Sunday, July 8, 2012

off to Japan!

A two week sojourn in the far east is in my playbook starting this afternoon. I'll try to get some pictures up here for those lucky ones following I decided to eschew facebook as my mode of mass communication/social networking. Not really sure why. But in any case, I'll probably miss my home for two weeks, but I will relish basking in the Japanese culture.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Etwas Aktuelles

The summer is upon us and what a scorcher it has been. After wishing all my Enloe Seniors farewell, I embarked on a summertime that by all accounts will shape up to be a banner summer, a memorable summer.. First started off with visiting friends in Carolina and simply decompressing around home with several books on the reading list: Doktor Faustus by Thomas Mann, a dense, beautifully written 20th century novel by the great Nobel Prize Winning German author, and The Physics of the Future, a well-written set of predictions of what the world will be like in 50 and hundred years based on the current-edge cutting research efforts surrounding nanotechnology, genetics, robotics, physics and quantum mechanics (Higgs Boson, anyone?) written by a Japanese atom scientist Michio Kaku, and I just began a book describing the life of times of the Prussian King Wilhelm II, by the British historian Lamar Cecil. Good reading is always an essential summer pastime for me.

I spent a week in Montezuma, New Mexico with teachers from all the world (and two fine colleagues from Enloe High School!) getting trained and exposed to the International Baccalaureate curriculum. I was highly impressed with the workshop and feel it might inject a more modern, wholistic angle to the German program at Enloe. We not only studied hard at the sessions, but we also partied hard at the workshop, with decent food, and lots of beverages and diversions planned for us throughout the week that included a guitar concert in the Dwan Light Sanctuary, an austere, round, acoustically majestic building topped with prism-bearing skylights. Quite meditative at night during the concert with a program of Spanish-style classical guitar and shimmering covers of well-known tunes and popular styles. During the day, Mr. Uzzell and I managed to drag some guitars to the sanctuary during the dry heat of mid-day New Mexico and sample an ambiance of colored light, bright sunshine and fine sounds from our guitars. Then on the closing barbecue party, during a classic geselliges Beisammensein that typically concludes a lengthy educational retreat, Uzzell and I stood up and played a couple of songs for the gathering, some rock and blues to regale the participants, ZZ Top's Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers and the Allmann Brothers' One Way Out. Linking a video to this post to highlight finer versions of these two classic songs seems too obvious: see below for the videos.

First, above, the ZZ Top song, apparently live from a German concert in 1980.

And now the Allmann Brothers song, One Way Out, also from Germany, a 1995 concert....WooHoo!!