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A Poem for My Son

You certainly are not a poem that rhymes,
yet, my son, you are poetry in motion.
Your regal stroll and stately stare
have certainly won my life-long devotion.

As a young lad you were adorable and dangerous,
irresistible, unstable, unpredictable, but sweet.
We would spend hours chasing and pouncing,
or napping just blocks from the sea, you at my feet.

But time extends as it always does,
your spots and stripes grew more gray,
I, of course, married and had kids,
which you tolerated with just the slightest dismay.

We do a lot less chasing and pouncing now,
and we rarely, together, enjoy a nap.
Our life is just a different crazy,
yet you still spend a little time in my lap.

Fourteen years is a lifetime and nothing at all,
fourteen years a proud father to a son.
You’ve been the most magnificent, unapologetic companion,
to which none can compare, not one.

miko

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Where to begin with this one? I discovered this through an article on Herbie Hancock’s influence on early hip-hop. It’s taken from a 1983 performance at the Grammys where he was recognized for his breakout hit, “Rockit.”

He’s definitely one of my all-time favorite jazz pianists, but admittedly, he gets a little out there (and not in a good, free-jazz sort of way). Many fans love his early forays into funk and of course his seminal album, Head Hunters, but this is a whole other level. The music here has to be appreciated, but in addition, there’s so much going on in this video culturally, it could probably be the basis for a whole thesis in several subject areas. I would love to know what you think.

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Crying in the Dark (Sometimes It’s Like That)

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I’ve missed a couple of my #photowednesdays and #musicthursdays posts lately due to life. Oral surgery, fumigation, work trip, sleepover—and that’s just what went down last week. But when I was on the road for my work trip on Monday, this ray of light came on through a playlist I had synced to my phone. Many are now familiar with Robert Glasper from his Black Radio album, but his earlier, more straight-ahead stuff was pure joy to my ears. I hope it lifts you up as much as it did for me in a moment when I really needed it.

The Brandenburg Concertos by J.S. Bach are among the most famous pieces of music, ever. As a trumpet player, No. 2 is up there as one of the most revered and feared pieces in the repertoire. I have never played it (nor could have, even in my heyday) and there are many great trumpet players who just don’t even attempt it. What’s interesting about this recording is that the players are playing on period instruments, so that’s why some of them may sound different, and certainly look different, from the instruments you may be more familiar with. In particular, notice the trumpet—no valves! This means all the trills are mostly done using the lips alone, and many of the note changes are made similarly to a woodwind, where you cover holes. I think this is an excellent interpretation by the Freiburger Barockorchester (Baroque Orchestra) of a truly monumental piece. Enjoy.

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Life, Liberty, Jelly Beans

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Learning by Leaning

IMG_2619One thing I’m constantly grateful for in my job is that I’m surrounded by education-related content, and even better than that, I have opportunities to meet with educators from all over the U.S. At our spring meeting in DC, while catching up with my teacher friends, the one question almost all of them asked was, “How’s unschooling going?!”

There’s two things I loved about that: 1) they were genuinely excited and curious, and 2) it was an opportunity to share perspectives and get ideas. Some of them are familiar with unschooling and some aren’t, but all of them had great ideas for me to bring back home—innovative, engaging ideas from their own classrooms that work well with their kids.

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Ladybug On the Moon

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Ladybug On the Moon

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Pelican at Sea

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Pelican at Sea

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