Friday, September 20, 2002

Education Matters

I had a lovely time at Christopher and Nicholas' school last evening. Classrooms are far more colourful and stimulating than when I was in grade 1 and the only thing of interest to distract me from the distractions out the window were: 1) the alphabet strung along the top of the blackboard; 2) a photograph of a very young Queen Elizabeth II; 3) Patty Tweddle in the row next to me.

It was good to meet the boy's teachers and see their work on display. The evidence from their workbooks suggests that they are both doing well, grasping the concepts that are being taught, and (gasp!) maybe even enjoying it.

I was particularly proud of Christopher's creative writing. He's a good story-teller, choosing not only words, but themes and images well. I hope he is encouraged to keep it up.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

"O Superman"

I've never been a big Laurie Anderson fan. I dunno, I guess I just don't get it. Today I read a review of her latest release Live at Town Hall: New York City, September 19 - 20, 2001 in the latest edition of New Internationalist. The reviewer writes, "No one could have guessed how exact, how poignant and humane - her work would become in the wake of 11 September. One cannot listen to those lines in 'O Superman' - 'Here come the planes / they're American planes / Made in America' - and remain unmoved by the strange admixture of calm and despair, the frightful foresight...one is struck by the recurrence of airplane and travel images, where flight becomes a symbol of magic, modernity and retribution."

The review then informs us about a letter Ms. Anderson wrote to President Bush which was signed by "scores of leading US radicals, artists and intellectuals." The letter said: 'We refuse to allow you to speak for all the American people. We will not give up our right to question. We will not hand over our consciences in return for a hollow promise of safety... We refuse to be party to these wars and we repudiate any inference that they are being waged in our name or for our welfare. We extend a hand to those around the world suffering from these policies; we will show our solidarity in word and deed.'

I think I should get it.

p.s. - the 2 CD recording was given 5 stars out of 5