Not bad for a fat girl

Leave a comment

Keep on Dancing


So Mr. Google and I have been seeing a lot of each other lately, as I try to figure out some of the cool features he has to offer. Why a he? No idea. Moving on.

As I was sorting through photographs (on Google Photos) I came across a cool feature that probably everyone else in the world already knows about. Google sorted my pictures by events or objects, like boats, castles, graduation, etc. Well, the category that immediately caught my eye was dancing.

I clicked over to that group and was greeted by not only photos, but some short videos I had taken. I got to see my son dance around with intensity at his summer camp performances (I think choreography is a talent of his). It was fun to watch him “Bernie” with his friends and totally get into it.

I also took a trip down memory lane to watch my niece Whip and Nay-nay (I don’t have a clue how to spell that one and frankly don’t care enough to find out). She was a little smidge of a kid at her oldest brother’s Bar Mitzvah. In a few months she’s having her own Bat Mitzvah. She’s grown up a lot.

And then there was my brother and his wife. It was a short clip, but it was lovely to see the two of them enjoying themselves surrounded by family and friends. Finally, and maybe best of all, was the clip of my son dancing with his grandmother. She has about two dance moves and they both involve pumping her fists at her sides at though she’s running. It’s awkward, but she loves to dance, and he loves her, so there you go. It’s sweet, and I’m glad I got to see it today.

It’s funny how something unexpected can transport you to another place and time. I wasn’t expecting to think about any of those events today, but there they are. I’m grateful for photos and videos. I know many people take them but never look at them. I look at them. I like to remember. I also like to dance.


Leave a comment

Thank Goodness for the Arts


A middle school writer with her nature art inspired writing.

I’m fortunate that I work in a school district where the arts are appreciated and celebrated. We’re an elementary district with students from early childhood through eighth grade. We still have music teachers in our schools; general music for the younger students, and choir, band, and orchestra for the older ones.

Art is alive in our district too, but to a lesser extent in most of the schools. Many of our students don’t have a very strong start in life, and as a result they begin school missing some important skills and experiences. Unfortunately these children spend a great deal of time trying to “catch up” to their peers, and as a result sometimes the fun things (like art) get pushed aside, especially when the pressure of testing is added to the situation.

It’s a pity, really, since the arts are where so many children shine. They have the opportunity to express themselves in ways that are different than the typical classroom setting, and for kids with language delays, learning disabilities, limited English proficiency, behavioral challenges, and more, they are a saving grace.

The arts allow kids to approach the world from their own plane, wherever that may be. They can sing out, dance, paint, draw, mold, model, and manipulate their world in a way that makes sense to them. They are a release and a gift.

Our fourth grade students have been given that gift again this year, as they participate in an original musical conceived, written, and directed by our very talented music teacher. He even made the giant glow-in-the-dark puppets that take the stage and raised funds for the black lights that make the whole show pop. Oh, and he wrote all the music too, as well as taught every lyric to the entire fourth grade. Whew!

Our kids are lucky. They will perform for their friends and families and they will keep the individual puppets that they each created and will use in the show. They are growing up with the arts as an important part of their lives. Too many children are not. Too many schools are throwing out the arts. Too many families shun the arts in favor of less enriching activities. I get it, as parents we’re tired, and helping kids write songs and put on skits and dress up as various characters takes time and energy that we have precious little of. It’s worth it, though. The arts promote creative thinking and problem solving, and they help to increase communication skills, as well as promoting a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Let’s take some time to share the arts with a child. Drama, poetry, ceramics, painting, dance: whatever you enjoy can be enjoyed with a child. I would encourage you to share your talents and interests with some special young person in your life. You will both benefit.