Saturday, August 28, 2010

Prince Poppycock

As an elementary music educator, I often wonder where my students will end up in life. Will they simply be consumers of music or will they actually take the "seed of song" that has been planted within them and grow it into something more meaningful; something that touches the heart and the soul.

I have been following an individual on "America's Got Talent" this summer. I couldn't tell you his real name. He is known to America as "Prince Poppycock." This person has created a persona that is larger than life. He is a machinist by day and an opera singer by night. My children are fascinated by him and have grown to appreciate his talent. America loves him and keeps voting him through. He has made his way through the semi-finals on the show and each time he returns, his performance is more astounding. Here he is performing his version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" on Tuesday, August 24, 2010.

IF he wins the talent competition, he will receive a headline show in Las Vegas and one million dollars. I will be completely dumb-founded if he actually wins, because pop culture in America always takes precedence over true talent. When I watch his performance, I see someone who was deeply touched by his elementary music teacher, greatly impacted by his middle school music teacher and pushed to performance level by his high school music teacher. I see someone who is dedicated to his craft; someone who has spent many hours studying vocal performance; someone who is not afraid of hard work and long hours and someone who understands showmanship. He has an uncanny ability to draw a crowd into the moment. Prince Poppycock -you have my vote!

Until next time...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Down on the Farm

What a great day for our kids! Most of us city-slickers don't have any idea where our food comes from, but today our students got a first-hand look at farming from a group of farmers right here in Duval County, Florida. The Duval County Farm Bureau brought watermelons, tractors, livestock, a mule-drawn wagon, bees (self-contained) and seeds for our kids to plant.

I worked the "CCE Watermelon Patch" this morning and learned a great deal about watermelon. They originated in Egypt, they are a first-cousin of the cucumber, a medium-sized watermelon has approximately 1530 seeds in it and they're grown right here in Duval County!

"Jubilee" variety of melon

Every kid got a piece of watermelon from the watermelon patch (all 1350 of 'em!)

Beekeeper's Association

Beekeeper's gear

Beautiful Bovine Baby

A mother hen and her chicks

Have a great year, Ya'll!

Until next time...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Back-to-School 2010

It's that time of year again...when teachers soak up the last few rays of summer sun, parents dash from store to store collecting school supplies and purchasing sneakers in the next size up; where tax-free shopping rules the day and sports physicals are an absolute necessity.

Yes - it's "Back-to-School 2010."

Welcome Back Teachers!

Our theme this year is "Cultivating a Community of Excellence" and we're heading down to the farm.

Opening day for faculty and staff is filled with games, skits, food and fun! Prizes are awarded for the best skit and the best costumes. Oh, we'll work a little too - review policy and procedures, talk about the data and how we plan to shore up our weak spots - we'll discuss our plan for implementing the new "Response to Intervention" tool and spend a little time reflecting on how to make this year our best ever.

Mrs. Phillips works really hard at including everyone in the opening day festivities and making our new teachers feel welcome. It is truly a great way to build community and prepare us for the coming year. Check out these photos!


Props from our Skit - "The Resourceful Farming Company, Inc."

Holy Cow! It's Dee Dee and Ray!

Building a weather vane with Tinkertoys (the hard way!)

Working on "Eggstrella's Egg Mover"

The team-building activities were the toughest part of the day. Have you ever tried to build something while getting your cues from a liason who can only say, "Yes, No or I don't know"? That was an experience I will never forget!

Until next time...