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July 12, 2019

Seems like a good time to bring up a vaccination story.  People today don't remember 

the panic that engulfed America in the 1930s because of the dread disease poliomyelitis,

commonly known as polio. In fact, the panic may have been worse than the disease

itself, as...

April 20, 2019

April is Jazz Appreciation Month! I'm always interested in introducing students to

some great music.  Since most music today is beat-based with little evidence of a

melodic line, I figure I can open up some eyes and especially ears by sharing music

that is highly rhythmic...

February 14, 2019

Back in 1975, my wife and I got the opportunity to vary our traditional practice of seeing the American Ballet Theatre or the New York City Ballet.  We headed to Lincoln Center to enjoy some modern dance under the guidance of Alvin Ailey.  Ailey was a transformative pr...

January 15, 2019

More change! It was probably about twenty years ago that I first noticed the

appearance of the word "cliche" as an adjective in addition to its use as a noun. 

A cliche, of course, means a phrase or statement that has become trite and

tiresome with overuse. The word, as y...

September 14, 2018

When I was in my early teens, I used to listen to Top 40 radio on WABC am radio

from New York, a ubiquitous voice blaring from transistor radios everywhere I

went. The Beatles.  The Stones.  Bob Dylan. Plus a million schlocky love ballads

and a few novelty songs.  So...

July 27, 2018

It's normal as one grows older to look wistfully at elements of the past. Like

virtually everyone else my age, when I was young I cherished those black

and white panel comic strips  found daily and larger four-color strips

printed Sundays in the many newspapers that flour...

June 22, 2018

Back in the day, chic New York City restaurants were typically French.  Their

famous entrees were traditionally prepared with a variety of sauces concocted

by a saucier. These dishes were rich, heavy, expensive and calorie-laden, and they

were essential components of a pe...

May 17, 2018

One of the great language mysteries is the way words change in some significant

way almost without reason. On the other hand, that's the way it works in much

of life.  When I was a kid, people just threw their used candy wrappers and beer cans

and soda bottles and French...

April 23, 2018

I have spent a lot of time dissing certain types of music in these blog posts. I have complained

about the poverty of talent and the insipidness of lyrics in popular music.  I think the popular

song as a medium is a wonderful thing.  It has been for a century now. And in...

April 10, 2018

I'm sure you all recognize the line "Words, words, words." from Hamlet. It's his response

to Polonius's question "What do you read, my lord?" in Act II when Hamlet has affected

an "antic disposition". Seems like a good title for a new blog series on the changing

natu...

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Back in 2011, a school administrator asked me if I'd like to start a blog.  I thought it was an intriguing offer that would give me the opportunity to discuss cultural questions that I couldn't necessarily work into class discussions.  Plus, it offered me the chance to discuss many of the wonderful experiences I've had in more than forty years in and out of the field of education.  I have enjoyed sharing my views with my students and have learned from their responses.