steve twitters looking for the rolling present

So reading Howard Rheingold, has convinced me to give Twitter a more active try. Logged on and started following at least the people who are following me (mostly fam, one old friend). He defines Twitter as a “rolling present.” And mentions that he finds it a good way to start his day with wordflow and “something lightweight.”

In addition to my fam and friends I thought it would be fun to follow people I am interested in. Oops. I searched for several composers and musicians and surprisingly they weren’t active on twitter. I’ll just have to keep thinking about who is breathing that I would like to follow.

Last night, my fingers strayed from Beethoven, Brahms and Brubeck (see facebook status thingo) to Bach and Scarlatti.

Yesterday I went out and bought a filtered coffee maker, since I (dang!) threw away the ones I used to own recently (trying to trim down a bit). So far the coffee is awful. I am thinking I could try this until my next blood test in October and see if my mildly high cholesterol goes down at all. My daughter Sarah facebooked me this link to – Nancy Snyderman: Medical Myths That Can Kill You

I watched just enough to wonder if  there was something to Snyderman’s experience with lowering her own cholesterol via switching to filtered coffee. What the heck.

I composed for about ten minutes yesterday. Straightened up (but not in a final way) the second phrase of the piece I am working on. Spent the rest of my composition time creating an active RL (real life) file of songs and pieces that I’m interested in. I am very frustrated right now that I have tons of material (compositions and ideas for compositions) squirreled away in my house in various places. I would like to have it organized so that I could lay my hands on it easily if I wanted to.  I have been keeping a composition journal for a while. That’s helpful.

Anyway, I started sorting several years worth of scores to my coffee house type gigs. Sorting out my own compositions from “covers.” Right now I am feeling increasingly alienated from my natural community of musicians and composers. I had hoped this blog would connect me a bit more. I do check other people’s blogs quite a bit and comment once in a while. But I am very unhappy with this blog set-up. I think the visuals put people off. Better design = quicker access and communication. I still want to revamp this dam thing, but lack the courage to embark on even an update of wordpress, much less and re-design from the bottom up.

On several of the blogs I admire, I notice that the blogger (who is often a musician or thinker or basically not a geek) acknowledges the help of another. Yesterday I couldn’t even think of anyone I have access to that is better at IT than me (this excludes my talented family…. I am hesitant to ask them for this kind of help. My brother has developed a fine hate/love relationship with IT, my daughters both do it for money so it seems like a creepy thing to ask them to help …. hello Elizabeth and Sarah…. If you guys lived closer maybe I could bribe you or something into helping me but since you are in NY and the UK I would rather spend the time I get with you catching up on stuff instead of messing with my dang blog.)

Anyway I’m only going to do one blog today. Ahem.

FWIW, I think this article is interesting: When Computers Leave Classrooms, So Does Boredom by Jerome R. Young. (p.s. link broken try here)

“Strangely enough, the people who are most resistant to this model are the students, who are used to being spoon-fed material that is going to be quote unquote on the test,” says Mr. Heffernan. “Students have been socialized to view the educational process as essentially passive. The only way we’re going to stop that is by radically refiguring the classroom in precisely the way José [ José A. Bowen, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts, SMU]wants to do it.”

Rheingold makes his students close their computers and turn off phones in his classroom. It has to do with “attention.” Bown is interested in what students retain from their education. They don’t remember power points, he maintains, they remember discussions. I haven’t finished reading this article, but so far it’s fascinating. If I were still be allowed in the classroom as a teacher, I would definitely podcast lectures and encourage in-class stuff. As it was, I didn’t use power point, so much as overhead projections of stuff I found online, mostly Youtube stuff for music. I also played piano for my students as well (horrors!) sang to them (“It don’t mean a thing if it aint got that swing….”).


I have to pick out hymns for work…. sorry no time for pics again today.

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