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Showing posts from 2008

Election Day 2008 - Songs of Hope & Change

Today, I defer to the words (and music) of others, and am happily sharing, my Obama Election Day Music Mix. I'm burning CD copies right now to take to an Election Party tonight. Here's youtube links for the tracks. Enjoy.

Track 1 - will.i.am - Yes We Can
Track 2 - Pearl Jam - Patriot
Track 3 - Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-Changin'
Track 4 - Alicia Keys - Superwoman
Track 5 - Dixie Chicks - I Hope
Track 6 - John Lennon - Imagine
Track 7 - Tracy Chapman - Talkin' Bout a Revolution (wish the quality was better)

And Finally, Of Course:
Track 8 - Sam Cooke - A Change is Gonna Come:

As Sam says,

It's been a long, long time coming
But I know a change gonna come
Oh, yes it is

The change is now. It's time. Vote!

When I Grow Up

"Miss Jen, when I grow up, I will name my daughter Jennifer."
A simple sentence can sometimes be enough to get one through a very challenging week (or two).
During the final week of a long school year, one of the 11 year-old students in the after-school filmmaking program I run and teach uttered that wonderful, simple sentence.
It was not the sentence in itself that held such important meaning, but also the student who spoke it. This student had driven me crazy at the beginning of the year. He could not sit still. He could not listen. He constantly tested the limits. 
Yet, through care and patience on the part of myself and my co-teacher Jim and through the power of theatre and film, this student changed.
Editing film requires a lot of patience, difficult for any 11 year-old. Yet, this student, who at the beginning of the year could not sit still for even a couple of minutes, fell in love with film. So much so, that while other students are outside on the playground, he prefers f…

Hope, Through Grief

In late January, I found myself walking through the Mission District in San Francisco with Salwa, a Palestinian woman. We had met just the day before, yet I felt myself deeply connected to her. My heart was opening. Hers had broken.
Salwa's daughter, Abir, was killed one year ago by an Israeli rubber bullet on her way home from school. As Salwa and I walked outside, her husband, Bassam, was speaking about his work with Combatants for Peace. He presented that night alongside Elik, a former Israeli combatant. Both had suffered significant losses to the conflict that had once pitted them against one another. Now, as the co-founders of Combatants for Peace, they and other fighters, stand together, demonstrating the "unofficial" peace accord that already exists between some Israelis and Palestinians. Their organization is now building a safe play space for the children at Abir's school.
My conversation with Salwa had a resonance that can be hard to find in everyday life. He…

New Tradition, New Year

With the new year upon us now, ornaments will be taken off the family Christmas tree, packed away, and the tree itself will either be left on the curb, if it was real, or boxed away until next year, if it was not.

Today, I will be taking the ornaments off of our tree. But the tree's journey will just be beginning as I partake in a new tradition.

My co-teacher, Jim, gave Ramon and I a small potted Christmas tree. Though, he left it sitting on a table with no note, message, or explanation, Ramon and I knew it was from Jim. And it was. His daughter, my good friend Danika, told me that he only buys potted Christmas trees. It is the ecological farmer in him.

Weeks later, when we joined them on Christmas Eve for dinner, I discovered that there was more to this Christmas tree tradition when they took the ornaments and lights off of the tree and planted it in their backyard. Beautiful, I thought. While most Christmas trees' journeys are ending, this tree's journey was just beginning…