Happy Halloween!

“Who am I? No, I’m not Draco, though he is a dear friend of mine. No, I am from America, though I attended Hogwarts as an exchange student many years ago. Slytherin was, and still is my beloved house though. Now muggle, if you don’t mind, kindly get out of my way as I have much to do!”

Below: A few students also dressed up as Hogwarts house members.

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My colleague and friend, Mr. Jonny Alexander. He also teaches Design.

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On the way to work this morning,

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We took Leo out for a brief picnic this weekend. Tingting did not want a coat, so she of course ended up taking my sweater… so cute!!

My school has been selling Halloween Candy Grams for a week or so, but they just raised the prices to about $3. Today, a student came by and said he was unhappy with the price, so He bought his own supplies and made this one for me! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I love these kids.

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Does that hurt?

So, Leo was chilling out on Tingting’s lap the other day, and I looked down and thought ouch… That looks like it should hurt. He was totally comfy though.

This last week has been so stressful. A few of the days seemed as though they went on forever. On Wednesday and Thursday, my school had our fall Parent-Teacher conferences, and while they went smooth and I am always delighted to talk to so many parents, they are exhausting. Truly, I had some wonderful, enlightening and helpful talks with so many parents, yet 46 parent meetings in just2 days is tiring! πŸ™‚

Another thing, in Design, my students don’t take traditional tests. They do not fill out forms, or anything like that. Instead, they conduct research, collaborate, talk and then write 4 to 8 page portfolios outlining their progress on their projects every 3-4 weeks. Now, having 112 students, means I’ve got a lot of reading to do and a lot of feedback to write…. but hey, that’s my job and I love it. And as of today, I’m all caught up on this front!! LOL

Anyway, Tingting shared this video with her family today and I thought I’d share it with anyone who reads this. Like the kid said, when he is stressed or sad, this song helps to raise him up, and I’ve got to admit, his singing totally helped to raise me up. Talk about a child super star in the making!

The things you find

Today, on a quick run to Forest Cafe for a couple of milk teas, I ran into this cute fellow.

Almost exactly 1 year ago, our paths crossed for the first time. I’m starting to think we are in some way connected! LOL

Story time!

I’m so happy that Leo seems to really love his story time. His favorite book so far is Cat In the Hat, followed by One Fish, Two Fish, and then perhaps Green Eggs and Ham. Ya, stereotypical, all Dr. Seuss, but the bold primary colors and poetic nature of his stories really appeal to Leo. I just introduced Winnie the Pooh and now Scooby Doo. I hope he continues to loves both as gets older. I’m a huge Pooh Bear and Scooby fan. I can’t wait to share the original 1960’s cartoons with him in a few years! πŸ™‚

Music

I consider myself a musician, though I admit I’ve never been as good as I wanted to be, could be, or as good as the people I’ve associated with throughout my life. I love music, I love everything about it. Music is such an intangible force that affects people in unfathomable ways, yet society takes it for granted in almost every nook and corner of our daily lives. Study after study shows that music can lower your blood pressure, provide mental focus, improve math and reading abilities in children, and even help develop neurological pathways that positively affect brain development in numerous ways. Lord knows we have all been in mood A, then hear a particular tune, and are suddenly thrust into mood B. Music is powerful!

When I was in college, I studied Russian language for a few years. I love the language, though sadly it was something I did not excel at. Regardless, I spent several months in Moscow as a result of my studies. One day, I stumbled across this piece of Soviet propaganda, illustrating a perceived fundamental difference between how musicians were treated in the West and the Soviet Union.

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Of course the image is propaganda, but the message is somewhat true. Musicians are some of the most talented, hardest working, focused and skilled members of our societies, and will ever make enough money from their skill to pay the bills. It reminds of Β a joke that explains it all.

“A man dies and is greeted at the Gates of Heaven by Saint Peter, who says “Welcome my child. Tell me, how much money did you donate to charity in your life.” The newly arrived soul lowers his head and says “Saint Peter, I’m sorry to say in my whole adult life, I never earned more than $5,000.” Saint Peter responds, “I see, what instrument did you play?”

Imagine a movie without music. The action scenes are better with them, so are the love scenes, the family time scenes, or practically every scene in any movie anywhere. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter, would all be boring and utterly uninteresting without music. I’m not sure why I’m writing about this today, I suppose it’s because I miss a lot of influential people I’ve known in my life who were talented musicians. . . .

Ya, let’s go with that. . . . . . Or how about this, go online, find your favorite album or two, and buy it from a legitimate store. Play it, enjoy it, and relive the good memories all over again. Β πŸ™‚

SCIS UN Day 2018 :)

UN Day is among my favorite days every year as our school kids dress up in our national colors and gather for a school wide parade, followed by speeches and student performances. It’s always a great day.