Wednesday, February 23, 2011


There is some talk on the blogersphere about Pseudoteaching. I like the topic and the questions it raises. Check out Dan Meyer's blog and follow his links for more discussion.

In related news, this got me thinking more about a discussion I had with some of my students today. They were asking why I make their life so difficult and how I like to "torture" them. This is referring to how I don't answer questions, but I make the students answer their own questions. Those conversations and then reading about PT got me thinking, "am I PT?"

I thought I liked the comment and "complaints," but now I have to think about them more.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I apologize for this rant.

Yes, Christina Aguilera muffed the National Anthem at the Super Bowl and the internet lit up with rips, complaints, and outcries. As someone who loves this country and the National Anthem, I understand the mistake. As a former member of MENC and agreeing with the National Anthem Project, I understand her mistake.

My question to all of these people ripping on Ms. Aguilera is, why don't you try to sing the Anthem in front of millions of people, in a huge stadium, without anyone else leading you with the words? Can you sing all of the words right now without anyone leading you? I highly doubt it. (And I won't even get into the performing and live music...) However, I still expect a near perfect performance and words should not be messed up (please see below about Wayne Messmer and Jim Cornelison, they would have not messed up the words as that is their job.)

I am not a fan of Christina Aguilera's music. I don't own any of her albums or singles. I could not name any of her songs beyond "Genie in a Bottle," but I can tell you that for a (not so) teenie-bopper, she has a pretty outstanding voice. However, I did question when she was walking up to sing, "why must we Americans have 'pop' stars sing America the Beautiful and The National Anthem?" Why can't we actually have true musicians? I will admit, I am spoiled being a Chicago sports fan. We have the best Anthems in the entire country. Wayne Messmer and Jim Cornelison are simply amazing. The feeling from their anthems will bring a grown man to tears.(See Here for NHL All Star Game 20 years ago with Wayne Messmer).
These men have a job to sing the National Anthem and they do it really well. Why would we bring in someone who does not normally sing the Anthem to sing the Anthem at a HUGE event? Poor planning, and poor musical knowledge. Unprofessional, all around.

 Additionally, during the "Pre-Kick" show (Whatever that might be.), we had a rendition of Taps being played. Who was playing it? A synth. You could not have found a college trumpet student to donate their time? Or how about the dozens of free recordings that the military bands offer? They could have called me and payed my a mere $150 dollars, with no rights to my name and I would have done it.

My problem with American's and their music choices is how they are so willing to accept everything less than the best and the best is looked down upon. When will the schools, parents, and Americans demand better of their music? What can we, as educators, do differently to have students question their music and open up? To expect and find the best?