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Category Archive for 'Habits of Mind'

A Year of Dance

It was about a year ago that I learned of a dance school near me with a class in beginning ballet for adults, and with some trepidation left a voice message inquiring about this class, clarifying that I had no previous experience in dance. I soon got a call back from the director of the school; she […]

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A few days into the new year, I am excited by all the signs of reinvigoration I see around me, and by the shoots in my own life trying to emerge as I clear space for the new. Washington Post music critic Anne Midgette introduces a new format where both print articles and blog posts […]

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My last post about taking beginning ballet class just scratched the surface. Now I’d like to attempt to write more about the background reasons for studying ballet, and the effects I am discovering. As I mentioned previously, my initial reason for exploring ballet was to go add something to my physical apparatus to bring back […]

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Beginning Ballet, Part 1

The philosophy behind this blog, Shunryu Suzuki’s classic Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, is something I have embraced in an entirely new way with my beginning to study ballet. Many times in the past I have peered into dance studios with class in progress, and while studying at Juilliard I even took a few classes in José Limon technique. […]

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Authenticity and Simplicity

This past year I have not written much at all, to which I will chalk up to life. At last I can take a breath, and begin to write again about the things that matter to me, the values which I am working on now with a particular focus. I am thinking of the idea that […]

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After a summer of relative blog quietude, the school year fast approaches – this year with the additional time pressure/terror from a summer more focused on moving into and fixing up a new home than on work. Inspired by Thoreau’s exhortation in ​Walden​ (originally from Confucius?) to “Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, […]

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Last Concert

I am writing on the morning of the Hamilton College Orchestra’s last concert of the year, and it seems like the right time to draft some thoughts on what I hope my students learned in working with me this year – or 2, 3, or 4. It would be presumptuous to say I successfully conveyed […]

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Two significant cultural items on our relationship to sound have come out recently. Last Sunday the New York Times Magazine had a long piece – Is Silence Going Extinct? – on the disappearance of spaces that are largely free of the touch of human mechanized sound. And the new silent film The Artist won the […]

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One important attribute of Hamilton College’s new Educational Goals (listed in my previous blog post and described here) that has not yet received much attention is their internal design.  There are various relationships between the Goals, and recognition and understanding of these will help students and faculty use them more effectively to develop a dynamic […]

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One of my major projects this year was to help rethink and rewrite Hamilton College’s Educational Goals as part of an ad hoc committee appointed to this task.  This was an extremely fun assignment, motivated in part by the two-year-old Mellon Curricular Leaders’ study of the Open Curriculum at Hamilton both internally and in comparison […]

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