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It was a dark and stormy night at the annual Viola Club meeting…

… and the violists were about 30 measures into the Bach Brandenburg Number 6 when the power flickered once… twice… “NO!” cried Dottie, “I’ve been waiting all year to play this, the power can’t go out!” “Don’t tempt fate!” someone else yelled over the music. With a final crash of thunder. The lights went out for the rest of the night. Although the viola club members made a valiant attempt to continue playing on… nobody remembered more than about one measure more from memory. (hey – it’s a piece with a LOT of notes in it and most of us only get to play it once a year) A flurry of activity followed as violists dug out their flashlights (it’s a camp, everyone has flashlights to be able to find their cabins in the dark) and the hosts of the club meeting (Joel and Maria) found other light sources at the house. Not to be deterred from their annual “playing of the Brandenburg 6” (a lovely and difficult piece written for two violists which we play in a large group 0every year), we quickly decided on an action plan. We would take turns holding the light on the music and switch light holders each movement. So, with the storm raging (and I do mean, raging) in the background and the patio door thrown open so that we could hear...

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Letting go…

Bolivia – my purple electric Viola/Violin This is a viola/violin that I refinished when I was in high school (okay, that’s like the late 80’s / early 90’s). I had it equipped it with a pickup on the bridge and it sounded wicked cool through a wammy pedal and amp. I’ve been carrying it and moving it from place to place… Virginia, Montana, Wyoming, Michigan… but I haven’t played it since college (undergraduate) and now.it’s time to let it go to someone who will play it. This week is CMFF Camp (Chamber Music For Fun) at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and sometimes people use it as an opportunity to finally sever the ties that connect them to some instrument they have never been able to part with before. Well, this is the year. I can no longer delude myself that “this will be the year” that I get back “into” the electric viola… I’m not going to join a band… I’m probably not even going to have time to practice the regular viola. I’m tired of moving this instrument from house to house and feeling the guilt calling me from the basement/closet/guest room. This is an instrument that needs to be played and hopefully, it will find a new player this week. Possibly Related Posts: Elaborations for Creative Thinking in STEM What should K-12 teachers be learning about...

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Why do employees have to yell at restaurants?

We went to CiCi’s Pizza today (a new franchise in town) and on this first (and probably last) trip, I have one observation: Restuarant employees are being made to do some pretty ridiculous things to earn their minimum wage. The employees had to yell “Hello! Welcome to CiCi’s!” when anyone new walks in the door. They had to yell “Thank you for coming to Ci Ci’s!” when anyone walked out the door. They had to yell little songs about the pizzas that were coming out of the oven. They had to yell little chants about how great CiCi’s pizza is about every 15 minutes. To be completely honest, it was really disturbing to have people yelling all the time right next to where you were standing in the buffet line and close to where you were sitting. I’m sure the restaurant means for these yells to be uplifting, fun, and cheerful… but come on … if you sit there for 30 minutes eating, you quickly realize that they are yelling hello and goodbye at everyone, chanting about how great the pizza is on cue, and yelling the “pizza chants” when their manager tells them to do so. You couldn’t possibly believe that this is all spontaneous fun. If nothing else, the desired behavior for these poor employees did spark some lively conversation between Joel and I (which is something...

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Add this blog to your iGoogle page.

There is now an RSS feed for this website. This means that you can add the blog to your iGoogle page using the “add” widget, and it will show the three most recent blog posts as clickable links. Just click “Add to Google” and choose “Add to Google homepage.” (Is it just me, or did that seem almost like a foreign language?) Instructions for creating the iGoogle widget for your blog can be found on my Technology blog. Possibly Related Posts: Elaborations for Creative Thinking in STEM What should K-12 teachers be learning about technology? The Road Back to Higher Education 10 Books to Push Your Thinking about Learning Design University of Copenhagen...

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Add this Blog to your iGoogle Homepage

There is now an RSS feed for this website. This means that you can add the blog to your iGoogle page and it will show the three most recent blog posts as clickable links. Just click “Add to Google” and choose “Add to Google homepage.” For any of you that might want to offer this option on your own blog, here are the rough instructions:1. Register for a Feedburner account and make sure you are logged in.2. “Burn” the blog with Feedburner by giving it the URL.3. Choose the RSS feed option.4. Activate the feed.5. In the Publicize tab, go to the Chicklet Chooser.6. Click the radio button that says “Add to Google.” At the bottom of the page, use the drop down menu to “Use as a widget in Blogger” Then click on Go!7. This should open a Blogger window called “Add Page Element.” Make sure the correct blog is selected (for those of you with multiple blogs). Click on Add Widget.8. You can repeat steps 5-7 to add other subscription possibilities to your blog. Possibly Related Posts: Elaborations for Creative Thinking in STEM What should K-12 teachers be learning about technology? The Road Back to Higher Education 10 Books to Push Your Thinking about Learning Design University of Copenhagen...

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