Saturday, January 27, 2007

A little personal talk

Friday afternoon, after the teachers' seminar was finished for the day, I hopped into the van (having made sure I didn't lock the keys in it again... bleah!) and headed west. It was about four o'clock, and I had to be in downtown Fort Worth by 8:00 because I had a ticket to see Bruce Hornsby at the Bass Performance Hall.

It took me three hours to get there.


Rush-hour traffic in the DFW metroplex is horrendous. An absolute nightmare. Most of the crunch was on the Dallas side, I will confess. Once I was out of Dallas and into the mid-cities, it was much less crunched. But that could've been simply because it was later in the day by the time I finally made it over there.

I had hoped I'd be able to sit down in some cool downtown restaurant, but I had to settle for the closest thing to where I parked, which was the downtown Chili's. I like Chili's, actually, but I regretted having to eat somewhere I've eaten before. Oh well.

The Bruce Hornsby concert was outstanding. He's very self-effacing and genuine. And he's funny. And so stinkin' talented that I just sat in bliss and awe for the entire two and a half hours. As soon as I arrived at the Bass, though, I was blindsided by the fact that he had gifted everyone in the audience with an elegant boxed set of CDs encompassing much of his work over the past twenty years. Holy cats, I thought... this thing alone is worth the admission price.

A very class act. He didn't veer into the liberal politics, which I was grateful for, and he was just all alone on the stage with a grand piano, which I was also grateful for. It was very simple and refreshing.

And a huge hand for the Bass Performance Hall -- the acoustics in that place are astoundingly wonderful. I didn't have a bit of trouble hearing. The hall is a lovely place, too:

I sat in the box seating section, so I had a regular chair instead of one of those fold-down theater things. I was in the back of the box, however, on a barstool-high chair. I could see, but I would've been ever so much happier in the front of the box. Meh. Next time I'll know.

It was around midnight or so when I finally drove into my driveway and crashed into bed. I got up early this morning and headed back down to UTD for the Saturday session of the teacher workshop. As I sat in a seat and unfolded the little desktop to put my folder, the bottom edge of it had a very sharp crack in it and I sliced open the middle finger of my left hand. I did have a Band-Aid, but I went ahead and let the facilities people know so they could address the problem and someone else wouldn't get injured on it. They had to have the campus police come over and fill out an accident report. Oy.

And on top of all that, I'm coming down with a cold. [grrrr]

I took my laptop and webcam to the session yesterday and recorded the hour-long narrative by Henry Greenbaum about his experience as a young Polish Jewish boy and his experiences in Nazi-controlled Poland, and his eventual experiences in Auschwitz (yes, he does have the number tattooed onto his left arm) and his experience of being liberated by American soldiers when he was seventeen (he weighed 75 pounds). Since it's so long, I can't upload it to YouTube in one big chunk, so I'm working on breaking it up into approximately ten-minute segments and I'll post it like that. I want all of you to hear what he had to say. It's important to listen to these people, these survivors; each one of them has a unique experience to share, and we must NOT forget.

As soon as those videos are uploaded, I'll post them here.

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