Week in Review

Sunday mornings seem to be the best time to write. My Brooklyn neighborhood calms down, and the sounds of distant crows, and songbirds, pierce the quiet intermittently. The sounds of the hustle and bustle, the parade of express buses in the distance are not heard. And the Saturday lawnmowers and leaf blowers are silenced.

Everyone sleeps late on Sunday. Even though I have suffered from days of exhaustion headaches and malaise, I am up early, realizing that I have been short on posting lately. This space must be filled.

The week was non-stop. Preparations for the Flatbush Artist Studio Tours took a great deal of my time. I have been the key designer on all the printed materials, and I have been pushing toward final all week. In addition, I had the opening of HamletMachine. This modest little exhibit was not difficult to put together as it entailed 3 prints form the past, but preparing to also perform that night added to the stress. I played my entire set with a splitting headache, although I discovered that wearing a hat on stage deflects distractions and allowed better concentration while playing. For more information, you can look at the events section of my Facebook page. Response to the work and my set have been positive.

There was the BFS parents meeting, Wednesday, which met at the new space. The deal for the new building is not firm, although we are in contract. To make it more solid we would need at least another 100-200K, but Alan perseveres in any case. The meeting was attended by 37 adults, which is quite a turnout. My head was already falling off my shoulders by Wednesday, but I found the meeting quite stimulating, and the building is perfect for the school and will take us into a whole new strata for the education process, as well as the movement for democratic free schools in general. I am now the spearhead for marketing and publicity. I just did not have enough non-paying work. I guess I feel that if I keep busy on pro-bono projects, I may just attract that new scenario for continuing to make a living in hard times.

Then there is the issue with Noah and Karate. It seems that in our haste we got Noah involved in a Karate school that in second look, seems to focus more on selling and less on teaching form. The clash of my free school thinking and the martial approach of Karate came into full view this week. We are trying to do damage control and get him out without any more fiscal sacrifice. He left the first class not wanting to go back. The teacher spends little time in one-on-one, and the fact that we did not buy the extra $300 worth of equipment, excludes him from half the class. My understanding says that one can learn Karate without the enticement of a cool uniform, different colored belts or any equipment other than comfortable clothing. Kattas can be taught without any sparring sessions. The form must be learned and practiced first before taking on opponents. Yet there he was, watching sparring sessions, all with poor form, which is what the expensive equipment is there for. Add to that the constant suggestion that if he brings friends to the class he can win an ipod or a Wii. The rewards aspect is a huge turn off, and is known to be an inhibitor to creativity and good learning in general. So tomorrow I face the challenge of extricating him from this situation.

Today’s post is more of a report on the week. It may have little to do with education, but I am a free School parent, and this is how it goes most of the time. I have been off course all week in terms of having time to write, energy to seek out new information to respond to, and in general, focus. But that is what life is, no?

But I continue to network and have made some interesting contacts over the week which I hope will bare some fruit, so persevere I must.


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