Synchronicity 5 (of 12) or 9 (of 24)

I woke up just before 5 a.m. and waited until the clock read 5:05. 5:05 on 05/05/05-this made me smile. Then I rolled over and went back to sleep. I have a 13-month old baby, and sleep is precious.

Today is, of course, Cinco de Mayo, which is an important holiday, not just an excuse to get drunk on tequila or kahlua. Did I mention
tequila?

This weekend in Albany, NY is also the the Tulip Festival in Washington Park, featuring the Funk Brothers and the Family Stone Experience (featuring founding members of Sly and the Family Stone -“oooh-lawd!”) on Saturday and Little Anthony and the Imperials on Sunday.

You don’t know the Funk Brothers? They’ve played on more hit songs than anyone as the sensational backing band for Motown’s biggest stars. Even if you don’t live around Albany, find out more by renting or buying “Standing in the Shadows of Motown”. I saw it in the theaters, enjoyed it tremendously, and learned a great deal about the music I love.

Advertisements

Teacher, Teacher

I just noticed in my daily e-mail from About.com that this week is Teacher Appreciation Week. (You’d think I would have figured that out from the chalkboard and apple at Google.) If you’re looking for ways to celebrate, go here.

I’d like to thank Miss Cady (K), Miss Marie Oberlik (5th grade, for the Russian lessons), Mr. Paul Peca (6th grade), Mr. Stone (history), Mr. Carl Young, Miss Helen Foley, and my 9th and 12th grade gym teachers, who were not the p***ks that the other ones were.

Also, in college and graduate school: Professors Deborah Andersen, Thomas Galvin, Glenn McNitt, and Alan Chartock. Yeah, ol’ lightning rod Alan. I had him PLS 216, American Government and Politics in the Fall of 1971, when he was a young whippersnapper.

Additionally, anyone who taught me anything useful about music, including my school and church choir directors and fellow choir members, but also Hemby, the SBDCers (especially my former office mates, DC and the Hoffinator), Tom Skulan and the FantaCo folks, Q104 Albany (c. 1978-1983), Mark Klonfas, Karen Durkot, my sister Leslie, and especially my dad, Les Green.

And there are, undoubtedly, others, who left me some wisdom that I’ve absorbed without necessarily realizing it.

Finally, thanks to a teacher, who taught for a couple years, left to work in the insurance industry for a dozen years, then returned to school to train to teach English as a Second Language, and is now a traveling ESL teacher in two or three districts. That would be my wife, Carol, from whom I learn something new every day.
*****
And speaking of education, what have we learned 35 years after Kent State? The country is still polarized over Vietnam, 30 years after the fall of Saigon, it appears, based on the last general election Bush bails! (Probably true, but still…)Kerry wasn’t THAT wounded! (Oh, brother!) Jane Fonda’s new autobiography, and the attendant promotion of same, becomes the new flash points in the debate. Kinda sad.

Ich bin ein…LIBRARIAN!

In my self-introduction yesterday, I failed to say what I do. Well, now you know, of sorts. Actually, the way I see it, being a librarian isn’t merely what I do. It’s what I AM.

When I was a kid, I was always reading the Encyclopedia Americana and the World Almanac. The latter I have received for about 38 out of the past 40 years. (Some day, I’ll tell you my father’s reaction to that.)

But, I was self-misdiagnosed. For a while, I thought (and others thought even more so) that I’d be an A.M.E. ZION preacher. Later, I thought I’d be a lawyer.

My first job, other than delivering newspapers, was working as a page (i.e., gofer) at the main branch of the Binghamton Public Library . I was under the tutelage of one Mrs. Fawcett, an elegant lady from my church.

But, no, I stayed with the idea of being a lawyer, until I FAILED an undergraduate law course. Then I didn’t know WHAT I was to do. After graduation from the State University College at New Paltz, I drifted about. (A story in its own right.)

I decided to go to the University at Albany and major in Public Administration. What a mistake! The students were cut-throat. Ultimately, I dropped out, worked for FantaCo Enterprises, a comic book and film book emporium for 8.5 years. Then I had a dreadful year at Empire Blue Cross. (Can’t wait to talk about THAT!)

While I was working as a Census enumerator in 1990, three of my friends, Jendy and Judy, who were new librarians, and Broome, who was a …lawyer, convinced (OK, NAGGED) me into applying to the UAlbany library school. Frankly, I didn’t think they’d take me after my previous disaster at the graduate level.

But they did. And I found it was a very cooperative experience, due in no small part to the fact that most of the students were women. Also, I didn’t feel out of place as a returning student. That year, I was 37. The average age of students in the department was…37.

I got a job that I’ve had for over a dozen years, and it’s clear that this is what I ought to have been doing all along. I LOVE librarians.

I can't believe it's not butter

I was one of those people who thought that blogs were self-indulgent ramblings of people with too much time on their hands. So, WHAT AM I DOING HERE?

Well, I have little time on my hands, but I recognize that, in the midst of the life I have, I need a chance for some self-indulgent ramblings.

Moreover, I’ve discovered that perhaps these ramblings can be interesting, insightful, even, occasionally, important. I’ve specifically enjoyed the musings of one Fred G. Hembeck – so, I thought I’d give it a shot.

I am:
*a Black American (or African-American if you prefer; I don’t)
*a blood donor over 100 times (I’m B positive, a good motto, I think)
*a Christian (a Methodist for most of the last century, a Presbyterian for most of this one, and a member of Session)
*a registered Democrat (but in Albany, NY, most people are)
*a non-driver (I take the bus, the bike)
*a first-time father at the age of 51 (is he crazy? You be the judge)
*married for the last time
*a lover of music, both a collector of recordings and a singer in my church choir
*a political science major who’s rather cynical about politics (but I ALWAYS vote)
Pretty reductivist, but that’s where I’m coming from. This should be interesting for me. Hope it is for you.