Friday, December 5, 2008

Field Observations

This evening DW and I had the pleasure of attending Roosevelt High School's Jazz presentation of "The Nutcracker Suite" as arranged by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. 

Very impressive and quite a treat too. Everyone onstage and the better part of the audience was having a blast. There are reasons why this band is one of the top HS bands in the US and why they have won the Essentially Ellington competition two years running (not that I really know much about this). They were unlike any other high school band performance I've ever heard, a very professional sound and, well, they just all looked like adults up there who obviously loved what they were doing. Refreshing to see and hear.

Time to borrow a recording of Ellington's band doing this from the library. It is such a fun set of arrangements. Or, I could just buy the RHS recording

On a lighter note. Aside from attending the Learning Factory's graduation ceremony at the local VeryLargeHS (don't ask) tonight was the first time I have actually been inside a high school since, well, since I was in high school. DW and I took a bit of walk and almost got lost. Though generally larger college and uni campuses seem easy to navigate by comparison (are they trying to confuse everyone?). Pretty amazing building but permit the following:

Here is a statement of the obvious:

What would happen if I called this a "hallway"? Is there any mistaking this "Corridor" for a room? Or is this actually some post-Columbine labeling system for emergency personnel. The thought just occurred as I was writing this. If so, then this is deeply sad.

This explains a lot:

Every once in a while I notice many of the kids in the neighborhood going to school wearing pajamas. Indeed, sometimes students show up to the Learning Factory so attired. So now I know, Monday is Pajama Day. Do the teachers wear PJ's too? What would happen if I turned up to class wearing PJ's? Wait, I don't have any PJ's . . . 

I don't get Tuesday but I think I've got that covered as my normal teaching attire is some variation on jeans, t-shirt, and fleece. Got no school spirit though. I am just confused as there are too many schools in my past—bolts of lightning, the losing team in The Illiad, a former circus bear, a blue chicken,  some sinister Zorro-like guy peering out through the bushes of text, and now some old guy with a very large fork. 

Wednesday is a little scary. Kids. One day you are going to get old, have to live on something of a fixed income (especially if the economy continues as it is), and will probably resent being mocked for the purposes of fostering school spirit. But then again, what is more mockable than some old fuddy-duddy mockingly blogging about your mockery. “It's a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham" I tell ya!

I am all for Superhero Thursday though. Nothing like a little fantasy but let's rethink the capes shall we. Edna Mode had it right I think, tiz a safety issue:

Class Color Friday is actually a little scary too. What happens if a Freshman decides to wear Orange on a Friday? Do the Juniors beat them up? What if someone decides to wear all of the colors? Are they then out of class? Sigh, we spend so much time differentiating ourselves why do we need to practice this in the name of class or school spirit. 

As you can probably tell, I didn't really fit in during my own HS years. To wit, my favorite sign in any High School! :-P


PuddleThumper said...

Do you think pj day is every monday? I think sloppy dress (pjs or even jeans day at my work) promotes sloppy, relaxed behavior. Personally I liked uniforms in school. :-p

Andy said...

Glad you enjoyed the show. In addition to the Band's Nutcracker CD, I heartily recommend their latest, Umbria Farewell, recorded last summer at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy. Scott Brown, Director, says, "Quite possibly, the best set of music I've ever had a band play."

rpd said...

Hey, I wear jeans to work. Oh wait, I exhibit "sloppy, relaxed behavior" too. Try dressing up periodically but it just doesn't take.

I found out that my middle school actually has gone very near to uniforms and a dress code. This is how you "dress for learning" []. What, no hoodies! :-/

rpd said...

A, I can get that online, yes?