This. Is. Normal.

IMG_3897<– Is this normal?

I posted the day’s itinerary on my Facebook wall just to see if my friends would tell me I’m nuts.

As I sit at the computer now, I’m pretty wiped out. Reflecting on my choices, there isn’t one that I would have skipped. Every activity presented a gift. Starting with the morning commute to Iacocca Hall, I captured a special moment when the clouds kissed South Mountain.

The morning Rounds at C-Duels was a fabulous conversation following a pretty inspiring film, Most Likely to Succeed. The IMDB summary:

The current educational system in the United States was developed a century ago during the rise of the industrial age and was once the envy of the world. However, the world economy has since transformed profoundly, but the US education system has not. Schools are attempting to teach and test skills, when mastered, that still leave graduates woefully unprepared for the 21st Century. After presenting this problem, the documentary focuses on the story of a school in San Diego that is completely rethinking what the experience of going to school looks like. As we follow students, parents and teachers through a truly unorthodox school experience, the audience is forced to consider what sort of educational environment is most likely to succeed in the 21st century?

Conversation with local teachers, school administrators and other folks passionate about equity and common sense in our educational system was robust, to say the least. But the best part of the session was that my colleague in the Music Department came to meet the organizer of this group to discuss what we might do next month to create a dialogue on his composition, A Child’s Requiem. I’m sure I’ll have a full post just on that. But for today, this was a good check off the list.

It was very bright, and warmer than expected.
It was very bright, and warmer than expected.

I went back home to get the kids to watch the Lehigh Football game. It was great to be there to support the Marching 97. I also have one student in ENTP040 (Entrepreneurial Communications for Creative Industries) on the defensive team. We only stayed until the halftime was over. I had another event to attend, so I brought the kids back home, changed my shirt, and raced to Allentown; willing an open parking spot near the venue.

George Hrab
George Hrab

My friend George Hrab was giving a TED talk. Could I have waited for a link to see the archive video? Sure. But friends doing amazing things should have friends in the audiences to witness it and offer moral support. His talk was on skepticism. I hope that lots of people watch the video. Given that we are about to be innundated with 12 months of presidential election crappidity, it would be great if we as a culture put the skepticism filters on.

Richard Redd and the gift of a plate
Richard Redd and the gift of a plate

On my way home, I had time to stop by a friendly gathering of “Anyone Remotely-Connected-with-Lehigh, Faculty Brat Reunion and Farewell to an Era party at Richard Redd’s old house.” Richard is an emeritus professor of art; most known for his printmaking. When we first met, he greeted me as a fellow Toledoan (I’m not really, but worked in the area for 10 years). We often shared our admiration for the Toledo Museum of Art and the Peristyle stage. Richard has moved in with his daughter and is selling his home. He was offering the guests a piece of art. The man was prolific! I was having a hard time picking one and gathered a pile of pieces that all had a musical instrument on them. I ended up with an original plate – the soul of so many prints.

David Amidon, Jr.
David Amidon, Jr.

As more people were arriving, I was lucky to have met the son of another retired faculty member I have not yet met, but need to soon. David Amidon, Jr. He told me his dad is doing well and would love a stranger visit to ask him about what life was like in the early 1970s Bethlehem. Some of my friends know I’ve been dabbling on a local history project for about 5 years. I hope I can meet Professor Amidon soon. I want to hear the stories from people who lived through the Ale House Ruckus. I have so many questions. It’s pretty neat that this story keeps a thread through so many interactions in the community.

Back home with just one hour to make dinner, transfer laundry and try to run through email. Back to campus to hear Bill Warfield and the Hell’s Kitchen Funk Orchestra. It was a great concert. I love the Dance of the Coal Cars. Check it out – he’s going to be playing it again at the Sesquicentennial on Oct 3rd.

A quick trip to Wegmans for milk. Of course I ended up buying more than $50 worth of “hope this makes sense” groceries as I was trying to remember next week’s menu plan. At least I don’t have to worry about breakfast. I can sleep in a bit. Tomorrow has a list as long, if not just a touch longer.

I’ve made this crazy schedule normal. Life is GOOD!!

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