Tag Archives: MSNBC

Time For You To Go.

 

My last day as a public school music educator was not a celebration.

Although much anticipated, many times over the years, when the day came I was only aware of a couple, key feelings: exhaustion – and, readiness.

In the years one would have called my prime, I would arrive every morning in full, theatrical costume. Every class was its own creation, my body frequently the illustrated lesson. My students and I were perfectly attuned; discipline was a non-issue. If I didn’t have every child, mouth agape, in the palm of my hand, I wasn’t doing my job.

Time cloaked me. Over the years, the scene changed; once too often my perceived role was marginalized. My dear father, well into his ninth decade, moved in to be under my care. Well past my own half century mark, I found myself counting the months, and then the weeks. The Land of Diminishing Returns had worn me out.

Taken in totality, my contribution to public related arts education had hardly been scant or sparse. Ten fully staged extra-curricular drama productions; 250 beginning violinists, en masse, across several grade levels; instrumental ensembles of every conceivable permutation; competitive marching band; adjudicated concert choir and choruses; general/vocal music, K-8; mixed elementary chorus; focused curriculum for the hearing support. But, 25 years was a good, solid run; on June 9, 2011, I was done.

Today, Jared Kushner was interviewed by Fareed Zakaria on GPS. As President Trump’s senior advisor, he outlined the litany of accomplishments achieved by his father in law’s administration. Seven million new jobs. Trade deals, unprecedented. The dollar, strong. The endless war between Israel and Palestine reaching an also unprecedented mutually satisfying potential for resolution.

What makes related arts teachers distinct from the rest of their colleagues is the sheer measurability of their efforts. Everything they do with their students is readily observable by anyone. Art teachers produce student work which lines the walls of the school; music teachers create and direct performances open to everyone connected with the district. Their product is the direct result of their daily effort.

But, any teacher working past his/her point of positive affect becomes a liability. Good intentions are overtaken by fatigue; good judgment loses its edge. Children, ever intuitive, begin to resist them; administrators try to find ways to move them out of the building.

Given the past two years of the present Presidential administration, the glaring allegations, the deceit, the endless self-contradictions, the blatant lies, and the swarm of negative emotion generated, a great divide is now fixed among the American people. A clear half of the population of citizens wants nothing whatsoever to do with this President. Far beyond mere political ideology, the man himself is openly reviled. There is palpable hatred afoot, across wide swaths of the nation – hatred, for the President of the United States, by just under a majority of his people.

The recent impeachment trial has left half of America emboldened, and the other half utterly slain.  People can hardly look each other in the eye, fearfully wondering what is in the mind and heart of another. The climate, the prevailing mood is one of enmity. Were we at the mercy of the horse drawn carriage and musket, very little would restrain man from taking arms against man, woman against woman, child against child. All of this, over the person of the President of the United States.

Perhaps, instead of charging ahead like some Roman conqueror, President Trump should stop. It might be time for him to pull the lens back, expand to panorama, and take a candid look at the America his presence has created in the minds of its people. If he cannot do that, either because he is unable or unwilling, then he negates the very lives of those who are repulsed by him. He expresses virtual ethnic cleansing, reducing half of the population to zero value.

If he were not to stop, preferring instead to lead his faction into a future fraught by his own amoral, craven appetite for supremacy, the rift between himself , his following, and the rest of the nation would only grow wider. He would, by remaining in office, entrench the divide between the two Americas – perhaps beyond repair. In the face of and in spite of economic prosperity, he would single handedly destroy the soul and spirit of the entire country.

President Trump, don’t make us wait until November. Collect your laurels; accept your prize. Take your once in a lifetime lucky strike, and put it on the shelf with the rest of your shrine to self.

It’s well past time. Time for you to go.

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© 2/2/2020   Ruth Ann Scanzillo.   Please respect the rights of those who produce original material. Do not copy, reconstitute, extract, or otherwise dismantle and distribute this piece without express, written permission of its author. Thank you.

littlebarefeetblog.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Math”.

 

Most of us can remember our first Math class in school. Mine, however, doesn’t stand out as worthy of any Save File. I think it’s because, for me, words always held ineffable depth. They were my perpetual fascination – right up there with picture, and flavor, and song.

But, math seemed like more of a force with which to be reckoned, some mysterious matrix within which one could easily be consumed. It seemed, with its persistent symmetry, its finality, to be at enmity with imagination and passion, with life force itself.

Sure enough, I struggled against the thing. I’d try to skim through the process, to make it go away faster; invariably, this tactic led to that common term, the “careless mistake” – the fleet error in computation that would always render my sums and quotients “wrong.”  Getting “wrong answers” unnerved me; effortlessly able to memorize, I and my natural lexicon made no room for them.

As school and, with it, life progressed, I would come to invoke math teachers as my nemesis; they didn’t seem to see into my soul and, if they ever did look in my direction, appeared lacking in any recognition. Rather, an expression of annoyance, restrained tolerance, would pass across their collective countenance; I was the stranger in their room.

In later years, as I developed and was trained to understand the human mind, I came to appreciate math from my own point of view, aspects of its discipline as they integrated themselves into my real time experience. I waited tables, and would add figures both quickly and accurately; my brothers would use formulae to build the beautiful homes with which their construction was entrusted. My mother’s dressmaking even depended upon the role of measurement. Sure enough, its devoted teachers were right about one thing; occasionally, we would use the maddening mathematics in our daily lives.

But, if I have to hear one more political pundit declare that Bernie Sanders can’t become President because “the math” isn’t in his favor, I think I might morph into a Texas Instrument Terminatrix.

Allow me to USE math to present my argument.

Statistics are known to cluster. Predictions are still at the mercy of the random life event, which cannot be measured. The mob effect is not without its power to alter the course of history. The human element must be f.a.c.t.o.r.e.d. IN.

And, the math pundits aren’t doing that. Moreover, when we see the crowd swell of human passion at every single Bernie rally, the collective captivation of human imagination, and ignore its unmeasurable power, we simply aren’t computing. After all, isn’t this how Donald Trump reached presumptive nominee?

It seems, rather, that the political math defenders are more about preserving the present system of gathering desired data, known as the electoral college, than any real concern for authentic democratic representation.

Bernie Sanders has a mathematically sound platform, by the way – possibly the only one any candidate can boast.

Best to lean in, and address that arithmetic, before saying another word.

Bernie Sanders for President 2016.

Thank you.

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© Ruth Ann Scanzillo  5/12/16      Use freely, everywhere, with respectful acknowledgement of the author. Thank you, again.

littlebarefeetblog.com