Yesterday, on the month anniversary of the massacre by a 19-year old using a semi-automatic style weapon at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which left 17 dead and 14 injured, students all over the United States walked out of class to protest gun violence and to demand action by their lawmakers. These clear, young eyes see the NRA’s emasculation of the GOP, the party which controls all three branches of our federal government and 33 state houses across the USA. They see that the best the GOP president can do is host a roundtable discussion about violent video games after the NRA made him walk back his gun control comments. I’ve heard and read “grown-ups” criticizing students for meddling in issues they do not understand and insinuating that the protesters only wanted to get out of classes, but possibly those “grown-ups” know a very different kind of student than I know. I applaud the students who organized demonstrations of all sorts yesterday and who intend to demand more from the rest of us to end gun violence with gun control. Continue reading
4:00 p.m.: I’ve spent the day in the garden beds, digging up the last of the bulbs in the front terrace beds, transplanting ajuga from those same beds to the side in front of the fence. This is a place where the worst weeds grow. Ugly, ugly, ugly. I planted ajuga on the fence line last fall. About a third of it took, so I’m trying again. Cutting back spent bulb plantings and weeding just a tiny bit. I have some mighty incredible weeds after our week of rain.
Julia is working on cover art for a class project while she listens to music. Kid bob mostly with a bit of classic rock mixed in. “I just love ‘Thriller,’” she tells me. How can I not smile indulgently?
For the cover art, Julia sketched the old fashion way and then transferred her drawings to an iPad app for coloring. When finished, the enhanced drawings will all go into a collage app to be arranged on a background and titles. For a child who stumbles over simple directions, she has figured most of this out by herself. When she’s run into problems and asks me, which surprisingly she is doing with more regularity, she is patient as I figure the problem out and usually fully understands my solution about half way through my explanation. Continue reading
I am typing with two hands! After weeks of big splint/cast/smaller splint, I was released to type last week and this week I have managed two days without much hand support. The wrist bones are healed but the muscles and tendons of my hand and lower arm need much work to get back to normal. Continue reading
So much of life flies under the radar and goes unnoticed. By me. Sometimes I notice a new hair cut, I comment on a Facebook announcement of a new job or I ask about an increased spring in a step, but so many times I miss much of the lives around me. I don’t know whether to attribute it to self-involvement, a teenager who needs attention or a general character flaw. Continue reading
Julia is still struggling with counting eighth notes, which is not unusual at her level, however, this weekend she wanted to leap to some much more advanced level. We listened to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and she heard vibrato. She has heard plenty of music with vibrato but this weekend she recognized it for the first time.
“What is that wobbly sound?” And I tried to explain.
When it came time for cello practice, she tried to reproduce the sound by vibrating her bow instead of the fingers on the neck of the cello. Quite ingenious really. It looked very silly but she managed a sound that was something like vibrato.
When I explained how the sound was made, Julia did not like it as much as moving the bow around. She tried it as she practiced and I asked her not to do it until Martha, her teacher, explains it much better than I could.
Bow hand and arm positions and directions, posture and sitting position, and recently having all of her tapes taken off, there seems to be plenty to concentrate on. I send up a secret prayer that vibrato can wait a year or so down the line.
Still, gotta’ give the kid credit.