Showing posts from September, 2016


There are times when the pace a person’s circumstances means that his or her full potential lags behind where they are, and sometimes people are doing great things all along and there is a lag in their talent being recognized - we all have had students whom we meet years after knowing them in school and they have achieved great things, and we did not see that potential in them at the time. Sometimes the lag is a pretty long one.
Johannes (Jan) Vermeer was a Dutch painter who lived in the middle part of the 17th century. His best known work is probably Girl with a Pearl Earring which he painted in 1665.  He is considered one of the “Dutch Masters” along with painters such as Rembrandt, Hals, Steen, and Hooch.  He worked during the Golden Age of Dutch Painting, although he did not have great success or acclaim in his own lifetime and was not seen as a particularly great painter.  
Vermeer painted 36 works that are known for certain, although there is some evidence of several ot…

Educating Men with Chests

Excerpt from the WSJ and some of my own thoughts (and C.S. Lewis's) at the end- 
The Idle Army – America’s Unworking Men
By Nicholas Eberstadt Sept. 1, 2016
“Labor Day is an appropriate moment to reflect on a quiet catastrophe: the collapse, over two generations, of work for American men. During the past half-century, work rates for U.S. males spiraled relentlessly downward. America is now home to a vast army of jobless men who are no longer even looking for work—roughly seven million of them age 25 to 54, the traditional prime of working life.
Near-full employment? In 2015 the work rate (the ratio of employment to population) for American males age 25 to 54 was 84.4%. That’s slightly lower than it had been in 1940, 86.4%, at the tail end of the Great Depression. Benchmarked against 1965, when American men were at genuine full employment, the “male jobs deficit” in 2015 would be nearly 10 million, even after taking into account an older population and more adults in college.
Or look at …

Take Five

Take Five

One of my favorite songs is Take Five, an instrumental jazz composition in 5/4 time that was recorded by the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1959 and released on their albumTime Out, an album on which all of the songs were in non-traditional time signatures.  It is the biggest-selling jazz single of all time and one of the most recognizable jazz standards – a pure American voice from the “Mad Men” era.
Although all of the rest of the songs on the album were composed by pianist Dave Brubeck, Take Five was written by the band’s saxophone player, Paul Desmond.  Upon his death, Desmond gave the rights to the performance royalties for this song and all of his other compositions to the American Red Cross. 
You can watch it here:
It’s been covered many times, and it’s a fun piece for saxophone players. Although Dave Brubeck is reputed to have been able to stretch his right hand to cover a full 12thon the piano – even sometimes playing five notes of a…