Saturday, January 31, 2009

Random Ruminations

"Her restlessness was not easily appeased. . . . Everywhere she turned there was a blinding sameness. She could no longer distinguish one moment of her life from another, and the events of each day were forgotten as soon as they had passed" (Graham, 2001, p. 99).

In transition? Clearly. But transition to what? While waiting, I've polished off a number of books, but so far, the nuggets I've encountered in them haven't coalesced into a particularly coherent set of understandings. However, it occurs to me that many may prefer the raw data without the commentary anyhow. Sometimes it is safer that way too. ;-) So, think of what follows as random graffiti that various authors have spray-painted on the walls of my mind. As is the case with graffiti from time to time, at least some of these quotes have artistic qualities that extend beyond the functional purposes they were intended to serve within the context of the books in which they appeared.

"All educational growth is loss ... teachers in higher education are pressured to construe their work in oppositional rather than relational terms, pitting teacher against student, separating knowledge and identity, and describing the world in black and white terms" (Stengel, 1998).

"Living matter and clarity are opposites--they run away from one another" (Gilder, 2008, p. 100).

"John had always been drawn to the invisible: more specifically, the invisible connections between things. As a child he had puzzled over the phenomena ordinary men take for granted in modern life: the connection between a flick of a switch and the sudden appearance of light, or sound, or image. He tore things apart--looking for the connections. But his interest went beyond the engineer's obsession with mechanical cause and effect, with deconstructing and reconstructing physical reality: he searched for things that would leave him awestruck, things residing in mystery and obscurity. Invisible connections" (Graham, 2001, p. 106).

"Co-existence is not the same as communication or connection" (Montgomery, 2009).

"When two particles interact with each other, they exchange energy and/or momentum" (K.C. Cole in Graham, 2001, p. 98).

"It is a gift, you know, to see and to be moved" (Graham, 2001, p. 14).

"Schrodinger nodded . . . 'And matter is like light,' he said, 'and it diffracts'" (Gilder, 2008, p. 89).

"Everything . . . starts with a fall" (Guedj, 2000, p. 17).

"I'm in a constant state of beta...perpetually reinventing myself..." (Adam Schokora)


Fleischman, Paul. (2001). Seek. Chicago: Cricket Books.

Gilder, Louisa. (2008). The age of entanglement: When quantum physics was reborn. NY: Alfred A. Knopf.

Graham, Janice. (2001). Sarah's window. NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Guedj, Denis. (2000). The parrot's theorem. NY: Thomas Dunne Books.

Montgomery, Cherice. (2009, January 11). A random thought.

Schokora, Adam. (2008). 56minus1::

Stengel, Barbara S. (1998, Sept. 10). Review of Burbules, Nicholas C. and Hansen, David T. (Eds.). (1997). Teaching and its Predicaments. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. EdRev. Retrieved February 1, 2009, from<

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Practices Makes . . . Daffodils?

"On this Sunday afternoon I keep playing the notes anyway, running through every piece. Because that's important too, to have each note of each score burned into my mind and my fingers. The physical part of the performance needs to feel as natural as pouring water from a pitcher. Still, with just two days to go, I should be feeling actual music. It should feel real. The composer's ideas ought to be burning the paint off my practice room walls. The emotions should be vaporizing the muscles and the violin and the fingers and the bow, until there's nothing left but pure thought. Because that's what a true performance is, and nothing less will do" (Clements, 2006, p. 100).

As I prepare my mind for the new semester on this Sunday evening, the fact that I have not yet finished the revisions on my dissertation weighs heavily upon me. It seems that after having written 10 chapters (586 pages), "I should be feeling actual music. It should feel real." My ideas ought to be burning SOMETHING up! However, instead of "pure thought" I currently have a muddy, slushy mess that isn't that much different from the winter roads outside. And, just as snow loses its appeal after one has been entrapped by it for several months, I have a terrible case of cabin fever with respect to these ideas. I am SO ready for Spring in every sense of the word! I can only hope that as it draws nearer, the frozen extremities of my mind will also begin to thaw, nurturing mental crocuses and daffodils that will assure me that this wretched winter will not last forever.


Clements, Andrew. (2006). Things hoped for. NY: Philomel Books.