A New Year: DIY the rhythm (ask your local teacher)

Good music to play in your head, while getting grades together, when the ProgressBook closes you out after 1. What I like about this band is they are so eclectic. Beat of My Heart reminds me of first album Blondie. This one has the same fun element that Whitney Houston had over 25 years ago in How will I Know? The silver lamé 40s bathing suit could be straight out of the Robbie Nevil’s  C’Est la Vie video. The crotch shot reminiscence of Josephine Baker and her banana get-up.

What a great period for videos, the 80s were. Like a window it opened up everything forever. The funny part is, music videos were already being done for those music shows like the Murray the K presentations and some of the summer shows for youth in the mid-sixties. I remember a thing with Martha and the Vandellas doing Heatwave (probably the inspiration for Move in Dreamgirls).  Shingdig and Hullabaloo touched on the stuff, but they were I think, only one season. They stemmed back in turn from the American, Dick Lester’s movies with the Beatles, Hard Day’s Night and Help. America always had it in them, because the stuff streamed back from Busby Berkeley.

If you can live through the horrible singing of Ruby Keeler (and Dick Powell) and hold off from turning the thing off before the end of soft shoe hokum of the tap dance, you catch glimmers of what will become the music video 50 years later. The thing goes on and on, including a stabbing, typical movie racism/sexism of the period, too. But the thing keeps moving on and on. . . .

Think a little of Pat Benatar’s Love is a Battlefield, which starts in a dance hall and ends on the street. Reminiscent, too, of that enclosure thing in Bergman’s Sawdust and Tinsel, between the two drunk men in the dark caravan, which opens into light open space. It is not that undifferent. This is what I try to get across to my kids. These elements of culture that knit us together. Sometimes in strange ways, which seem like invisible threads, but they are really not invisible at all, when you change your perspective.

This is what holds my sanity together, as I sit with other teachers in a 14 session ESOL class. You know the 300 hours all teachers will have to take to be in compliance with the Court Decree, set down years ago, when Florida Ed was sued for being biased to Hispanics and Haitians, and anyone else of the second language speakers in our state. You don’t really get anything for it, except you don’t get a threatening letter telling you, you will be let go, if you don’t. There never has been an extra pay for teachers who teaching in ESOL classes. Even though, they did the 300 hours years ago, before. They never got extra pay, but just more paperwork.

So as we sit on a Tuesday night, from 5-8. Retraining. Doing it for free. Someone alluded to the fact that the state may start charging us for this! Image working a job, where you have to retrain. You are not going to get the training on company time, and they might even charge it to you. That is, because your state was not in compliance with the law and made a deal, rather than lose a lawsuit, that never should have come to pass. Talk about punitive. They stopped corporeal punishment for students years ago, so why not for teachers?

This year gets more complicated. Things find their own sense, develop their own rhythm. The kids are moving into clay in fifth. I am trying to keep my perspective on how to cram things into such short sessions. The Activision board becomes my moving bulletin board, but everything is dependent on time. Ask your local teacher about how they manage time. How many hours work they put in at home? Keep playing the music in your head, education has a strange way of ensnaring the curious in interesting ways. Do it yourself, don’t upset the rhythm, if you dare.


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