however have the intention to not be silent on things that concern people I care deeply about, such as aforementioned sis in law and her own two minions who have so-called mixed-race parentage and are therefore in danger of always being out of place in any conversation. I also believe that the equality of people, races and genders, is something that concerns us all and if we’re not fighters we should at the very least be allies. Inequality will come back to bite us in the the ass. It is wrong.

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The fault

Brexit happened. A lot of emotional reactions appeared on the timeline. A few stabs at humor but mostly misery. A bit of cautious forecasting and a lot of doom. A whole lot of blame game. Boris and Nigel. Dave. The whole EU. Part of the EU. Stupid people. Poor people. Public schools on Britain. Mad cow disease in the nineties. So far nobody blamed the weather yet. 

Me, I have no blame to place. It was a game that was played as a chicken game but should have been a co-op. The regret, now, seems to be all-encompassing except in those who either feel that this will fix all, or that it will destroy all and then fix all. I hope they are right. We can’t go back.

Rain

My daughter loves the rain. Ever since we once ran home from the shop through the pouring rain. Water splashing around our feet as we pounded down the pavement. People watching us giggle by, drenched to our underwear. We were having so much fun. Now she will stand in the rain with the arms streched out and her tongue out to catch the drops. She reminds me how I love the rain, too.

Just. One. Book.

A friend put me on this trail the other day and I think it’s a worthy cause. It’s not the only worthy cause around but it’s worthy all the same. The address is listed in the post. Good luck!

Throwing Chanclas

Just. One. Book.

I live in a town of 1200 people in the Northern Sierra Nevada –where it meets the Cascade Range near Mt. Lassen National Park and about two hours drive northwest of Reno, NV.  Two hundred of that population is students. Over the years as the population dwindled after mines closed, then mills–nothing except tourism and retirement have emerged as ‘industries.’ Many businesses have closed down and with it many things we take for granted—like libraries.

The local junior/senior high school has not been able to purchase new books since the 90s. Some of the “check outs” for old books are in the 1980s. There are no books by people of color in the library. Hardly any books by women are in the few book cases except your standard Austen and Lee. It’s an uninviting place. There hasn’t been a librarian for nearly a decade. And volunteers weren’t allowed. The…

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Let it go

The other day I went swimming with the minions and afterwards I found that I had forgotten to bring a comb. I did pack my curl taming foam so I just put that in my hair and figured I’d chalk the day up as lost, hair-wise.
Turns out that in the course of the next hour my hair turned out exactly as it does when I use a comb. No difference whatsoever.
Probably a metaphor for something.

Zen. Or the art of attacking the laundry pile.

Look at that laundry pile. You have one, I know that, so don’t bother denying it. Now look at it.

If it is anything like mine, half of those clothing items came out of the dryer, and half off the rack. Some are crumpled up and some are more smooth already. Some are still balled up like the socks because who can be arsed to get those untangled before washing? Right.

Now that they’re all nice and clean and dried up, the next and final step arrives: folding the damn things up to a degree that will make them a) storable/stackable, and b) findable. So far so good.

We’re not getting into the whole business of how to fold the various items of clothing. This is a practical choice in part, because I am no expert either, but mainly a philosophical one: who cares? As long as they can be put away, I honestly don’t care.

The question I am addressing here is of a more instrumental level. When approaching the pile of assorted garments does one first sort them into designated piles (kids, socks, underwear, mine, thine) or does one tackle the pile as a whole?

Analytically or holistically, if you will.

I was a great sorter for a long time. Now I attack the pile in one go. The progress is at first not as visible as it would be in sorted sub-piles – that one tackles one after the other thus leaving empty spaces where piles used to be – but eventually the bulk of the work begins to diminish. There is relief with every garment one touches until at last the whole pile has gone. The space it leaves behind seems somehow bigger than when I picked it apart first. The letting go more complete.

From the Ninja archives of understanding what the hell.