Confessions from San Fran, a.k.a. “The City”


First, I have a confession to make. Earlier, I posted that I would be starting a discussion on Angela’s Ashes soon. So, I’m actually only on page 50. *Steph hears Neal say “Grrrr.”* I got sidetracked reading books for seven year olds (the entire Judy Moody series, a good deal of Junie B. Jones, Pocahontas, The Stinky Cheese Man, etc). I also read a textbook on how to get children to love (and continue loving) to read. Fascinating stuff. That, and school is starting this week. I’m hoping to have it done by the end of Labor Day though. Josh and I are going for a camping trip then and there should be ample time for reading as we’re going to the far out crazy wilderness.
Josh and I saw Urinetown at the American Conservatory Theater on Tuesday. It’s one of the better musicals I’ve seen in a long time. Absolutely hilarious, stellar cast (with excellent vocal abilities), great music, and fabulous writing. One thing that I really appreciated about it is that it didn’t have a complete left-wing agenda. I thought so at first. It portrayed the head-honchos of a capitalist society as being greedy and making harsh decisions to benefit themselves (at the expense of those less fortunate). However, *spoiler – ending revealed ahead!!!* at the end, once the “less fortunate” had rioted and over taken the system, the town ran out of water and eventually killed off a bunch of people. Little Sally says to the Officer, “I don’t think people are going to want to see this musical.” To which he responds, “Don’t you think that people want to know that their way of life is unsustainable?” So, basically, it ended by saying that no one is perfect, we are all flawed, and society in general is doomed to be flawed no matter who is on top. Loved it. I’m so tired of people pointing to right-wing conservatives as being horrible people when, in reality, this musical’s message is more true to real life than most would admit.
Today, Brian Davenport (a fellow teacher at Hyde & friend), Josh, Mark Quinlan (fellow teacher & theater guru from MN), and I went to the Marc Chagall exhibit at the SFMOMA. Marc Chagall & Max Beckman have long been on the top of my favorite artist list, and it was awesome to see a huge collection of Chagall’s work side-by-side. The museum did an awesome job laying it out & the exhibit catalog was beautifully and thoughtfully done. The place was so crowded that I got a bit claustrophobic…but it was worth it. We had a discussion about the difference between someone who makes a few good paintings versus someone who pics an artistic direction and obsesses over it, making tons of work. Very often, people look at artists (such as Guston’s exhibit, also at the gallery) and think that their work sucks (my kid could do that!). But people fail to see two critical parts that put that artist over them…the artist’s journey taken to get to that type of artwork (such as Picasso’s journey from realism to abstract) and the artist’s obsessiveness over a given topic or style. These two things set apart the artists we see in museums from the rest of us. Granted, there are some exceptions, but I’ll not get into them here. Oh, and it was great to see Mark again. It makes me miss the Centennial Speech Team big time.
I was also informed today that I need to stop referring to San Francisco as “San Fran.” Apparently, the people who live there are somehow offended by the abbreviation. They “cringe” at it. So, I’m supposed to start calling it either San Francisco or “The City.” I may continue using San Fran because I figure, hey, that city offends me, why can’t I offend them? Just kidding. Oh, and it’s so like SF to want to refer to themselves as The City. As if they are the ultimate superemo always right best ever city. Kind of like “The Man,” except “The City.”
Teachers go back to school on Monday, students on Thursday. I’m so pumped. It’s been a long summer. Most people are very excited for the summer, but I tend to dread it. I just love teaching and it’s sometimes difficult to face life without students around. They are such a source of energy and joy for me. I will have new challenges this year as we are starting an Art II and Crafts II class this year. So, I have more curriculum to develop, which is mostly put together already. I’m excited for the venture! Oh, and we got air conditioning put in over the summer. Sweet!