Wednesday, October 31, 2012

English III 11/1: "Ufunani Esitedamu" by Malozana

This is a pop song from West Africa from 1986 from a mixtape called Afrosynth VI: Working for the Weekend. You probably won't understand the words but I want you to write about the feelings, images, memories or ideas that the music brings to mind. Picture yourself as a part of the culture that created this... what would that be like? What does this culture feel like to you? Enjoy.

If you like this, you can check out more stuff like this at


9. Lampoon- ridicule; spoof
10. Oblivious- totally unaware
11. Podium- raised platform
12. Resonant- echoing

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

English III 10/30: Blowing Trees "The Line is A Far Away Place" // "Wolf Waltz"

Don't roll your eyes
Don't step over this line
Change radio blares
Chase stereo air
Type lines I can't read
Forces lines I don't need
Erase your old guns
Chain the music stuns
Coming through your vacant gaze
Wrapped around your favorite place
Circles of blood fall away
You're just fine now
Now are you?
Now are you?
Now are you?
Now are you?
Now are you?


Don't you touch that wire sticking out the wall
It will shock you to the next to the next
Never trust an electrical current
They were made to run made to run
I was there I saw it happen
She was there oh she fell
You should have seen how it worked so well
They were so entertained
You took your united neglect
A nation divided
Parallel angles like a Kubrick
In your eyes like an idol
There is only one, won't you come?
Can't you hear the sirens?
Oh patience,
I learn to cherish the stare you hold
Eat words like last meals
You get what you want but it's not enough
Oh have you seen the door that you left behind?
No eyes could hold 'cause it's all in your mind.
Can't you waltz?
Can't you waltz?
Can't you waltz?
Wolf waltz
Can't you waltz?
Can't you waltz?


5. Plummet- fall suddenly and steeply
6. Resolution- determination
7. Tentative- not certain
8. Lamentation- expression of regret or sorrow 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Professional COMM 10/24: Extra Credit

Changing the world is not about putting the right kind of people in power. It is about awakening the right kind of power in people. —@MettaCenter

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Professional COMM 10/23: Obama's Muslim Outreach

On June 4, 2009 our President delivered a historic speech in Cairo, Egypt. His goal? To reach out, on behalf of the United States, to the Muslim world. His message is very clear on this subject: we need unity, understanding and- above all- intelligent dialogue. Obama doesn't necessarily bash America on this subject, though he certainly could, but instead remarks that there are divides between us that have been held in place by misunderstanding, ignorance (fanaticism) and hate.

Despite Obama's good intentions, many believed (and no doubt still do) that his actions represent weakness and 'siding with the enemy'. What is your opinion on this matter? How important is it that we try to correct centuries of hate and misunderstanding? Can people of different religions/ideals coexist peacefully in a way that is mutually beneficial?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

English III 10/18: "The Transfiguration" by Sufjan Stevens

This is an amazing song. Not too many people are writing really moving religious songs these days, but there is a definite need for spirituality in our society right now. The Transfiguration, for those who don't know, is the coming of God into human form. What kinds of emotions does this song arouse in you? Peaceful? Conflicted?
"When he took the three disciples
to the mountainside to pray,
his countenance was modified, his clothing was aflame.
Two men appeared: Moses and Elijah came;
they were at his side.
The prophecy, the legislation spoke of whenever he would die.

Then there came a word
of what he should accomplish on the day.
Then Peter spoke, to make of them a tabernacle place.
A cloud appeared in glory as an accolade.
They fell on the ground.
A voice arrived, the voice of God,
the face of God, covered in a cloud.

What he said to them,
the voice of God: the most beloved son.
Consider what he says to you, consider what's to come.
The prophecy was put to death,
was put to death, and so will the Son.
And keep your word, disguise the vision till the time has come.

Lost in the cloud, a voice: Have no fear! We draw near!
Lost in the cloud, a sign: Son of man! Turn your ear!
Lost in the cloud, a voice: Lamb of God! We draw near!
Lost in the cloud, a sign: Son of man! Son of God!" - Sufjan Stevens

Monday, October 15, 2012

English III 10/15: Bright Eyes "At the Bottom of Everything"

We must talk in every telephone
Get eaten off the web
We must rip out all the epilogues in the books that we have read
And in the face of every criminal
Strapped firmly to a chair
We must stare, we must stare, we must stare

We must take all of the medicines too expensive now to sell
Set fire to the preacher who is promising us hell
And in the ear of every anarchist that sleeps but doesn't dream
We must sing, we must sing, we must sing

It'll go like this:

While my mother waters plants
My father loads his guns
He says death will give us back to God
Just like this setting sun is returned to this lonesome ocean

And then they splashed into the deep blue sea
It was a wonderful splash

We must blend into the choir
Sing as static with the whole
We must memorize nine numbers and deny we have a soul
And in this endless race for property and privilege to be won
We must run, we must run, we must run

We must hang up in the belfry
Where the bats and moonlight laugh
We must stare into a crystal ball and only see the past
And in the caverns of tomorrow
With just our flashlights and our love
We must plunge, we must plunge, we must plunge

And then we'll get down there, way down to the very bottom of everything
And then we'll see it, oh we'll see it, we'll see it, we'll see it

Oh my morning's coming back
The whole world's waking up
All the city buses swimming past
I'm happy just because
I found out I am really no one


17. Alma mater – foster mother, applied to educational institution
18. De novo – anew, once more
19. De profundis – out of the depths
20. In perpetuum- forever

Friday, October 12, 2012

Prefessional Comm 10/12 - Current Events Special: Malala Yousufzai

A few days ago, one of the most special young ladies in the world was gunned down by Taliban forces outside of her school. Why? For agrguing loudly for freedom and the right of girls to an education. It is clear to me that Malala represents what is good about this world and the forces that conspired to attack her represent what is rotten. Discuss her story in your blogs AFTER following and reading the links below.

About her and her blog:

Links about what happened and its significance:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

English III 10/11: "I Can" by Nas

[Kids] I know I can
Be what I wanna be (be what I wanna be)
If I work hard at it (If I work hard it)
I'll be where I wanna be (I'll be where I wanna be)

Be, B-Boys and girls, listen up
You can be anything in the world, in God we trust
An architect, doctor, maybe an actress
But nothing comes easy it takes much practice
Like, I met a woman who's becoming a star
She was very beautiful, leaving people in awe
Singing songs, Lina Horn, but the younger version
Hung with the wrong person
Gotta astrung when I heard when
Cocaine, sniffing up drugs, all in her nose
Coulda died, so young, no looks ugly and old
No fun cause when she reaches for hugs people hold they breath
Cause she smells of corrosion and death
Watch the company you keep and the crowd you bring
Cause they came to do drugs and you came to sing
So if you gonna be the best, I'ma tell you how

[Chorus - 2x (Nas and Kids)]
I know I can (I know I can)
Be what I wanna be (be what I wanna be)
If I work hard at it (If I work hard it)
I'll be where I wanna be (I'll be where I wanna be)

Be, B-Boys and girls, listen again
This is for grown looking girls who's only ten
The ones who watch videos and do what they see
As cute as can be, up in the club with fake ID
Careful, 'fore you meet a man with HIV
You can host the TV like Oprah Winfrey
Whatever you decide, be careful, some men be
Rapists, so act your age, don't pretend to be
Older than you are, give yourself time to grow
You thinking he can give you wealth, but so
Young boys, you can use a lot of help, you know
You thinkin life's all about smokin weed and ice
You don't wanna be my age and can't read and right
Begging different women for a place to sleep at night
Smart boys turn to men and do whatever they wish
If you believe you can achieve, then say it like this


Save the music y'all, save the music y'all
Save the music y'all, save the music y'all
Save the music

Be, be, 'fore we came to this country
We were kings and queens, never porch monkeys
It was empires in Africa called Kush
Timbuktu, where every race came to get books
To learn from black teachers who taught Greeks and Romans
Asian Arabs and gave them gold when
Gold was converted to money it all changed
Money then became empowerment for Europeans
The Persian military invaded
They learned about the gold, the teachings and everything sacred
Africa was almost robbed naked
Slavery was money, so they began making slave ships
Egypt was the place that Alexander the Great went
He was so shocked at the mountains with black faces
Shot up they nose to impose what basically
Still goes on today, you see?
If the truth is told, the youth can grow
They learn to survive until they gain control
Nobody says you have to be gangstas, hoes
Read more learn more, change the globe
Ghetto children, do your thing
Hold your head up, little man, you're a king
Young Prince thats when you get your wedding ring
Your man is saying "She's my queen"


9. Haughtiness- arrogance; pride 
10. Lachrymose- tearful; sad 
11. Plethora- an excess 
12. Repudiate- shun; eschew

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

English III 10/10: "A day in the Life" by The Beatles

Despite being a HUGE Beatles fan, I really hadn't paid much attention to this particular Beatles song until I heard a local band called Cartographers play live it a few years back. Something about the way it shifts tempo, almost into a new song, half way through it... I cannot explain but it makes it really feel like 'a day in the life' of a person; because we all know how many different things can happen and how many different attitudes we take on in the course of a single day. There is something particularly haunting about the line "the english army had just won the war"... I don't know why, but I get chills now when I hear that line... perhaps because I wonder if it is possible to 'WIN' a war at all. Anyway, this is a good song for the range of moods it traces and for still remaining, all in all, a feel good track.

What if we all had to rewrite the lyric to "A day in the Life" to fit our own lives? How would it go? How would your verse go?
I read the news today oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grave
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh
I saw the photograph
He blew his mind out in a car
He didn't notice that the lights had changed
A crowd of people stood and stared
They'd seen his face before
Nobody was really sure
If he was from the House of Lords.

I saw a film today oh boy
The English Army had just won the war
A crowd of people turned away
but I just had to look
Having read the book
I'd love to turn you on

Woke up, fell out of bed,
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup,
And looking up I noticed I was late.
Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in seconds flat
Found my way upstairs and had a smoke,
and Somebody spoke and I went into a dream

I read the news today oh boy
Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
And though the holes were rather small
They had to count them all
Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall.
I'd love to turn you on


5. Cower- recoil in fear or servility; shrink away from 
6. Absolution- forgiveness; pardon; release 
7. Blatant- obvious 
8. Reprehensible- shameful; very bad

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Professional COMM 10/9: Terence McKenna on Closure

"I don’t feel a need for closure. I don’t see why things should make sense, they never have. They are always in process of formation." - Terence McKenna

Just imagine how much stress you could avoid if you never expected anything in particular. McKenna and other thinkers like him are clear about their disdain for reality as it as been accepted through the ages. The universe, I believe he is trying to say, is a chaotic and endlessly creative organic machine... so why in the world would we expect it to behave in a predictable way or to have a'point', a'purpose', or a 'meaning'? The universe and everything in it is never stuck and never completed. There is no being- only becoming.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Professional COMM 10/5: Nietzsche on love and madness

“There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.”
Friedrich Nietzsche
To me this statement is right on… it always feels insane when you really notice yourself in love, but there is something present in your mind that tells you not only that you should do it- but that you MUST. Once you have taken the ‘leap of love’, all of the little moments that fill it up are constant exchanges between irrational feeling and rational planning. I have always thought that if you can figure out how to stretch your irrational joy by planning its use out carefully… then you will have a lasting love. As far as the idea that there is reason in madness… I feel that Nietzsche is trying to hint at the idea that there is nothing in the human psyche that is completely isolated. There is some reason in madness because there is a process that leads to it, a trigger that sets it off, a tiny whisper of perfect logic releasing cascades of denial and incomprehension.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Professional COMM 10/3: Abraham Lincoln on non-permenance

"It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: "And this, too, shall pass away."'

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

English III 10/2: Grizzly Bear "Two Weeks"

"Save up all the days
A routine malaise
Just like yesterday
I told you I would stay

Would you always

Maybe sometimes
Make it easy
Take your time

Think of all the ways

Momentary phase
Just like yesterday
I told you I would stay

Every time you try

Quarter half the mile
Just like yesterday
I told you I would stay

Would you always

Maybe sometimes
Make it easy

Take your time" - Grizzly Bear

This band, Grizzly Bear, is one of the best bands out there nowadays. They have a unique ability to blend creepy atmoshpherics with folk sounds and beautiful harmonies. This song, off their album Veckatimest, is a really good example of why one prominent music critic has said that this band is 'changing music'. What do you think of this song?

13. desecrate – to profane a holy place 
14. Placid- calm; peaceful 
15. Abhor -hate 
16. Hamper -hinder; obstruct

Professional COMM 10/2: William James on Wisdom

The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook. ~ William James

William James is perhaps THE most influential American philosopher of his day (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910). His quote here is about the age old human goal of wisdom, which is defined by as "the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight". Knowing that, how do you interpret James' quote? What does he mean when he says "knowing what to overlook"? We tend to think of life in terms of what's important, but James is seemingly telling us that a life of wisdom requires knowing what's not important. Do you agree? What types of things do you think he refers to, which should be overlooked?

Monday, October 1, 2012

English III 10/1: Your Own Blog Day

Hey kiddos! For today I would like you to write about your favorite song. Finally, you can tell me all those wonderful things about music that make you move. (and you can stop complaining about my music, because this is about yours) I would like you specifically to write about the lyrics (keep it clean) and how the song makes you feel and why you think it is your favorite song.

Professional COMM 10/1: Justice

“Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting a bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian” - Dennis Wholey

This is an interesting quote I found. Justice is one of those strange subjects that people so often disagree about. What does justice mean to you? What do you think Wholey is trying to say here with his unique blend of humor and philosophy? defines justice as:
1. the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness: to uphold the justice of a cause.
2. rightfulness or lawfulness, as of a claim or title; justness of ground or reason: to complain with justice.
3. the moral principle determining just conduct.