September 24, 2009
Part of me resonates with that kid. Nobody deserves to have their bacon forcibly taken from them. It’s just not right.
But that’s not what stand out most to me from that clip. No, it’s actually the realization that one of the best things we can do for the next generation is model the art of constructive criticism for them. We’re not doing it well. Kanye West thinks it’s ok to verbally throw a President under the bus during a telathon and jump people whenever he feels like it. Joe Wilson directs a rude outburst at a President, which pretty much just makes him a normal American.
An 8-year-old kid doesn’t come up with a tirade like that all by himself. He sees behavior like that modeled for him, and his parents don’t say anything when he has outbursts like that. So in grade school he is miffed that a well-spoken black woman “out of the blue thinks she’s a smart little girl”.
If we project this kid’s behavior out 10 or 20 years, how do we think he’s going to treat black people as an adult?
If we project our kid’s behavior out 10 or 20 years after they spend their childhood watching and emulating adults who can’t talk respectfully to/about their leaders and peers?
Renew and Restore
September 22, 2009
I have a very good friend who teaches high school English in Wichita. We often email each other funny things that we would NEVER email anyone else. Good stuff that either makes us look like dorks or heathens or both. And he keeps me in the loop as to articles from McSweeney‘s I might find interesting. Good guy.
This fine day I got the best email ever from this friend. (We shall refer to him as Mr. T, so as to not invade his privacy as he did mine) Mr T needed a writing excercise for one of his classes this morning. Like any good teacher, he used my blog as inspiration. Borrowing from yesterday’s post, he spurred his students to greatness.
The email is as follows:
I projected this picture in my room and had my students write one-sentence descriptions. Highlights follow the image, in the form of a found poem constructed from their notecards.
Christian and Zachary: A Found Poem by [Mr. T’s] 5th hour sophomores
A man possing for the camera holding a kid.
He looks very, very, very, very, very, very happy.
Goofy, happy, confident, seems responsible, dad looks like he knows what he is doing
He’s a black dude who seems very happy holding his little white baby
A very gleeful man holds his baby boy with a sling
The man in the picture looks scronny and dumb, the child in his arms looks cute
The man looks like a proud father
Tall man, silly smill etched across his face under his nose, his eyes shielded by large black sunglasses and his hands laced around each other, protecting the child cradled between them.
This man look drunk to me
I would say all of the observations have merit, save the last one. I was certainly not drunk. But I might be forced to drown my sorrows if I can’t get over the fact that some kid in Wichita called me “scronny [sic] and dumb”. Or maybe I’ll do another round of pushups and read The Economist when I get home.
Renew and Restore
September 21, 2009
Contrary to conventional wisdom, a camping trip with a three-year-old and a four-month old can be fun. Heading into such an adventure I was skeptical. But it was nice.
This past weekend we made a family trip to the Walnut Valley Festival. Stacy’s family has a lot of history with the event, having attended for most of the 38 editions. The fairgrounds at Winfield have seen a lot of rising bluegrass stars come through over the years, before most people had ever heard names that would later become very familiar. New Grass Revival, Alison Krauss, The Dixie Chicks and Nickel Creek are all alums. The event is legit.
I’m glad we are getting our kids hooked at a young age. Other than a jazz solo, there is nothing quite like the pace of a good bluegrass joint when it really gets humming. The ability to play a piece of music as fast as possible without ever sounding out of control is part practice and part special talent, but it’s all amazing. I can be entertained by skillful banjo/guitar/mandolin pickers all day. (And lest you think I sat around all weekend listening bunch of old men farting around on their banjos, you should check out The Greencards and Mountain Heart. Bluegrass is a changin’.)
Renew and Restore
September 1, 2009
Find your way to the “Top 25 Most Played” playslist on my ipod, and you’ll see “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” by U2. Not a shocker that a U2 song would top the list. But in my defense, credit for the top billing must be shared with Elli. She loves that song. Granted, she calls it the “baby song”, as that’s what Bono croons during the bridge, but still. Whenever we get in the car, that’s the track she wants spun.
I’m glad she likes the song. It sure does resonate with me. Despite the fact we’ve listened to it over and over, I’m not even close to getting tired of it. The lyrics hit me every time. From opening lines that very vividly describe my relationship with Stacy to the theme of journey, the whole thing feels like my own personal theme song. So much so that the Blackberry commercial featuring the song almost made me want to trade my phone in for the Crackberry. Almost.
Two questions for you today:
- If you could choose any song as your own personal theme song, what would it be?
- What other songs out there would you suggest for my personal theme song?
Important questions there, because you never know when one of us will start a pro wrestling career. You always need some music to run out to before you blap someone on the side of the dome with a folding chair.
In related news, Stacy and I are meeting with our pastor today to talk over Zachary’s dedication. It’s scheduled for October 18, which just so happens to be the same day as the U2 concert in Norman, OK. Looks like I won’t be making it to that show. Too bad, since that’s as close as they get to KC this time around.
My only chance to catch a U2 show would be Las Vegas. They play there on October 23. Since it’s a Friday, I could take the day off of work and fly to Vegas first thing in the morning. Then I’d go straight to the stadium and stand in the GA line all day, go to the concert that night and then bust straight out to the airport to catch either a redeye or the first flight out Saturday morning. With frequent flyer miles covering the flight and no intention of getting a hotel, it would be a cheap trip.
Clearly, my definition of there still being a “chance” to make a show is pretty broad. But still. I’m saying there’s a chance.
Renew and Restore