Thinking of Lessons Learned.

As usual with my writings, this post has sat collecting dust in a virtual file for several weeks. The topic is still relevant and was brought to the forefront just now in a hall duty discussion about Hunter S. Thompson and then rolled onto Warren Zevon, two great creative minds who left us within the last several years.

I was listening to music over the weekend and introducing various artists to my daughter, she is seventeen months old, for those of you who are unfamiliar with me. I have a very eclectic taste in music, from classical to punk to rap to country and many places in between. I do not like all music of each category, but I like songs or artists of many categories. I hope this trait is passed on to my daughter.

I am getting off topic, surprise, surprise, so let me reset. I came across a song by Warren Zevon, “Keep Me In Your Heart,” not necessarily a sad song, but it hit me pretty hard. Knowing the circumstances of when it was written, after Warren had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, Mesothelioma, to be specific. For more information on what happened you can find it at his official site

What hit me was the fact that this Warren passed on treatment so he could continue doing what he loves best, creating music. He was told that there was nothing that could be done about the disease since he had waited too long to get a check up and find out why he was sick. Treatment would have prevented him from being able to continue recording or doing much of anything.

I am healthy, as far as I know, so that is not what struck a nerve, it was that he had the strength to continue pursuing what he loved even knowing he had limited time left. How many people lose site of their passions because life gets in the way? How many people have something great to leave those who stay behind? The song itself asks those Warren left to remember him fondly while they continue onward. It is almost haunting to listen to the words and realize what is being said. Maybe having a little girl, I hope that she will one day remember the things we do as a family with a smile on her face and a warm spot in her heart. In any case the wishes of the song are something to hope for…

Good news for the South Hills

This is great news. I used to go to the Denis on occasion when I lived in the South Hills. Way more offerings in off the beaten path art down there. It is nice to see people stepping up to renovate and invest in the area. Independent and classic cinema are way better than mass production. I wish there were more opportunities up my way, may be I am just not looking hard enough for them.

Next Year’s English Project…if I can get an English teacher to help…

I was watching “Classical Baby, All grown up'” with Arianna, my daughter this evening. They were reading poetry to images with some of the readers being the authors, others stars, and even children reading poems and giving their ideas on the poems. It was really cool, some of thekids were very young, but they seemed to get it. I do not know how much was scripted for them and how much was their own, but it was cool and believable. Next year I think it would be great to do something like that in our district, but expand upon it.

When I was Title I teacher in another life we had some of the better readers record stories for the not so good readers to use if they were reading on their own. I have no idea where the tapes went, but they were made. I think the Classical Baby” idea would be great with the expanded addition of original student poetry read over Ustream. The work can be archived and shared with the Middle and Elementary Schools. The original work can be from all grades since our District writes at most levels, the kids would love it. It is authorship beyond the classroom or school walls.

As for using published work by other authors, maybe private sites can hold the recordings for the younger students to use as a guide to reading. The kids like working with the other levels and all would benefit from the experience. I would have to look into copyright issues, but fortunately an associate I met on my online network at, has done a lot of research on the topic. Eduwikius is an entirely different post, for another time, but they are an excellent network of very helpful professionals.

Since I now teach Economics/POD and American Civics I would need to pull the English Department in on this endeavor. It will be much easier to accomplish if we get the Classrooms for The Future grant. I was chosen to be the coach and would have more time to help implement his idea if everything falls into place. Here’s hoping for the plans to fall into place.