Category Setting off

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

The world’s in a horrible state, and I get notice that this recording is now publicly posted and available. I don’t know how to process the idea of music–organized sounds with no literal message–having import at a moment like this. I post the music here, because it’s an honor to have had fabulous musicians–Eliot Heaton and Ran Cheng–apply their gifts and time to the order I’ve tried to create; and because I think ACA has done a great service to both composers and performers in generating this “Shelter Recordings” project.

Eliot Heaton & Ran Cheng, violins, recording On Balance

I spoke with a dear friend yesterday, a gifted clarinetist with whom i’ve worked on many occasions, over many years...

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Monday, June 1, 2020

Centuries of abuse, decades of police brutality, years of undeniable video proof of killings throughout this country, of hateful, deeply ingrained prejudices on plain display. So very many peaceful protests over so very many years, ignored or fodder for creating distraction via discussion about patriotism.

We are in a moment of both implosion and explosion. Coming out of pandemic-driven lockdowns and business closures for months, desperate people are crying out, screaming out for justice; and others are using the confusion to loot businesses trying to reopen.

Who’s to blame now becomes fodder for creating distractions, again, via discussion about who is a “law & order” political party, about Antifa...

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Saturday, May 30, 2020

just a horrific few days this past week. That we’re living in a time when the spirit of Gerge Wallace is louder than the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. More than infuriating, more than depressing, more than discouraging.

From the top on down, the institutions that comprise the powers within the U.S. are so rigged against the non-white, the non-male. Could it be that this country is boiling over, again, as it did 60 years ago, 50 years ago, 40 years ago.

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

I honestly did not think I’d be saying this any time soon, but yesterday Pattie and I did a walk-through at in Surf City.  A very small punch list, and we’re likely to go there next Friday to do a deep clean, then have everything moved back in about 2 weeks from now.  After 19 months, we’ll actually get to spend lots of time there this summer, much to our surprise, and we’re psyched!

There’s a long list of things to take care of (taxes, house stuff), get to work on (teaching online, learning software), and continue (writing projects). Sensing today the things I want to accomplish before next Friday, as i know that when we get to Surf City there will be about a week of cleaning, then moving in, before any return to work is practical...

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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

this article (picture links to a NYTimes op-ed) elevates long-standing argument, but is more than ever necessary to consider. [https://nyti.ms/3ejLhL2]

For sure, the current (pre-pandemic) model has been in free-fall for some time.  And just as certainly, schools will struggle to stay alive in any way they can.  So much of the bloat has been centered around ‘student experiences’, i.e. dorms, gyms, student centers, dining halls.  And that investment is what they’re being forced to make income-impotent with no one on campus.

If the large-scale demise of universities comes to pass, then the use of that U-infrastructure will have to be repurposed in some ways, and I almost wonder if high schools or private el-hi schools might be the winners there, especially in the case of sm...

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Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day

Yesterday was a good day of chores, yoga, and even a bit of writing. Problems with the refrigerator fixed; lawn mowed, weeds wacked.

Very tired this morning. Even the Monday NYTimes crossword was hard; just not feeling sharp. But did just begin the dreaded process of prepping taxes for the accountant…the original plan of being back here late March before heading to Europe would have allowed gathering all those materials together by April 1. Not getting back until April 19 meant no access to important paperwork/forms. Thankfully the July 15 deadline means we aren’t late, but it’s time to get this out of the way, little by little.

I want to finish up this little ‘cello piece for Jason; I’ve really barely given it my attention over the past four weeks, but need ...

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Sunday, May 24, 2020

This Memorial Day weekend is making clear how much people are craving a return to ‘normal.’ Pictures everywhere of families on beaches, crowds at bars and restaurants, and more ‘normalcy.’

The desire to get back to work, to get business cranked up, to see the economy begin to recover, get some income going to pay bills…it’s all so very understandable. And, at the same time, the flouting of this pandemic’s presence among us will, I expect, lead to a terrifically horrid second wave in the months to come.

Even as the catastrophe of disease, economic ruin, an personal isolation have brought on the closing of the walls around us, the world’s weather patterns are just as frightening...

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Saturday, May 23, 2020

Between the online play we watched Thursday night, and a walk with an education-prof friend today, I feel much less scared, and more excited about finding ways to engage students in new ways over the coming year.

In part, I think that my fear of not being able to use my own teaching tools–being present, attending to what’s being said both verbally and gesturally–is misplaced. Being present, attending to what’s being said both verbally and gesturally, is what i should be teaching, and that’s an interesting way of thinking about it, at least to me.

An interesting article, lengthy and worth reading. I sure hope his thesis–“The post-pandemic future will entail partnerships between the largest tech companies in the world and elite universities...

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Friday, May 22, 2020

Last night a production of Dear John, by Marcia Cebulska, went up on Zoom, directed by sis Martha. She’d assigned scenes from this play to two actors in a class she was teaching at IU; and they wanted to put on the full show. And, of course, Zoom was the medium of performance.

The show was very good, indeed, and i look forward to chatting more with Martha about her approach to this particular challenge (Zoom). It’s odd, for sure to engage a show while focusing on two squares on one’s computer screen...

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

lots and lots and lots of rain…

Good news from the beach where, after being uninhabitable since early September, 2018, we’ve actually got a walk-through scheduled for next Wednesday afternoon. Hard to believe and, frankly, our expectations for seeing good, quality work are lower than low but…if we can get back in there, deep clean, get our furniture out of storage, start fixing whatever mess the crews leave, we’ll be very happy.

Numerous email exchanges today related to fall planning at work and, as seen on a ‘net meme, this summary seems spot on;

-we don’t know much
-what we know we can’t share just yet
-everything is going to change
-given the above, please make a plan.

A good survey of current thinking at this moment.

Turns out not everyone enjoys green beans…
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