Music for Cats??????

Music for Cats??????

I couldn’t believe that my cats were actually listening to this music. Their heads were keeping time as they looked this way and that way. There are three clips. This is the one my cats were responding to:

The BayouWarrior Welcomes The Tibetan Monks

me n monk Monk sand manadala

Yes! Right here along the Bayou we had a magnificent event! It was a very well kept secret. Secrets have always shown themselves to the BayouWarrior.

I received my invitation through a whisper. I have seen many impossible things. It is my birthright as well as a gift bestowed on me at the Warrior Ceremony during Harvest Moon on the grounds where Jean Lafitte buried his largest stash of gold.

Imagine my surprise to witness the construction as well as the desecration of a Sand Mandala. I also heard the sounds of many ceremonial instruments that were unknown to me. I listened to scared chants that rivaled the sounds of the haunted bayou spirits.

I was so enthralled that I did not notice the gaze of someone’s eyes upon me as they began to move towards me. I turned to the pathway that seem to open on my side. I tensed and warily planted my feet. I realized that I had lapsed in keeping up my guard. It was a friend! It was a wonderful friend from eons ago. It was she, Helen, that was moving towards me with steps that carried the light, energy and sounds of the monks. How could this be?

I began to understand how Helen could walk with the spirit of the monks. She was responsible for escorting them from Tibet to South Louisiana. She had worked alongside of them and knew them. What a magnificent treat! As we talked, I related the fact that I had just been introduced to chanting in the fall and had been researching the implications of spirituality in ancient eastern religions. I explained that last year I read a book called Quantum Theology written by a priest. This book joined science and religion in a way that validated both subjects. Finally, someone had written words that brought me solace. It cleared away all of the “whys” of science that have bothered me up until this time. It opened the doorway to spirituality.

At the end of our conversation, Helen asked if I would be interested in accompanying a group from Tulane in October to live and work alongside these monks in Tibet. I responded, “I am honored”.

The BayouWarrior

Dragon Boat Race Along the Bayou

A perfect day, a perfect race! It was seventy degrees with a light breeze and lily pads sprinkled along the bayou banks. I listened to shrieks of glee from excited children all set to the cries of “Pull”!


As soon as my world traveling mentor gets back to South Louisiana, I angling to learn how to put a photo in! I keep copying and pasting, but nothing is happening.

A Spring Orchestra Today

A Spring Orchestra Today

What a treat! Today’s chapel theme was Choices. The teachers responsible for this month’s chapel services had delivered presentations on choices, struggles and intelligent mistakes. Our music classes are taught by a local symphony member who was nominated for a Grammy Award this year. She has taught students from second grade and up Ukelele lessons. Many students are also taking violin classes. We had seen our headmistress trudge over to the music building for her cello lessons many times.

Imagine our delight as our headmistress turned into “Ninja Musician”. She proceeded to share her struggles over making the right choice about daily practicing. She explained why each day brought its share of reasons not to practice. She demonstrated that persistence in overcoming any obstacles impeding the importance of practice had been waylaid. She treated us with an inspiring performance of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

Next, we heard the sounds of a large vehicle slow in front of our chapel. The doors opened to present ten students from the upper middle school located in the neighboring town. They came with a bass, violins and a wide array of other instruments. They played and enthralled everyone with the beautiful notes emanating from the altar. All of our smart little scholars were filled with questions. Every question was treated with great respect answered along the lines of making the right choice. Everyone was quiet as we ambled back to class. All teachers were aware that little minds were pondering the important fact that everyone struggles with choices, especially when it comes to practicing. What a wonderful day!

Epiphany… Enlightenment… Understanding

I think I finally understand the difference between arts integration and arts enhancement. My last observation included a checklist of the characteristics of arts integration.  The sequence of my lesson was as follows:

Vocabulary : Rhythm and Patteren

Identify rhyming sounds within spelling words

Identify patterns of skip counting in math

spelling words  to poem

poem to song

presenting song to class while others kept  the beat by patting our thighs

cartoon strip with dialogue of the song including a prequel and sequel frame to paragraph explaining cartoon strip.

 paragraph explaining the cartoon strip

I think if I had played a song first and then just used the words from the song to continue the lesson, it would have been arts integration. What do you think? I only have ½ hour and finished on the stroke of the hour. I could have had them write the story during center time. I also could extend the lesson to the next day by having the students act out the cartoon strip and have the class evaluate what the poem was about. Any ideas?

Such a little thing, such a BIG compliment!

My principal was completing a walk-through observation in my second grade classroom. She never critiques or suggests.  She reserves all judgement. She is quiet and introspective. She is always available to discuss the implementation of new methods. In other words, she always is there for you.

Today, I was instructing my students about a new measurement center. I asked for two volunteers to model what would happen if both students choose the same object and came to an impasse. The students role played and then brainstormed strategies as a group.

Later, my principal and I happened to be in the xerox room together. She turned to me and totally stopped what she was doing. She looked me straight in the eye and complimented my methods. It was so very wonderful and heartfelt. I am blessed.

The BayouWarrior

gave m

I was soooo close!

Okay… I didn’t write yesterday

Husband sick and in Panama, daughter in town from college for 24 hours and report cards were due at 8:00 this morning.

I had so much to say too… it is late… nite!

I can’t believe I was so close to the end of the month!

Spring Clothes Change Out

Spring Clothes Change Out

Call me crazy, but I LOVE organizing my closet! It is mindless, therapeutic and so pretty when I am finished. A local store went out of business and received tons of summer merchandise during the fall months. I am talking summer festival dresses that were $35.00 were on sale for $3.50. I kid you not! And if that isn’t totally wonderful, I figured out how to move my linens upstairs which frees up another whole closet! My life is bursting with blessings. My closet is glorious! I love changing out my closet. Wait.. I have to go now. I need to admire my closet yet again. See you tomorrow.

A Game: Walking with Music

Walking with Music

I like to play a game called “Walking with Music”.  I imagine the acoustics with each footstep. I play with people I know, as well as people I do not know. Sometimes, it is easy to hear the sound, but hard to identify the instrument. Here are a few people I have identified:

Ashana steps spring to a joyful, stringed instrument like a zither or something from the midieval times. I hear the twitter of small birds.

Ryan silently glides to the profound sound of a deep Tibetian Chant.

John dances to a stringed instrument which carries a light classical tune containing varied fun fuges.

Katie walks with an acoustical guitar soloist. Her tune is a fun, warm hug carrying giggles. You can feel yourself falling and sinking right into its lovely chords.

Vince’s footsteps are soft, but his music is a pounding rock and roll sound from the 70’s.

Sophia’s silent step carries two beats. One I can’t see or feel, but the other is the sound of a lotus blossoming.

Jessica has a light skip filled with laughter, happiness and sunshine.

Dennis glides with the breezy sounds of nature. I think his steps carry all seasons. I can tell because the birds call change with the season.

Neil treads with a deep, slow, languid beat with the call of a deep sounding primitive drum that fills the room. Other times, he dances and I think it might be to a Jamaican steel drum. The kind that is like hammered pewter with a plethora of different size beats that carry the sounds for a long time.

Kelley’s step is light. It is still forming, but carries the tinkle of a delicate shell wind chime.

Miguel has a measured step and carries all of the sounds of water. I hear the pounding of the Pacific and the ebb and flow of the Atlantic. I feel the lull of a bayou as well as the rushing of a river. I also can feel the sound of a pacific wave as it thunders over a huge rock and gently spills on the other side in a waterfall curtain. One of my favorite places is waiting in delicious anticipation to see just how much of the waterfall will spill.

The Bayou Warrior usually scurries with the notes of any pleasant engaging sound that she hears along her busy way, but the tune and her step are changing. I think it might include a happy whistle amongst the cypress forests. We shall see.

A Teacher’s Tears of Joy

A Teacher’s Tears of Joy

Two wonderful things happened today. I received my first phone call from a parent asking about her son. She wanted to know about behavior changes as he experienced a “major meltdown” at home. I explained that I had not noticed anything in particular and that he had not complained about anything explicit. As the conversation drew to a close, I asked her if she would mind sharing what happened so I could avoid or address a situation if I could see warning signs.

She replied, “H realized you were not going to be his teacher next year.” The tears flooded my eye, but they didn’t fall.

I took a deep breath to calm my elation. Then, I called a struggling student to my desk for a reading conference to gage her comprehension progress. This child arrived to second grade with a comprehension level that corresponded to the first grade at approximately the third month-first month. Imagine my surprise when she scored at a third grade level. I thought I was hallucinating. I asked her to return to her seat and told the class to silently read at their desk. I turned to face the window and let the tears flow. A few hours later, I retested her. She tested at the second grade level at approximately the seventh month.

I was so appreciative of their efforts, I let them play “teacher” for two entire hours. I wanted them to understand that I know what they felt when as they struggled to learn. I became the student who was frustrated, crying, giving up, looking out the window, complaining and interrupting. I was the student who solved the equation, but could not explain the process of completion. I was the student who jumped up for joy when I understood a concept, turned to explain things to my partner, gave myself a pat on the back or got up to take three belly breaths in our belly breath mirror.

When their voices sounded exasperated and fussy, I put my head down and pretended I was crying. When I came to them with an imagined paper cut and asked for ice during a lesson, the tables were turned. “NO,” they all cried, “You are just trying to get out of class”.

We all hugged and consoled each other. For now, we totally had seen a glimpse of what the other went through. Three of them vowed to never be a teacher.

It was a happy day!