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Explorations in intuition : breaking boundaries and reclaiming voice through A/r/tographic process Toth, Michael 2007

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Explorations in Intuition: Breaking Boundaries and Reclaiming Voice t h r o u g h A / r / t o g r a p h i c Process  Michael Toth B. M u s . , T h e U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , 1987  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL F U L L F I L L M E N T OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR T H E DEGREE OF MASTER  OF ARTS  in T H E FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Music Education)  T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA J u l y 2007 © M i c h a e l T o t h , 2007  Abstract For me, the path is now clear—release the deep intuitive feeling first and then reflect and respond through intelligence and internal aesthetics. T h i s thesis of creative s c h o l a r s h i p is about process, p e r m i s s i o n , a n d o r i g i n a l voice. I have u s e d i n t u i t i v e m u s i c , poetry, a n d narrative to create a m u l t i - f a c e t e d tapestry t h a t exposes m y life roles, m y feelings, m y values, a n d the grayer, i n b e t w e e n areas of k n o w i n g , t e a c h i n g , a n d l e a r n i n g . T h i s process of rediscovery a n d r e c l a m a t i o n of voice has been one of artistically g i v i n g m y s e l f p e r m i s s i o n to b r e a k t h r o u g h m y p e r s o n a l m a s k s a n d roles as w e l l as t r a n s c e n d c u l t u r a l p a r a d i g m s to locate myself. T h e m e t h o d o l o g y of A / r / t o g r a p h y (Springgay, S., I r w i n , R . L . , W i l s o n K i n d , S. 2005) was c h o s e n as a p a t h to m a k e sense of m u l t i - s t o r i e d archetypes a n d m u l t i l a y e r e d avenues of artistic e x p r e s s i o n . T h i s process is r e n d e r e d t h r o u g h concepts of excess, m e t a p h o r , o p e n i n g s , contiguity, m e t o n y m y , l i v i n g i n q u i r y , a n d reverberations. R e n d e r i n g s enable artists, teachers a n d researchers to interrogate the interstitial spaces between t h i n g s , f o r e x a m p l e i m a g e a n d w o r k , text a n d audience, r e s e a r c h i n g , pedagogy a n d a r t m a k i n g (Springgay, S., I r w i n , R . L . , W i l s o n K i n d , S. 2005). T h e artistic e x p l o r a t i o n s a n d consequent r e n d e r i n g s o f revelation a n d reflection of t h i s ontological e x p l o r a t i o n c a n be loosely g r o u p e d i n t o seven m a j o r themes: P e r s o n a l C o n t e x t a n d Context f o r m a t i o n Heroes Regrets Issues w i t h the p r e v a i l i n g culture N e w beginnings  (The importance of) Artistic/Transcendent/Arational spaces Reflections and intimate looks into the form and function of educational landscape. The writing and music were then analyzed in light of who I am and what I know. Results consisted of a number of conceptual strides forward in both my artistic vision and my teaching. Overall, a/r/tography enabled me to gain deeper autobiographical understandings about issues that have shaped my view of the world. From music, poetic and narrative renderings, I learned valuable insights about the real me. I discovered a multilayered individual inside who became reenergized and revitalized about finding my inner voice. From a/r/tographic renderings, I analyzed and reflected on what I learned and unlearned. Though there were resolutions, there were also new directions as I explored intuition, broke boundaries and reclaimed voice. I sculpted and embraced stories behind stories about myself. The notion of hero surfaced while regrets brought new narratives. Who am I? I am artist, teacher, guitar player, and a/r/tographer.  m  Table of Contents Abstract.  ii  Table of Contents  iv  D e m o C D o f Poetry, N a r r a t i v e s , S o u n d s c a p e s  vii  Acknowledgements  ix  I've E m ( b r a c e d ) : A P o e m o f I n t r o d u c t i o n .  l  Section I: Beginnings  ••• 2  T h e F a b l e o f the S c u l p t o r  ...i  Stories b e h i n d t h e Stories  •••• 4  T h e M a s t e r s E x p e r i e n c e as L i m i n a l P h e n o m e n o n .  5  T h e Story o f the N a i v e A / r / t o g r a p h e r  7  Autoethnography  il  A/r/tography  13  T h e I n e v i t a b i l i t y o f the O n t o l o g i c a l D a n c e . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  .  15  Reflections i n t h e I n f i n i t e N o w .  18  T h e Poet a n d t h e P i p e r  .20  Section II: A/r/tographic Renderings Where do I come from/to?. Driving With N o Hands. T h e F a b l e o f Regret The Unnatural Act. I A m Guitar. I A m S t a r t i n g (to Lose) I've ( E m ) b r a c e d  . . . 22  ..  22 22 25 30 31 32 34  iv  W h a t d o I encounter? Master Frame. Big People  .35 35 37  How Old?.....  38  The Goddess of Innovation The Hustler The Hi-fi Lessons f r o m the P i a n o S u n d a y at the A r t G a l l e r y . W h a t d o I create? H i g h Wire Guitar. O n M u s i c Class after a Sleepless N i g h t H o w Do Y o u Determine? This Day i n the Life. , A T r i l o g y o f D e v e l o p m e n t a l Stories. Heroes.  Section III: An Analysis of the Renderings.  ••••  ••••  39 41 46 50 52 57 57 58 59 61 84 96  •. . •.•.118  Reflections o n the A / r / t o g r a p h i c Process . . . . . . . ' T h e o p e n i n g o f the G o l d e n F l o w e r — t h e M i r a g e o f E p i p h a n y P e r s o n a l context a n d contextual f o r m a t i o n . Heroes  ... 118 . .121 .122 . . . . .129  Regrets.  135  A n g e r / a l i e n a t i o n w i t h t h e p r e v a i l i n g culture.  138  N e w Beginnings  .140  (The I m p o r t a n c e of) A r t i s t i c / T r a n s c e n d e n t / A r a t i o n a l spaces.  .141  Reflections a n d I n t i m a t e L o o k s i n t o t h e F o r m a n d F u n c t i o n o f the E d u c a t i o n a l Landscape  .144  T h e Intuitive Process a n d E m p a t h y w i t h o u t E x p e r i e n c e  146  Section IV: What have I learned/unlearned? T o Believe i n M y s e l f a n d the V a l u e o f M y O w n U n i q u e A r t i s t i c V o i c e .  153 153  To W o r k o n Releasing Comparisons and Cultural N o r m s and Measurements of Value.  154  Contextual Shifting and R e - b u i l d i n g . . . . . . . .  155  T h e Snake of Regret keeps attacking.  .158  Reflections o n the Effect of the A / r / t o g r a p h i c E x p e r i e n c e o n m y C l a s s r o o m Teaching  •  ••  158  W h e r e to N o w ?  160  References  162  vi  Demo CD of Poetry, Narratives, and Soundscapes Track l H o w Old? Track 2 Driving With N o Hands Track 3 The Unnatural A c t Track 4 T h e F a b l e o f Regret Track 5 I a m Starting (to Lose) Track 6 Big People Track 7 O n M u s i c Class A f t e r a Sleepless N i g h t Track 8 The Goddess of Innovation Track 9 I l o w D o Y o u Determine? T r a c k 10 The Master Frame T r a c k 11 The Hustler T r a c k 12 I've E m (braced) T r a c k 13 T h u n d e r s t o r m at the P o n d ( I n s t r u m e n t a l N a r r a t i v e )  An electric guitar is used to create the rumble of the approaching storm, various birds calling in the trees and bushes; frogs croaking quietly; insects buzzing around; the sizzle of the rain descending, and finally the melody of lightning bolts and thunder.  C o l l a b o r a t i v e W o r k : Soundscapes for the P o e t r y of C a r l Leggo T r a c k 14 The Same Nose T r a c k 15 N o Locks T r a c k 16 Picnics T r a c k 17 M y Mother's House T r a c k 18 The Diver T r a c k 19 O T r a c k 20 Lynch's Lane  Acknowledgements I w o u l d l i k e to t h a n k D r . Peter G o u z o u a s i s a n d D r . C a r l Leggo f o r t h e i r i n v a l u a b l e s u p p o r t a n d e n c o u r a g e m e n t t h r o u g h this w o n d e r f u l process. Peter w a s i n s t r u m e n t a l i n c o n v i n c i n g m e to e m b a r k o n this j o u r n e y a n d C a r l was a b e a c o n o f light, l e a r n i n g , a n d c a l m t h r o u g h o u t . I have g r o w n so m u c h t h r o u g h m y w o r k w i t h b o t h o f y o u . T h a n k y o u . I w o u l d also l i k e to t h a n k m y wife, R o s e m a r y , a n d m y daughter, E m i l y f o r t h e i r love a n d s u p p o r t w h i l e I struggled w i t h the challenges o f e a r n i n g a M a s t e r ' s degree, w o r k i n g f u l l t i m e , a n d t r y i n g to b e a D a d , a n d a h u s b a n d . B o t h of y o u r e a l i z e d that t h i s process w a s a great o p p o r t u n i t y for m e . L o v e to y o u always. F i n a l l y I w o u l d l i k e to t h a n k m y m o t h e r , Irene for h e r l i f e t i m e o f u n c o n d i t i o n a l love a n d s u p p o r t , b o t h o f m y s e l f a n d m y b r o t h e r , L e s . I have b e e n able to take t h e r i s k s n e e d e d to realize m y s e l f t h r o u g h y o u r n u r t u r i n g love.  ix  I've (Em)braced I've ( E m ) b r a c e d Prankster, C o n M a n , Liar, Lover, Husband, Father, T(h)inker(er), Imposter, Preposterous Lying in judgment! Yet S o m e t i m e s N o t of t h i s W o r l d A s m y eyes r o l l b a c k w a r d a n d the j a w drops... M y s t i c systemic, pathetic a n d regretful Keeper of c a r t o o n consciousness, M y feet b l i s t e r o n the h y p e r - h e a t e d asphalt O f W e s t e r n reality, I never l e a r n Still M y s t i f i e d b y the r a r i f i e d M i r a c l e of hope(lessness) Frightened child and old m a n I am P e n i s crossed w i t h p e n a n c e S o n of Z o r r o a n d N o s f e r a t u , (Anti)... C h r i s t , I w i s h I k n e w ! Saint o r s i n n e r , Certainly F o o l o n the h i l l of the A c a d e m y of P o w e r , p o l i t i c s a n d lost s o u l s , L i m i n a l T r a n s g r e s s o r i n the a p o r i a of F o u n d a n d lost (again) I see T h e oasis O r j u s t another mirage?... M e a n w h i l e the B u d d h a of C o m p a s s i o n p o u r s R i v e r s of tears t h r o u g h m e as I l o o k at pictures of M y daughter Because Sometimes I k n o w T o l o o k above m y s e l f  Section I Beginnings The Fable of the Sculptor An autobiometaphoric  overview of the type and nature of the struggles and  successes of my creative life. I have a s c u l p t u r e d o w n s t a i r s . It is a w o r k i n progress. I t r y t o v i s i t it every night f o r a f e w m i n u t e s . T h i s sleeping giant is, f o r the m o s t part, u n f i n i s h e d , w i t h its character p a r t i a l l y c o n c e a l e d to t h e causal observer. E n t o m b e d w i t h i n a sea o f m a r b l e , it is a p r i s o n e r o f c i r c u m s t a n c e , w a i t i n g to be b o r n . I c a n feel t h e energy f r o m deep w i t h i n t h e r o c k a n d often I i m a g i n e its m u f f l e d , p l a i n t i v e c a l l f o r f r e e d o m , even u p s t a i r s , w h e n I a m engaged a n d i n t o x i c a t e d b y d o m e s t i c vignettes w i t h Rose a n d E m i l y . L i k e M i c h e l a n g e l o , a n d i n t h e great t r a d i t i o n o f s c u l p t o r s before a n d after h i m , I, i n service a n d servitude, s l o w l y c h i p away at t h e s a c r e d r o c k t o release t h e p o o r s o u l . M y h a n d s ache f r o m fatigue a n d p r o d u c t i v i t y is h a m p e r e d b y a b r a i n f i l l e d w i t h d i s t r a c t i n g l i f e - n o i s e - m y d a i l y existence, seemly, a n e v e r - e n d i n g turnstile o f m o r e u n c o m p l e t e d tasks a n d obligations. Y e t , t h e u r g e n c y t o breathe life i n t o t h e s c u l p t u r e is ever h e i g h t e n i n g w i t h each day. I carve best t h r o u g h i n t u i t i o n . T h i s process emerges i n t h e m o r n i n g w h e n the chatter o f the m o n k e y is l o w . T h e t r i c k is t o start m y c a r v i n g before I have a chance to really a c k n o w l e d g e that I a m w o r k i n g . It is i n t h i s m i d d l e space, b e t w e e n sleep a n d w a k e f u l n e s s , that m y h a n d s m o v e a u t o m a t i c a l l y , w i t h o u t w i l l f u l i n t e n t i o n . A n d so, the spirit shows itself w h e n ready.  2  A s I w a k e , m y thoughts a n d aesthetic j u d g m e n t c o m e i n t o play. T h e y c a n h i n d e r t h e process, b u t I have l e a r n e d t o use t h e m t o refine a n d redirect t h e p o w e r of the i n i t i a l l i n e s . F o r m e , the p a t h is n o w clear — release the deep intuitive  feeling  first and then reflect and respond through intelligence and observer aesthetics. T h i s process, w h i c h I have d i s c o v e r e d after m a n y years o f s e a r c h i n g , yields m y best lines. I s h o u l d have f i n i s h e d t h e s c u l p t u r e m a n y years ago, b u t I f a i l e d i n l i s t e n i n g to m y o w n voice. I f a i l e d t o t r u s t myself. I p u t intelligence a n d t h e p a r a d i g m o f culture before m y s o u l . I b e l i e v e d i n heroes f o r far t o o l o n g . A n d n o w the snake o f regret has b i t t e n m e . L a s t w i n t e r , Rose a n d E m i l y left f o r a short h o l i d a y i n the city. E v e r y t e r m , Rose arranges t h i s so that I m a y deal w i t h t h e d e m a n d s o f graduate w o r k as w e l l as a full-time teaching assignment i n a secondary school. These weekends of isolation have b e e n a b l e s s i n g as it has a l l o w e d m e t o c o m p l e t e projects w i t h o u t d i s t r a c t i o n . T h i s p a r t i c u l a r w e e k e n d , however, m y focus was scattered a n d rife w i t h d i s t r a c t i o n . I m e d i t a t e d a n d d r a n k m o r e coffee, e m p l o y i n g a l l o f m y h o m e g r o w n tactics t o force c o n c e n t r a t i o n . N o n e o f these r e m e d i e s s e e m e d t o i m p r o v e t h e s i t u a t i o n . M y consciousness r e m a i n e d f i l m y a n d u n f o c u s s e d . T h e r e was m o u n t i n g stress a n d a n acidic feeling i n m y s t o m a c h . T h e w e e k e n d h o u r s were v a n i s h i n g q u i c k l y a n d m y i n s p i r a t i o n : a n d p r o d u c t i v i t y were so l o w A t s o m e p o i n t , I realized what was t r o u b l i n g m e . T h e rock was c r y i n g out. I n quiet d e s p e r a t i o n , I r a n d o w n s t a i r s , t h i n k i n g that maybe a n h o u r ' s w o r k o n the s c u l p t u r e w o u l d muffle i t s sounds t o a p o i n t b e l o w the t h r e s h o l d o f d i s t r a c t i o n . M y chisel a n d h a m m e r f l e w o n their o w n accord as m y p a n i c k e d h e a d r e v i e w e d t h e graduate w o r k  3  I'd left upstairs. W h e n m y m i n d r e t u r n e d to the task at h a n d , I h a d to d r o p the tools a n d r u n m y fingers over the f o r e h e a d a n d b r o w o f the e m e r g i n g face i n the rock. T h e f a m i l i a r i t y was at once s o o t h i n g a n d deeply f r i g h t e n i n g . I n the w i n k of a n eye, before the w o r d s c o u l d f o r m , I realized that the p r i s o n e r o f the r o c k was a reflection of myself.  Stories behind the Stories Moving from metaphor to defining my artistic goals, expression, and  personal  needs. I m u s t confess that I a m not a s c u l p t o r i n a t r a d i t i o n a l sense. T h e l i n e s I cut are not cut f r o m stone, b u t f r o m a h i g h e r set of v i b r a t i o n s . I a m a s o n i c s c u l p t o r . I carve a n d shape l i n e s o f s o n o r i t y as a m e a n s to represent w h a t narratives s o m e t i m e s fail to reveal. Y e t , I prefer to initiate this d i s c o u r s e w i t h the m e t a p h o r o f s c u l p t i n g as a m e a n s t o i n f o r m readers of m y process. T h e c r e a t i o n of m u s i c differs f r o m the tactile sensuality a n d the v i s u a l i m a g e r y of the art of s c u l p t i n g . M u s i c p r i m a r i l y f u n c t i o n s at a n o n - p h y s i c a l i s t i c level of abstraction, yet, i n m a n y w a y s , the processes are a l m o s t p a r a l l e l a n d the f i n a l p r o d u c t s c a n be equally as m o v i n g . I have t w o areas of c o n s c i o u s m u s i c a l interest at this t i m e . T h e first area lies i n the s c u l p t i n g of soundscapes. T h e s e c o n d i n v o l v e s the s c u l p t i n g of o r i g i n a l musical ideas/motifs for spontaneous improvisation. Soundscapes are v a r i o u s m u s i c a l c o m p o s i t i o n s that s u p p o r t the a u t o e t h n o g r a p h i c narratives a n d poetic r e n d e r i n g s that I, a n d others, have w r i t t e n . B y c o m p o s i n g these o r i g i n a l s o n i c b a c k d r o p s , I hope to seduce listeners i n t o a deeper i n t i m a c y as t h e i r hearts a n d m i n d s dance w i t h the narratives.  4  T h e s e c o n d area o f interest, the c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n o f ideas f o r i m p r o v i s a t i o n a n d the ability t o r e n d e r these l i n e s , has b e e n a life l o n g challenge t h a t I have e m b r a c e d . A s I l i s t e n t o m y s e l f p l a y the guitar, I hear a s o n i c a u t o e t h n o g r a p h i c w e a v i n g o f a l l o f m y past interests, values a n d n e w areas o f interest. A n d , as i n the fable of the s c u l p t o r , a p a r t o f m e has b e e n c r y i n g out for years t o m u s i c a l l y r e n d e r a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the real m e . B u t who is the real me?  The Master's Experience as Liminal Phenomenon Creating the hook—connecting my artistic expression with my academic experience. T h r o u g h a series o f u n a n t i c i p a t e d events, m y graduate w o r k i n C u r r i c u l u m Studies at U B C has b e c o m e the v e h i c l e t h r o u g h w h i c h I m o v e f o r w a r d o n this q u e s t i o n o f who is the real me? I n d e e d , the M a s t e r ' s p r o g r a m has b e c o m e a l e n s that has f o c u s e d m y p e r s o n a l , p r o f e s s i o n a l , a n d artistic u n f o l d i n g . P a r a d o x i c a l l y , t h i s " l e n s " of the M a s t e r ' s p r o g r a m f u n c t i o n e d i n l i m i n a l r h y t h m s t o u n f o c u s m y present n o t i o n s o f self a n d w h a t I k n o w , t h u s a l l o w i n g f o r a m o r e e x p a n d e d , stronger, a n d m o r e authentic n o t i o n o f s e l l T h e o n l i n e e n c y c l o p e d i a , Wikipedia notes, "the l i m i n a l state is characterized b y a m b i g u i t y , openness, a n d i n d e t e r m i n a c y . O n e ' s sense o f i d e n t i t y dissolves t o s o m e extent, b r i n g i n g about d i s o r i e n t a t i o n . L i m i n a l i t y is a p e r i o d of t r a n s i t i o n , d u r i n g w h i c h y o u r n o r m a l l i m i t s to t h o u g h t , s e l f - u n d e r s t a n d i n g , a n d b e h a v i o r are r e l a x e d , o p e n i n g the w a y t o s o m e t h i n g n e w " ( W i k i p e d i a , 2005). F o r m e , " o p e n i n g t o s o m e t h i n g n e w " has a l l o w e d a r e p a t r i a t i o n o f m y core essence as w e l l as a r e n e w e d trust i n the creative process. T h i s process o f rediscovery a n d r e c l a m a t i o n o f voice has b e e n one o f  artistically b r e a k i n g t h r o u g h m y p e r s o n a l m a s k s a n d roles. I have u s e d i n t u i t i v e m u s i c , poetry a n d narrative to create a m u l t i - f a c e t e d tapestry that exposes m y life roles, m y feelings, m y values, a n d the grayer, i n - b e t w e e n areas o f k n o w i n g , t e a c h i n g , a n d l e a r n i n g that p u s h m y r i s k t a k i n g to the real p a r a m e t e r s of w h o I a m a n d w h a t I teach. T h e t e r m i n t u i t i v e is u s e d to convey the n o t i o n that these pieces w e r e not r e n d e r e d i n i t i a l l y as part of c o n s c i o u s c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g . T h e y f l o w e d f r o m m e i n a n a t u r a l a n d u n s e l f c o n s c i o u s m a n n e r . T h u s , they are m o r e l i k e artifacts o f a life w h i c h c a n i n f o r m t h r o u g h a / r / t o g r a p h i c methodology. A r t i s t - p e d a g o g u e B a r b a r a B i c k e l (2004) has directly a d d r e s s e d the issues s u r r o u n d i n g a r t i s t i c / i n t u i t i v e k n o w i n g . R e f e r e n c i n g the research of, a m o n g others, M i c h e l l e L e b a r o n , H e n r y G i o u x , J e a n Gebser, a n d K e n B e i t t e l , B i c k e l s u p p o r t s the n o t i o n of a r a t i o n a l k n o w l e d g e ( B i c k e l , 2004). A r a t i o n a l k n o w l e d g e is a t h i r d a n d separate p o s i t i o n f r o m the c o n v e n t i o n a l d i a l e c t i c i s m of r a t i o n a l a n d i r r a t i o n a l thought. B i c k e l describes a r a t i o n a l p o s i t i o n i n g as " a f o r m of k n o w i n g that i n c l u d e s the b o d y , the e m o t i o n s , the senses, i n t u i t i o n , i m a g i n a t i o n , c r e a t i o n m a k i n g , the m y s t i c a l , s p i r i t u a l a n d the r e l a t i o n a l " ( B i c k e l , 2005, p. 5). T h i s c o n c e p t u a l site of l e a r n i n g " c a n be f o u n d i n the practices of art, m e d i t a t i o n , p s y c h o a n a l y s i s , the b o d y , (and) the senses" ( B i c k e l , 2005, p. 5). Indeed, B i c k e l ' s discourse o n this t h i r d way of k n o w l e d g e a c q u i s i t i o n reverberates i n c o m p l e t e h a r m o n y w i t h the processes that I have s t u m b l e d u p o n a n d n u r t u r e d over the years. B i c k e l m a i n t a i n s that t h r o u g h a r a t i o n a l or i n t u i t i v e artistic process, one m a y f i n d the space needed to a l l o w artistic e x p r e s s i o n , selfactualization a n d self-realization to manifest.  6  A s a researcher, I c o n c u r w i t h t h i s f i n d i n g a n d a d d that artistic e x p r e s s i o n a n d self-actualization are inseparable p a r t n e r s i n the process of arts-based research. T h e process of arts-based research i n e v i t a b l y starts a n d ends w i t h the p a t h of self-realization a n d s e l f - a c t u a l i z a t i o n . A r t is b o t h the p r o d u c t a n d process of u n d e r s t a n d i n g of oneself a n d the w o r l d at large. T h a t b e i n g s a i d , d i s c o u r s e s s u r r o u n d i n g artistic expression a n d specifically s e l f - a c t u a l i z a t i o n , were p r o b a b l y the last concepts that I w o u l d have a n t i c i p a t e d engaging i n w h e n I e n r o l l e d f o r graduate studies.  The Story of the Naive A/r/tographer Through storying, I explore the process of finding and interfacing a research methodology with my unfolding vision of research.  O r i g i n a l l y , I entered the M a s t e r ' s p r o g r a m at U B C to t r a i n m y m i n d to t h i n k m o r e elegantly i n scientific ways. I h a d spent m y life c h e r i s h i n g artistic avenues of e x p r e s s i o n — a l t h o u g h I h a d not b e e n altogether h a p p y w i t h the r e s u l t s — a n d n o w I felt that I needed to balance m y s e l f w i t h the challenges of l o g i c a l , sequential t h i n k i n g . M y first graduate course e m b o d i e d a survey of research m e t h o d o l o g i e s . T h e prospect of u s i n g quantitative m e t h o d o l o g i e s a p p e a l e d to m y y e a r n i n g for a verifiable a n d rigorous m o d u s o p e r a n d i w i t h w h i c h to a p p r o a c h s o m e of m y research interests. A s m y t i m e at U B C passed, however, I s l o w l y started to recognize the strength of qualitative m e t h o d s of i n q u i r y for social science research. T h e courses that I took consistently r e i n f o r c e d the n o t i o n that h u m a n b e i n g s a n d t h e i r r e s u l t i n g  7  l e a r n i n g a n d t e a c h i n g activities are fraught w i t h c o m p l e x i t y a n d i n c o n s i s t e n c y . W e a l l house so m a n y different d r e a m s a n d needs a n d fears a n d v i e w the w o r l d f r o m c o m p l e t e l y u n i q u e vantage p o i n t s , b a s e d o n o u r experiences, c u l t u r e , s p i r i t u a l i t y , a n d genetics. T h i s p e r s o n a l heritage of u n i q u e , c o m p l e x contexts m a n i f e s t s itself i n o u r u n d e r s t a n d i n g s a n d interactions w i t h the w o r l d . A s I b e g a n to reflect o n m y o w n p e r s o n a l contextual p o s i t i o n i n g as a researcher, I b e g a n to c o n s i d e r h o w t h i s w o u l d p l a y u p o n a n d c o u l d be integrated i n m y research. I y e a r n e d to e x a m i n e b o t h m y experiences as a teacher of 20 years a n d the n a t u r e a n d i n t e r p l a y o f m y o w n f r a m e of v i e w i n g . M y first o p p o r t u n i t y to reflect o n m y experiences arose i n D r . C a r l Leggo's class o n N a r r a t i v e I n q u i r y . D r . Leggo, t h r o u g h years of t e a c h i n g , w r i t i n g , a n d reflection, has created a c l a s s r o o m e n v i r o n m e n t that p u r p o s e f u l l y addresses a n d rectifies the s o m e t i m e s c o l d , c o m p e t i t i v e a n d s o m e t i m e s n o n - r e f l e c t i v e n a t u r e o f the graduate course experience. I n short, he creates a w e l c o m i n g , s t r e s s - r e d u c e d e n v i r o n m e n t that p r o m o t e s c o m f o r t , h e a l t h , a n d r i s k - t a k i n g f r o m h i s students. W i t h i n t h i s context, D r , Leggo " i n v i t e s " students to w r i t e i n a n d t h r o u g h a variety of literary genres. In t h i s u n i q u e a n d safe s i t u a t i o n , student w r i t i n g s b l o s s o m l i k e s p r i n g flowers. A n d , as D r . Leggo generally allows us to w r i t e o n any subjects close to o u r hearts, m o s t students d i g i n t o themselves a n d address t h e i r o w n p r e s s i n g issues. W i t h i n t h i s context, I a l l o w e d m y s e l f to w r i t e poetry a n d short stories. A s I entered the process, I f o u n d that the same t h e m e s e m e r g e d : e d u c a t i o n a l t o p i c s , m u s i c a n d m u s i c - r e l a t e d topics, research issues, a n d a u t o b i o g r a p h i c m a t e r i a l .  8  As I grew in the inherent safety of this experience, I continued to grow in the intimacy of my work and the level of risk-taking. In a Jungian-like maneuver, I opted to carve a series of clay figurines as a three-dimensional answer to Dr. Leggo's class request for posters that displayed some of our writing/learning. I entitled the clay figure presentation: "Life archetypes and the understanding that you teach whom you are." A deeper part of me was clearly rising to the conscious surface. The three dimensional poster erupted from my unconscious to demonstrate core archetypal roles or facets of my personality that contributed to the framing of my teaching experience. An upper level of figures represents my masks as musician, meditator, reflective family man, and teacher. This top level was mounted on a platter that could spin around a lower, outer circle of life situations/contexts, thereby symbolizing the multiplicity and "spilling over" of experience. That said, I was hoping to process and visually represent, albeit primitively, the notion that my professional life as a teacher is not separate from the rest of my life--that, in varying degrees, I teach who I am. Indeed, "teaching is performative knowing in meaningful relationships with listeners" (Irwin, 2004, p. 31). And, if I teach who I am, it behooves me, as a dedicated educator, to know myself. My subconscious, intuitive agenda in this course seemed to be an inquiry aimed at this goal. At the end of term, we were required to submit portfolios. As I organized and prepared my portfolio, I decided to support my poetic offerings with music. Indeed, I sensed that coupling narrative with music could create a powerful psychological tool for self-reflection and discovery. As a musician, it seemed a  9  n a t u r a l e x t e n s i o n to s u p p o r t a n d i n t e n s i f y the m o o d s a n d spaces that t h e poetry created w i t h w h a t I c a l l e d s o u n d s c a p e s — m u s i c a l vistas that were s p e c i f i c a l l y w r i t t e n to i n f o r m the listener o f subtleties that I struggled to c o n v e y t h r o u g h poetry. T h r o u g h this interactive s y m b i o s i s o f s o u n d a n d w r i t t e n w o r d , I h a d a p o w e r f u l c o m p o s i t e art f o r m i n w h i c h each f o r m e n h a n c e d a n d i n f o r m e d the other. M o v i n g i n t o w r i t i n g poetry a n d prose a l l o w e d m e access to a n art f o r m that is p o t e n t i a l l y less abstract t h a n i n s t r u m e n t a l m u s i c . T h i s c o u p l i n g o f w o r d s a n d m u s i c freed m e to p r o c e s s , f o c u s , a n d articulate specific issues t h r o u g h n a r r a t i v e , w h i l e s i m u l t a n e o u s l y e n a b l i n g m e to m u s i c a l l y p o r t r a y the essential m o o d s a n d feelings that i m b u e d the issues. U n l i k e w r i t i n g l y r i c s , w h i c h often get i n t o areas o f c o m p r o m i s e w i t h the m u s i c , the n a r r a t i v e f o r m s e n a b l e d m e to say w h a t n e e d e d to b e s a i d . A n d , u n l i k e the beat poets o f the 1 9 5 0 ' s , w h o r a p p e d t h e i r poetry w h i l e j a z z m u s i c i a n s generated c o o l , i n t e l l e c t u a l s o n i c b a c k g r o u n d s , this m u s i c w i t h its c o m p o s i t i o n a l a p p r o a c h , s e e m e d m o r e effective a n d specific at s u p p o r t i n g the ideas t a b l e d b y the writing. D r . Peter G o u z o u a s i s , C h a i r o f M u s i c E d u c a t i o n i n C u r r i c u l u m Studies h a d occasionally v i s i t e d D r . Leggo's course o n N a r r a t i v e I n q u i r y . A f t e r seeing m y archetype project a n d h e a r i n g s o m e o f m y soundscapes, he r e c o g n i z e d that I was u n w i t t i n g l y d e v e l o p i n g a h o m e s p u n m e t h o d o l o g y that p a r a l l e l e d the t h e o r i z i n g o f a n e w arts-based m e t h o d o l o g y n a m e d a / r / t o g r a p h y . H i s u n q u a l i f i e d s u p p o r t o f m y r i s k - t a k i n g adventures i n t o t h i s c o m p o s i t e artistic f o r m , c o m b i n e d w i t h h i s f r i e n d l y  10  n u d g i n g t o have m e f u r t h e r investigate t h e questions that were generated t h r o u g h the project o f the archetypes, c o n v i n c e d m e t o c o n t i n u e t h i s l i n e o f i n q u i r y . I n d e e d , as D r . G o u z o u a s i s d e s c r i b e d a n d d e t a i l e d a / r / t o g r a p h y at o u r w e e k l y meetings after class, I felt as i f I w a s a naive a / r / t o g r a p h e r w h o h a d s t u m b l e d u p o n a process that p a r a l l e l e d t h e f o r m a l w o r k a n d t h e o r i z i n g that h a d been g o i n g o n i n a / r / t o g r a p h y . A / r / t o g f a p h y , as it w a s b e i n g t h e o r i z e d (by R i t a I r w i n , K i t G r a u e r , C a r l Leggo a n d Peter G o u z o u a s i s ) , s e e m e d l i k e a n a t u r a l m e t h o d o l o g i c a l fit f o r m y research as it a d d r e s s e d t h e gap i n m y analysis i n light o f w h o I a m a n d what I k n o w . . It b e g a n t o u n f o l d w h o I was. A / r / t o g r a p h y embraces n u m e r o u s narrative t e c h n i q u e s , i n c l u d i n g a u t o e t h n o g r a p h y , autobiography, poetry, a n d creative n o n - f i c t i o n w h i c h it c o m b i n e s w i t h other artistic genres. I n i t i a l l y , I l o o k e d at t h e m e t h o d o l o g y o f a u t o e t h n o g r a p h y as a m e a n s t o express b u r g e o n i n g n a r r a t i v e aspects o f m y research.  Autoethnography A Partial Solution T h e a u t o e t h n o g r a p h i c m o v e m e n t embraces a n u m b e r o f values that resonate w i t h m y c o n c e r n o f the retrieval, reassessment, a n d f o r m a l i z i n g o f k n o w l e d g e . T h i s m o d e r n m e t h o d o l o g y , l i k e m a n y social sciences that have b e e n t h e o r i z e d t h r o u g h the tenets o f p o s t - m o d e r n i s m , o p e n l y a d m i t s that p u r e objectivity (i.e., k n o w l e d g e w i t h o u t contextual f r a m i n g ) is n o t t r u l y possible. F u r t h e r , a u t o e t h n o g r a p h y embraces the n o t i o n that researchers c a n participate a n d t u r n t h e process o f e t h n o g r a p h i c i n q u i r y i n w a r d o n themselves.  11  A u t o e t h n o g r a p h y is a n a t u r a l , p o s t - m o d e r n i s t e x t e n s i o n o f its e t h n o g r a p h i c roots. Initially, ethnographers, as f r a m e d w i t h i n quantitative research m e t h o d o l o g i e s , represented t h e m s e l v e s as " i n v i s i b l e " observers w h o d i l i g e n t l y a n d systematically observed a n d r e c o r d e d social life a n d i n t e r a c t i o n . T h r o u g h a series of m u l t i - l a y e r e d events, not the least of w h i c h b e i n g the rise o f p o s t - m o d e r n i s t t h i n k i n g a n d qualitative research, ethnographers began to q u e s t i o n the m o d e r n i s t a s s u m p t i o n s of objectivity. T h i s wave o f t h e o r i z i n g s p a r k e d the d e v e l o p m e n t o f a host o f alternative methodologies that attempted to address the p r o b l e m s associated w i t h objectivity. A s a result, attempts at objectivity i n the social sciences b e c a m e t e m p e r e d b y the n o t i o n s of reflexivity a n d s o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n s o f reality ( G a i t a n , 2000). E v e r b u r g e o n i n g n u m b e r s of the a c a d e m i c c o m m u n i t y a r g u e d that the observer's special vantage p o i n t w i t h i n research offered a u n i q u e access p o i n t to p r e v i o u s l y u n t a p p e d k n o w l e d g e t h a t w a s i n f o r m e d b y the observer's p a r t i c i p a t i o n a n d experiences w i t h a n d w i t h i n the a r e a / p e o p l e that were b e i n g researched. T h e p r o x i m i t y a n d the interactions of the observer w i t h the o b s e r v e d b e c a m e v a l u e d a n d necessary avenues for the researcher to explore. A s G a i t a n , (2000) states, " N o t o n l y does closeness not have to result i n 'bias' (an e x p r e s s i o n d e r i v e d f r o m the belief that subject a n d object n e e d to be kept separate), b u t it m a y foster a p r i v i l e g e d p o i n t of v i e w (an ' i n s i d e r ' s ' perspective) that c a n be offered to the reader so that deeper u n d e r s t a n d i n g i n c o n v e y e d . " ( 2000, p. 1.) T h e w o r k of E l l i s (1998) has t a k e n the level of i n t i m a c y a n d reflexivity to a n e w level as she seeks to develop a n e t h n o g r a p h y that i n c l u d e s researchers' v u l n e r a b l e selves, e m o t i o n s , b o d i e s , a n d s p i r i t s ; p r o d u c e s evocative stories that create the effect of reality; celebrates concrete experience a n d i n t i m a t e d e t a i l ;  12  e x a m i n e s h o w h u m a n experience is e n d o w e d w i t h m e a n i n g ; is c o n c e r n e d w i t h m o r a l , ethical, a n d p o l i t i c a l consequences; encourages c o m p a s s i o n a n d e m p a t h y ; h e l p s us k n o w h o w to live a n d cope;....in short, to e x t e n d e t h n o g r a p h y to i n c l u d e the heart, the a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l , a n d the artistic text ( 1 9 9 8 , p. 6 6 9 . )  A l t h o u g h the conceptual tenets of a u t o e t h n o g r a p h y a p p e a l e d to m e , I needed a m e t h o d o l o g y that c o u l d i n c o r p o r a t e a n d v a l u e a n i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y artistic v e n t u r e as I w a n t e d to use an a u t o e t h n o g r a p h i c narrative style w i t h m u s i c . T h u s , I c o n c l u d e d that a u t o e t h n o g r a p h y was a p a r t i a l s o l u t i o n as it offered the i n t i m a c y a n d c a n d o r that I n e e d e d , but w i t h a c o n t i n u e d search for a m e t h o d o l o g y that w o u l d use m u l t i - t i e r e d artistic e x p r e s s i o n to i n f o r m .  A/r/tography A path to make sense of multi-storied archetypes and multi-layered avenues of artistic expression  T h e b r o a d e r m e t h o d o l o g y of a / r / t o g r a p h y s e e m e d a w i s e r choice to f r a m e a n d focus m y research, as it is l i v i n g i n q u i r y that celebrates m a n y f o r m s a n d collages of artistic e x p r e s s i o n as a m e a n s of e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l process ( I r w i n 2005). F u r t h e r m o r e , a / r / t o g r a p h y is a p r o c e s s / m e t h o d o l o g y that addresses the u n i q u e needs of artists w h o are also researchers, as w e l l as b e i n g teachers— (hence the stylized a / r / t i n the n a m e a / r / t o g r a p h y ) . A l t h o u g h a / r / t o g r a p h y was o r i g i n a l l y i n t e n d e d to assist v i s u a l artists i n a u t h e n t i c a t i n g t h e i r art as part of t h e i r r e s e a r c h , its m e t h o d o l o g i c a l process is b e i n g u s e d f o r a n e v e r - e x p a n d i n g list of diverse art f o r m s , i n c l u d i n g literary, m u s i c a l , a n d p e r f o r m a t i v e arts.  13  A / r / t o g r a p h e r s refer to six essential concepts t h r o u g h w h i c h the a / r / t o g r a p h i c m e t h o d o l o g y is f r a m e d a n d expressed o r r e n d e r e d . These six essential r e n d e r i n g s o r "active m e t h o d o l o g i c a l agents" ( I r w i n 2005) i n c l u d e the concepts of contiguity, l i v i n g i n q u i r y , o p e n i n g s , m e t a p h o r / m e t o n y m y , reverberations a n d excess" w h i c h c a n be " e n a c t e d a n d p r e s e n t e d / p e r f o r m e d w h e n a r e l a t i o n a l aesthetic i n q u i r y a p p r o a c h is e n v i s i o n e d as e m b o d i e d u n d e r s t a n d i n g s a n d exchanges b e t w e e n art a n d text, a n d b e t w e e n a n d a m o n g the b r o a d l y c o n c e i v e d identities of a r t i s t / r e s e a r c h e r / t e a c h e r . (Springgay, S., I r w i n , R . L . , W i l s o n K i n d , S. 2005.) T h u s , the a / r / t o g r a p h i c i n q u i r y is d e f i n e d b y its p o s i t i o n i n g o f the text i n the research. F o r a / r / t o g r a p h e r s , the s u p p o r t i n g text is not separate f r o m the art. I r w i n d e f i n e d the concept of c o n t i g u i t y as the act of d o u b l i n g art a n d graphy. " V i s u a l / p e r f o r m a t i v e a n d textual processes a n d p r o d u c t s are not separate a n d distinct b u t are i n c o n t i g u o u s i n t e r a c t i o n w h i c h d i s r u p t t a k e n for g r a n t e d categorizations of k n o w l e d g e p r o d u c t i o n " ( I r w i n , 2005). A r t i s t i c r e n d e r i n g s w o r k w i t h a n d t h r o u g h text i n a d y n a m i c , integrated, p r o c e s s i o n a l dance of revelation a n d reflection. A / r / t o g r a p h e r s are fascinated w i t h i n t e r s t i t i a l spaces that i n c l u d e areas t h a t exist at the b o u n d a r i e s of t h e i r v a r i o u s roles as artists, researchers, a n d teachers, t h e i r pedagogies a n d t h e i r audiences (Springgay, S., I r w i n , R . L . , W i l s o n K i n d , S. 2005). T h e n o t i o n of b o u n d a r i e s , the b l u r r i n g of b o u n d a r i e s a n d the s h i f t i n g of b o u n d a r i e s is a n area of intense scrutiny. Springgay's (2004) research has l e d h e r to define these v a r i o u s b o u n d e d r o l e s / i d e n t i t i e s as " f r a g m e n t s , (that are) l e a k y , abject, s h i f t i n g , a n d u n s t a b l e " (Springgay i n I r w i n , de C o s s o n , 2004, p. 60). F o r Springgay, "it is not a b l u r r i n g of b o u n d a r i e s that I b r i n g to m y artm a k i n g , research, a n d t e a c h i n g , b u t rather a b o u n d a r y shift, one that is situated i n  14  the seam, w h e r e m u l t i p l e images, identities, a n d ways o f k n o w i n g collide a n d are i n t e n s i o n w i t h each other" (2004, p.60). T h e focus o n the roles a n d the i n t e r p l a y between these roles weighs h e a v i l y o n the direction(s) o f the endeavor. S p r i n g g a y (2004) believes that this focus " . . . becomes a n ontological c o m p l e x i t y w h e r e the questions a s k e d are ones o f b e i n g : W h o d o y o u t h i n k y o u are? H o w do y o u k n o w ? H o w d o w e p e r f o r m i n relation t o these s h i f t i n g b o u n d a r i e s ? " (p. 61).  The Inevitability of the Ontological Dance The first step in any original, mature, artistic endeavor is to know yourself  Springgay's f u n d a m e n t a l ontologically b o r n questions rest at the core o f a n y endeavor i n t o the arts o r t h r o u g h a / r / t o g r a p h i c process. S i m p l y put, as artists a n d h u m a n s , w e m u s t k n o w ourselves i n o r d e r t o k n o w . V e x i n g questions s u r r o u n d t h e issue o f h o w we i n f o r m ourselves o f ourselves. O f t e n , this process o f self-realization manifests t h r o u g h a c o m p l e x u n / r a y e l i n g o f realizations, e p i p h a n i e s a n d regrets. O u r o w n i m m a t u r i t i e s a n d self-deceptions as w e l l as external forces, act as governors t o the rate at w h i c h w e u n f o l d . D e Cosson(2003) r e m i n d s o f the the P i n a r a n d G r u m e t q u o t a t i o n : " W e m u s t lay i n w a i t i n g f o r ourselves. T h r o u g h o u t o u r lives. A b a n d o n i n g the pretense that we k n o w " ( P i n a r & G r u m e t , 1976, p. v i i i ) . T h e r e c a n b e , however, nuances to the prerequisites a n d c o n d i t i o n s that m u s t b e e x a m i n e d before we, as a / r / t o g r a p h e r s p r o c e e d i n a c o n s c i o u s effort at a n s w e r i n g or u n f o l d i n g these ontological mysteries.  15  F o r one, we m u s t see o r i n t u i t i v e l y sense the i m p o r t a n c e of i n t r o s p e c t i o n . If no v a l u e o r sense of g a i n is p e r c e i v e d , it is u n l i k e l y there w i l l be any g e n u i n e progress. A n d even if we sense the relevance of these sorts of q u e s t i o n s / r i d d l e s , we m u s t have the courage to k n o w . W h a t w i l l h a p p e n i f w e are u n c o m f o r t a b l e o r disgraced w i t h what we f i n d ? W h a t i f the t r u t h f u l n e s s of o u r u n f o l d i n g r i p s at the very f a b r i c of w h o we t h o u g h t we were? It is h a r d to t u r n back. C a r o l y n E l l i s ( 1 9 9 9 ) writes that revelatory e x p l o r a t i o n generates a lot of fears a n d self-doubts a n d e m o t i o n a l p a i n . J u s t w h e n y o u t h i n k y o u can't s t a n d the p a i n a n y m o r e , w e l l that's w h e n the real w o r k has o n l y b e g u n . T h e n there's the v u l n e r a b i l i t y of revealing yourself, not b e i n g able to take back w h a t you've w r i t t e n of h a v i n g any c o n t r o l over h o w readers interpret it. It's h a r d not to feel y o u r life is b e i n g c r i t i q u e d as w e l l as y o u r w o r k . It c a n be h u m i l i a t i n g (p. 6 7 1 ) .  W i t h all of these p o t e n t i a l pitfalls, w e , as a / r / t o g r a p h e r s , m u s t believe that the u n f o l d i n g of o u r true selves is i n d e e d the correct p a t h o r at least the process w i l l eventually m o v e t o w a r d s o m e b a l a n c e o r n e w k n o w l e d g e . A l s o , we m u s t believe we are w o r t h y e n o u g h to r i s k l e a r n i n g the t r u t h . A s w e l l as s e n s i n g v a l u e a n d h a v i n g the courage to honestly p r o c e e d , w e m u s t v a l u e ourselves. T h a t i s , we m u s t believe, for whatever reasons, that o u r stories, beliefs, a c c u m u l a t e d experiences, a n d acts of artistic e x p r e s s i o n , w a r r a n t the p u b l i c act of u n r a v e l i n g a n d exposure. A s w e l l as these h u r d l e s , the e n o r m i t y of the task c a n b e d a u n t i n g : T h e r e are m a n y aspects of " s e l f to k n o w . T h e r e are the deep c h a s m s t h a t c a n o n l y be m i n e d t h r o u g h artistic process b u t there are, of course, other "selves" w i t h i n o u r  16  m u l t i d i m e n s i o n a l personalities. I n fact, m y clay f i g u r i n e archetypes were a n u n c o n s c i o u s o u t p o u r i n g of the very issue of o u r m a n y s i d e s / w a y s / v a l u e s of b e i n g . M y categorizing of these ways of b e i n g is, f r o m one perspective, v e r y artificial. B u t w h a t i n t r i g u e d m e was the w a y s i n w h i c h the archetypes o v e r l a p p e d a n d i n f o r m e d the actions of the others. G o u z o u a s i s (2007) addresses the f o l l o w i n g question: T h u s , one m a y c o n s i d e r that the synthetic, split b i n a r i e s of teacher-artist, teacher-researcher, researcher-artist dissolve i n t o a r e l a t i o n a l , i n c l u s i v e perspective of a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the a r t i s t / r e s e a r c h e r / t e a c h e r , m e t a p h o r i c a l l y d e f i n e d b y the E s c h e r i n k s k e t c h , " D r a w i n g H a n d s . " T h u s , each aspect of a r t i s t / r e s e a r c h e r / t e a c h e r s i m u l t a n e o u s l y n u r t u r e s the o t h e r creating a n d b e i n g created i n a n o n g o i n g process o f l i v i n g i n q u i r y (p. 226). T h u s , the shifting a n d b l u r r i n g of b o u n d a r i e s a n d the c o n t i n u o u s c i r c u l a r l o o p of p e r s o n a l reflection, r e a l i z a t i o n , a n d r e v i s i o n i n a p u b l i c f o r u m are c r i t i c a l elements to t h i s artistic m e t h o d o l o g i c a l process. B u t as I a l l u d e d to earlier, the nuances of t h i s process generate for m e a n o t h e r c o n n o t a t i o n of the n o t i o n of b o u n d a r i e s . W h e n I a m l o o k i n g at b o u n d a r i e s , I a m not o n l y l o o k i n g at b o u n d a r i e s that lie w i t h - i n m y o w n m u l t i - l a y e r e d p e r s o n a , b u t I have h a d to l o o k at m y o w n c o n c e p t u a l f r a m i n g . T h e l i m i t s o r b o u n d a r i e s of m y p e r s o n a l i t y n e e d e d to be b r o k e n i n o r d e r to generate an o r i g i n a l artistic m i n d s e t - o n e i n w h i c h the tenacious grip of c u l t u r a l n o r m s a n d values c o u l d be r e v i e w e d , a n d , p o t e n t i a l l y a b a n d o n e d .  17  Reflections in the Infinite Now Increasing the Frequency ofArational Transcendence Through Ritual  T h e n o t i o n o f l i v i n g i n q u i r y is a c r i t i c a l p r e m i s e i n t h e m e t h o d o l o g y o f a / r / t o g r a p h y . A / r / t o g r a p h y i s , b y its v e r y n a t u r e , a h o l i s t i c e n d e a v o r t h a t synthesizes n o t o n l y the m u l t i d i m e n s i o n a l lives o f artists w h o are researchers a n d teachers b u t it creates a m a r r i a g e b e t w e e n artistic p r a x i s a n d t h e o r i z i n g . T h i s process o f l i v i n g i n q u i r y is often catalyzed b y the n o t i o n o f r i t u a l i z e d practice. A / r / t o g r a p h e r B a r b a r a B i c k e l h a s l i n k e d the concept o f a r a t i o n a l i s m w i t h a / r / t o g r a p h i c r i t u a l . She argues that the context o f a r a t i o n a l i s m c a n b e m a n i f e s t e d t h r o u g h t h e use o f r i t u a l . "Ritual essentially i n c l u d e s a n a r a t i o n a l s a c r e d p r a c t i c e o f trans-egoic r e s p e c t / a w a r e n e s s / o p e n n e s s t o the creative i n t e r a c t i o n o f p h y s i c a l , e m o t i o n a l , i n t e l l e c t u a l a n d s p i r i t u a l realities, w i t h i n n a t u r e , c u l t u r e a n d self, f o r the p u r p o s e o f t r a n s f o r m a t i o n " ( B i c k e l , 2 0 0 5 , p 7 ) . L i k e B i c k e l , I value r i t u a l i z e d v i s i t a t i o n s t o the site o f the a r a t i o n a l t o a l l o w the u n k n o w n t o surface t h r o u g h m e a n d t h r o u g h m y art m a k i n g . P l a y i n g guitar has always b e e n a t r a n s c e n d e n t process f o r m e — a n e n t r a n c e p o i n t t o the site o f the a r a t i o n a l . B u t w h e n I started the practice o f m e d i t a t i o n i n 1 9 7 9 , 1 was s u r p r i s e d a n d d e l i g h t e d t o f i n d that it t o o k m e t o the s a m e a r a t i o n a l space as m y guitar. P r i o r t o t h i s , I h a d b e e n quite d e p e n d e n t o h t h e g u i t a r t o enter this zone o f creativity that i s b o t h i n v i g o r a t i n g a n d g r o u n d i n g . M y m e d i t a t i v e practice, w h i c h is c o n n e c t e d t o the V e d i c t r a d i t i o n s o f I n d i a , i s steeped i n h i s t o r y a n d t r a d i t i o n a n d i s , b y d e f i n i t i o n , r i t u a l i s t i c . S o o n after l e a r n i n g t o meditate, I t i e d  18  it into m y m u s i c . I developed a r i t u a l of always m e d i t a t i n g before p r a c t i c i n g a n d especially before a m u s i c a l p e r f o r m a n c e . It is extremely difficult to identify w h a t this r i t u a l gives m e a n d m y artistic endeavors, b u t at the least, it p r o d u c e s a clear space i n m y m i n d so that i t b e c o m e s u n e n c u m b e r e d b y the n o i s y i n t e r n a l conversations that rage t h r o u g h a l l of u s . I q u e s t i o n w h e t h e r the a r a t i o n a l process needs to be, or even can be, e x p l a i n e d . It m a y not be possible to satisfactorily theorize the a r a t i o n a l process t h r o u g h the dualistic lens of western a c a d e m i c thought. P r y e r (2002), B a i (2001) a n d Synott (1993) have argued that the c u l t i v a t i o n of W e s t e r n thought a n d logos has generated a s k e w e d , d i s e m b o d i e d , a n d fractal sense of k n o w l e d g e a n d k n o w l e d g e a c q u i s i t i o n . B a i (2001) refers to a loss of g r o u n d i n g of ideas to o u r senses to a p o i n t of " s e m i consciousness or even u n c o n s c i o u s n e s s " (p. 89). In m y experience, artistic endeavor is so satisfying because it m e n d s this t y r a n n y of artificial contexts of c o p i n g . A r t i s t i c endeavor is h e a l i n g a n d selfrevelatory. M y o w n recent explorations a n d r e n d e r i n g s of revelation a n d reflection can be l o o s e l y g r o u p e d b y the f o l l o w i n g questions: Where do I come from? W h a t do I encounter? W h a t do I create (in the c l a s s r o o m , the a c a d e m y , a n d for myself?) These questions became apparent after I h a d spent m a n y h o u r s r e t u r n i n g t o intuitive, a r a t i o n a l spaces, i n a n attempt to r e c l a i m m y o w n , authentic voice t h r o u g h r i t u a l i z e d artistic endeavor a n d a / r / t o g r a p h i c processes. Section II of this p a p e r c h r o n i c l e s the r e c l a m a t i o n of voice t h r o u g h artistic renderings.  19  The Poet and the Piper  T h e process of r e c l a i m i n g m y voice w a s a i d e d b y a f o r m a l collaborative a / r / t o g r a p h i c project w i t h D r . C a r l Leggo. U p o n h e a r i n g s o m e o f m y a / r / t o g r a p h i c r e n d e r i n g s of a m a l g a m s of poetry a n d m u s i c , C a r l i n q u i r e d i f I w o u l d be i n t e r e s t e d i n c o m p o s i n g some m u s i c for h i s poetry. I m m e d i a t e l y , I j u m p e d at the o p p o r t u n i t y to w o r k w i t h t h i s i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y r e n o w n e d poet a n d s c h o l a r of language a n d literacy. H a v i n g agreed to the project, I w a s i n i t i a l l y o v e r w h e l m e d w i t h c o n f l i c t i n g e m o t i o n s of h a p p i n e s s a n d anxiety. C l e a r l y , it w a s a great h o n o u r to have a chance to w r i t e m u s i c for this poet. I h a d t h o r o u g h l y enjoyed a n d h a d b e e n m o v e d b y a l l of C a r l ' s poetic p e r f o r m a n c e s t h r o u g h o u t h i s classes. I a d m i r e d b o t h the poetry a n d C a r l ' s w o n d e r f u l delivery of h i s w o r k s . In these episodes o f p e r f o r m a n c e poetry, C a r l c o u l d lift the w o r d s off the page a n d breathe a n e w d y n a m i c of energy a n d m e a n i n g i n t o the w o r k s . C a r l m a d e the p o e t r y vibrate w i t h life a n d p o i g n a n c y . A n d so, I was excited at the p o s s i b i l i t y of a d d i n g a n o t h e r d i m e n s i o n to the presentation of h i s p o e m s . I w a s , however, a n x i o u s about h o w C a r l w o u l d react to m y artistic response to h i s poetry. W h a t if I d i d n ' t u n d e r s t a n d w h a t he was saying? W h a t i f m y m u s i c e m p h a s i z e d o r t o o k the poetry o n a n i n a p p r o p r i a t e tangent? A n d so i n e n t e r i n g i n t o this c o l l a b o r a t i o n , I established a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g w i t h C a r l that he was u n d e r no o b l i g a t i o n to embrace any of m y m u s i c a l offerings. A s it t u r n e d out, C a r l h a d absolute faith i n m y ability. H e never t r i e d to e x p l a i n the point(s) of h i s poetry. H e d i d not really h i n t at any d i r e c t i o n that I  20  s h o u l d take w i t h the m u s i c . H e d i d , h o w e v e r , answer s o m e questions that I h a d about t h e m , b u t he essentially let the p o e m s a n d his delivery e x p l a i n themselves to me. A n d s o , o u r process was extremely s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d . C a r l m a d e a f e w visits to m y h o m e s t u d i o a n d s i m p l y p e r f o r m e d the p o e m s . I r e c o r d e d a couple takes u n t i l C a r l felt h a p p y w i t h his p e r f o r m a n c e . F r o m the process, I r e a l i z e d C a r l h a d c e r t a i n r h y t h m s i m p l i e d i n s o m e of his v a r i o u s p o e m s . T o assist i n m y part, C a r l agreed to have a m e t r o n o m e c l i c k i n g softly i n h i s h e a d p h o n e s . It was m y h o p e that the c l i c k i n g w o u l d s u p p o r t his o w n i n t e r n a l r h y t h m s a n d thereby h e l p w i t h the f l o w of the m u s i c . W e e n d e d u p r e c o r d i n g seven p o e m s . A f t e r n u m e r o u s listenings to C a r l ' s p e r f o r m a n c e s , I f o l l o w e d m y i n t u i t i v e process to generate s o u n d s a p p r o p r i a t e t o m y u n d e r s t a n d i n g . T h e i n i t i a l ideas w e n t q u i c k l y b u t r e c o r d i n g these ideas was m o r e l a b o r - i n t e n s i v e as I t r a c k e d m y s e l f again a n d again to create s o m e of the m u s i c a l montages. It took about 1 5 0 o d d h o u r s over a three-week p e r i o d i n A u g u s t 2005.  T o m y j o y a n d relief, C a r l s e e m e d d e l i g h t e d w i t h the results. B o t h C a r l a n d his wife, L a n a , felt that I h a d successfully c a p t u r e d the s p i r i t o f his poetry. These r e n d e r i n g s are i n c l u d e d o n the C D w i t h the w o r k i n g title T h e Poet a n d the P i p e r .  21  Section II A/r/tographic Renderings  l.  Where do I come from/to? Driving with No Hands Preamble: Driving with no hands is about the time When You Are Young and on the Path. It is a time when you don't know a lot about life, but you know when it feels right. Recently I had a marvelous experience that once again reminded me of the feelings that I had so long ago. This unconscious and unsolicited reflection turned out to be a gift, as the return to the "past I" in all its sensory glory helped me reclaim an important part of my personal story that I had dismissed as a sort of mistake/regret.  Driving with No Hands Y o u c o u l d never t e l l F r o m these o l d m i s m a t c h e d clothes, W o r n out sneakers, t i r e d D o c k e r s t h a t T h e r e h a d ever b e e n the presence of c o o l Y o u w o u l d p r o b a b l y never t h i n k t h a t T h e m e a n d e r i n g rivers of m y facial l i n e s F o r m e d not f r o m stress b u t rather f r o m Years of g r i n n i n g f r o m ear to ear A n d m y large t e m p l e v e i n g r e w f o r t h T o s u p p o r t the h y p e r - b l o o d f l o w that A c c o m p a n i e s o n l y the purest of pleasures, T h e pleasure that tells y o u , " Y o u are o n the p a t h " I t e l l y o u of this because of A change i n the w i n d that (somehow) Catalyzed a b r e a t h - t a k i n g flash W h e r e m y past p u s h e d f o r w a r d to dance W i t h the eternal n o w F o r as I drove h o m e today, Deep i n the g r i d a n d l o c k of 9 to 5 E a t i n g the f u m e s a n d c u r s i n g buffoons In a p a n i c to get off the tar F o r d o m e s t i c abyss i n m y little house i n the sub  22  W i t h its 7 0 ' s b i g engine t i m e w a r p a n d N e i g h b o r s w h o are w h i t e - r i g h t of A r n o l d , I was a m a z e d to see the s u n b u r s t t h r o u g h T h e heavens a n d bless a l l the p r i s o n e r s O f the c o m m u t e  And for some reason on this special day T h e s u n c o n n e c t e d w i t h m e so strongly T h a t I l o n g e d to p u l l out a c h a i n s a w A n d cut off the entire r o o f of m y o l d h o u n d d o g car A n d , l i k e B r o t h e r J a k e , w h e n he s a w the L i g h t ,  I too wanted to jump cartwheels And drive again with no hands F o r it gave m e a feeling that I h a d f o r g o t t e n A feeling so special, so sacred, so life a f f i r m i n g T h a t I w a n t e d to weep at h o w Empty I Had Become... Y o u see... T h e r e was a t i m e , So l o n g ago n o w W h e n I took a stand, C a r v e d out a place, A n d freeze d r i e d T h e g r i n d i n g merciless p e d a n t i c i s m O f the o r d i n a r y F o r a chance to f o l l o w m y heart A n d feel So alive, So real I n t h i s d r a m a of "past I" A s a y o u n g , naive a n d u n e d u c a t e d m a n , W i t h no l o c u s of s u p p o r t , Started a hero's j o u r n e y W h i t t l i n g out a strategy A n d p u s h i n g m y w i l l p o w e r i n t o overdrive T o solve the riddles A n d b e c o m e the p l a y e r I d r e a m e d of W h e n , as a little b o y , I w o u l d p r e t e n d H o u r u p o n h o u r that I c o u l d guitar A n d m u s i c m a k e w i t h the best of t h e m  W o r k i n g ever so h a r d I eventually c r a c k e d the codes A n d built up m y hands  Shaping and molding the sound O f the guitar so that it w o u l d out s u s t a i n i n g stories of m y deepest secrets W i t h the tones a n d r i c h n e s s O f a fine o l d v i o l i n So I c o u l d j o i n a b a n d A n d catch the r o a d , p l a y i n g E n d l e s s streams of r o c k a n d r o l l A n d the l a d s I p l a y e d w i t h  Formed special bonds T h a t were f o r g e d together F r o m endless adventures O n this r o a d A n d l i k e rebel gangs W e h a d o u r colors a n d o u r A t t i t u d e a n d w o r d s that m e a n t O n l y s o m e t h i n g to us F o r it was a tight t e a m circle Of trust and survival A n d p r i d e i n o u r strength A n d we were a force T o be r e c k o n e d w i t h Like Blackbeard and Captain K i d d A n d all t h e i r scurvy mates W e w o u l d storm into prairie towns A n d p u l l u p to the d o c k s W i t h all guns f i r i n g A n d w e ' d rock a n d r o c k ' T i l we raised the r o o f J u s t to prove we c o u l d A n d after six days a n d nights W e ' d pull up anchor F o r the next p o r t of lights...  This carried on for years A n d for m e the t h r i l l never e n d e d A n d t h o u g h there m a y have b e e n Better players t h a n I C e r t a i n l y there was n o one W h o c o u l d surpass m y p a s s i o n F o r the sport as night after night I totally let go  A n d every single s h o w was A t once a c o m p l e t e r e v e l a t i o n A n d catharsis o f m y s o u l  T e n years later W h e n t h e adventure C a m e t o its e n d A n d I became " n o r m a l " again, It t o o k m e years to c o m e off T h e a d r e n a l i n e - i t was l i k e h e r o i n A n d f o r l i f e t i m e s after I w a l k e d t h e streets Like a prisoner O f the setting s u n C r a v i n g the r u s h a n d t h e release A n d the recognition A n d never s e e m i n g to score E n o u g h t o appease m y m i n d . . .  A n d it never r e c o n c i l e d It j u s t f a d e d i n t i m e W i t h t h e avalanche o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y T h a t f o l l o w s f i t t i n g i n t o society U n t i l this moment when I n the b l i n k o f a n d eye I w a s t a k e n right b a c k To the time when I c o u l d fly A n d drive w i t h n o h a n d s .  The Fable of Regret It came in through the open window A t that t i m e o f early m o r n i n g r e n e w a l W h e n the a i r feathering y o u r n o s t r i l s A n d w h i s p e r i n g w a r m l y calls F o r m o r e engagement. Yet y o u ignore it a n d r o l l back T o Neverland a l t h o u g h It w i l l not be the s a m e E v e n t h o u g h the s u n S t i l l sleeps u n d e r silent w a t c h O f the r o u n d , o b s e r v i n g m o o n .  And lunar beams twinkle the sheen O n the reptile's u n d u l a t i n g b a c k  As It Silently Slips Down From the open frame And pulses across the cool tiles In search of the posts to y o u r b e d , Its u n b l i n k i n g eyes a n d split t o n g u e R a d a r the d e s t i n a t i o n w i t h clear i n t e n t i o n A n d s o m e part of y o u k n e w This was coming. Subtle a l a r m s were s o u n d i n g By you own p r i m a l / a n i m a l being A s a n i n e x p l i c a b l e feeling Of concern. Y e t w i t h absolute authority, T h e "I" i n " Y o u " H a s b e e n t r y i n g to s u p p r e s s T h e k n o w l e d g e of it there, A l t h o u g h y o u are p a i n f u l l y aware T h a t y o u w i l l be c a l l e d T o p a y the p i p e r For this conscious self-delusion T h a t eventually w i l l collapse Into a l a b y r i n t h of d i s / e a s e A n d despair T h e c o l d scales b r u s h A g a i n s t the soft h a i r O n the b a c k of y o u r neck A s the creature readies to b i n d Stirring your adrenaline just in time F o r a twist a n d p a n i c dodge T h a t you've spent a lifetime r e h e a r s i n g A n d sitting straight u p , f u l l y engaged, Y o u r j o l t e d w a k e f u l n e s s has a split s e c o n d T o realize the size of the snake Before it speaks: "I've c o m e to collect A n d take f r o m y o u A l l that is due F o r it is m y duty  To wrap around A n d suffocate y o u W i t h y o u r o w n toxins F r o m misunderstandings. Y e s , I have g r o w n large a n d fat Feasting o n p l e n t i f u l n u m b e r s o f P r o f o u n d regrets that, l i k e rats, H a v e b e e n e n t e r i n g the holes In y o u r s o u l that o p e n A s , i n y o u r m i n d ' s eye, Y o u reflect O n y o u r life a n d h o w V e r y c r i t i c a l choices A t critical t i m e s Has paved a road T h a t is n o t l i n e d W i t h gold Y e s , I have o b s e r v e d t h a t A s y o u have g r o w n o l d e r A n d deeper i n the seat O f y o u r t r u e self Y o u have also c o g n i z e d T h a t y o u r d e m i s e is R a c i n g t o catch y o u A n d y o u r o w n story Is b e i n g etched i n stone F o r t i m e eternal A n d y o u are fast l o s i n g C o n t r o l o f y o u r destiny A n d especially any r e s o l u t i o n O f y o u r messy stories O f u n r e a l i z e d glory Y e s , I a m the S n a k e o f Regret W h o lives a n d thrives O n your frustration W i t h the f i n i t e aspect O f y o u r short v i s i t a t i o n  Into this earthly vessel A n d with your misunderstandings O f the very nature O f h u m a n learning's.  F o r y o u I have  A little compassion (As that is the f a s h i o n ) as Y o u r "I" c o u l d H a v e scarcely k n o w n That, like a worker I n the f i e l d , You've sown A deadly yearning F o r a past reversing In o u t c o m e . A n d the deeper the regret, T h e larger J g r o w A n d before y o u k n o w I w i l l tighten m y g r i p U n t i l y o u r are u n c o n s c i o u s A n d c o n s u m e d b y it." A n d the snake's w o r d s R a n g t r u e l i k e the d e a f e n i n g bells F r o m hell's hottest corners Ringing disorientation A c r o s s the u n i v e r s e O f m y experience. H o w c o u l d I t u r n this a r o u n d ? W a s there s o m e t h i n g so p r o f o u n d That m y thinking had missed T h a t w o u l d t u r n all of this A r o u n d in m y favour? "I a m a f r a i d , 'dear' snake T h a t there has b e e n A clear m i s t a k e In i d e n t i f y i n g F o r it is not T W h o m y o u seek F o r the T i n m e Has long abandoned Regrets role h a v i n g B o a r d e d u p the holes W h e n I came to see T h a t regret, i n s t e a d of Harming me, Is the w a y T o measure h o w m u c h I have g r o w n over this Tangled and thorny path  T h a t we a l l are enslaved To endure through our tenure O n this earth. A n d so w i t h a l l this regret C e r t a i n l y y o u c a n see that That T i n my O w n special w a y , Has moved forward A n d encountered infinitely N e w days of u n d e r s t a n d i n g A n d that what, as a b o y , I h a d o r i g i n a l l y sought to p u r s u e H a s little to d o w i t h w h o m  I am now. Regret t h e n , f o r m e , Is a n a f f i r m a t i o n A n d a measure That indeed, I have succeeded In m o v i n g m y s e l f f o r w a r d A n d truly grown T h r o u g h the years. A n d so, rather t h a n fear, I choose to feast o n regret A s the o n l y true test O f m y g r o w t h as a h u m a n . " T h e Snake d i d hesitate A n d i n that s e c o n d of reflection A n d his b r e a k i n i n t e n t i o n I d r e w t h i s n e w blade T h a t t h r o u g h sheer w i l l M y "I" h a d fabricated a n d Swinging my sword In m y e n e m y ' s d i r e c t i o n I severed the h e a d A n d from my bed I dragged the b o d y A n d lit a fire T o cook the snake A n d did music make Feeling higher T h a n I h a d i n years.  The Unnatural Act Preamble: A poem about T.V. immersion in the 6o's  tt  The Unnatural Act  N o one knew: It s e e m e d l i k e a B o n a n z a i f Y o u loved Lucy like Jeanie like Samantha W i t h E m m a a n d 86 (just the f l i p o f a switch) A t the J u n c t i o n o f G r e e n A c r e s I could never resist. I l o v e d t h e i r perfection, t h e i r u l t r a m y t h i c f e m i n i n e L o o k s w i t h doe eyes a n d cheek b o n e s C h i s e l e d out o f granite a n d s m i l e s T h a t w o u l d take y o u m i l e s t o a distant planet o f s i r e n -  What possible chance did I have, but, again, T o be a m a n , a P a l a d i n , Real Rifleman wanted Dead or Alive, A C h u c k o r a Steve, C l i n t o r G a r y T a l l n e s s a n d silence b r i m m i n g w i t h v i o l e n c e a n d f u r y T o o m u c h t o o s o o n t o define the A m e r i c a n M a l e O n the b l a c k a n d w h i t e pages o f h i g h n o o n .  O r out of the W e s t a n d i n t o a j u n g l e O r Lost i n Space o r the courts o r the f u m b l e O f f a m i l y life, j u s t Leave It T o Beaver C a p t a i n s K i r k a n d K a n g a r o o , C r u n c h , H o o k a n d Cleaver. W i t h rabbits a n d m i c e a n d w o o d p e c k e r s too that H a d g r o w n u p i n the B r o n x , right next t o the zoo... H o w m u c h d i d I l a u g h ? H o w m u c h d o I hate H o w deep these m y t h s d i d s i n k a n d f o r m u l a t e M y b r a i n a n d assist i n the c o n s t r u c t i o n of b l a c k a n d w h i t e r e d u c t i o n i s m T h a t drove me a n d a y o u n g n a t i o n o f over s t i m u l a t e d r o m a n t i c s t o Rebel at the antics o f a w o r l d that we really d i d n ' t k n o w , T u n e out a n d o n w i t h the s h o w !  I Am Guitar G u i t a r is n o t a p a s s i n g phase o r p h r a s e O r a n a r t / i n s t r u m e n t that I dabble w i t h It is so b e y o n d that, it t r a n s c e n d s a n y t h i n g T h a t I can adequately describe except to say, I a m guitar It w i l l n o t go away It really doesn't matter if I a m g o o d o r b a d , O r i f y o u l i k e it o r n o t Although both notions H a u n t e d m e f o r far too l o n g . T h e guitar has s o o t h e d m e , c h a l l e n g e d m e , Delighted me and grounded me T h r o u g h o u t all the m a n y challenges T h a t I have e n d u r e d i n this s o m e t i m e s Lumpy, sad clown P l a n e o f existence. It has s u p p o r t e d m e t h r o u g h v a r i o u s j o b s , B o r i n g routines, m i n d - d e a d e n i n g situations, O v e r - w o r k , a n d negative people. It has l i s t e n e d to m e t a l k t h r o u g h T h e acceleration of E v e r - c h a n g i n g experiences, Relentless challenges, T h e c o m i n g a n d g o i n g of r e l a t i o n s h i p s , A n d of balance w i t h i n m y s e l f S o m e h o w it has always h e l p e d keep m e i n check, T h e m a g n i t u d e of its experience, Its potential a n d intellectual a n d e m o t i o n a l palette h a v i n g n o w U n d e r p i n n e d m y w h o l e p o i n t of v i e w , M y entire value system. A n d so the lines b e t w e e n " g u i t a r " a n d "I" have b l u r r e d I a m guitar It w i l l not go away, It w i l l not go away... If I h a d e n o u g h riches to stop w o r k , I'd play guitar, meditate, a n d be w i t h m y f a m i l y / f r i e n d s  T h a t is m y b o t t o m l i n e , But rich or poor, I will play ( N o w just) a little each d a y A n d i f the archetype of tragedy R o l l s over m e a n d D e c i m a t e s a l l that I have w o r k e d So h a r d f o r a n d Destroys m y f a m i l y , M y core, A n d b r i n g s m e to m y knees, b l i n d a n d c r i p p l e d I n a pathetic h e a p of c r u s h e d h u m a n i t y I w i l l c r a w l o n h a n d s a n d knees T o f i n d m y guitar to cry t h r o u g h A n d t h o u g h it w i l l not offer s o l u t i o n , It w i l l give s o m e solace a n d self-reflection because I a m guitar It w i l l not go away It w i l l not go away U n t i l I do  I Am Starting (to Lose) Preamble: I tend to go through experiences much later than most people that I know. For example, I didn't start teaching until I was 36 years old. I had my first child at the age of 45. I took my first Master's course at the age of 50. And now at the age of 52, well past mid-life, I seem to be having a bit of a mid-life crisis. Actually, it's more like a mid-life ripple, but the waters are agitated, nonetheless. This poem addresses the fact that something deep is changing for me.  I A m Starting (to Lose) I am starting (to lose) M y life n o w J u s t as the pieces W e r e starting to connect. J u s t as the m o a n of p r i m o r d i a l r e a l i z a t i o n of b e i n g is R u n n i n g all the w a y u p t h r o u g h m y v e i n s , T h r o u g h m y h e a d , heart, a n d m i n d .  J am starting to lose J u s t w h y I d i d all those t h i n g s ;  32  W h y i n y o u t h I r a i l e d a n d c l a m o r e d so passionately F o r freedoms that were already s a i d to be a n d W h y I coveted a n d c o n s p i r e d , a d o r n e d a n d d i s p l a y e d a n d D a n c e d to a m u s i c that s o m e t i m e s o n l y existed i n m y h e a d .  / am starting to lose A l l m y heroes A s a tide of d e m o c r a t i z a t i o n rolls i n A n d levels the p l a y i n g f i e l d Into a liquid flowing mass W a s h i n g m e clean a n d F r e e i n g m e f r o m the v i c t i m i z a t i o n of N e e d s to prove a n d N e e d s to be accepted...  As I experience this natural wilt I s t a n d n a k e d a n d not c a r i n g D i s i n t e r e s t e d a n d d i s c o n n e c t e d , yet Passionately i n v o l v e d . . . H o w c a n t h i s be? Change is i n the air...  J am becoming T h e fool o n the h i l l T h e i n v i s i b l e o n e , the crazy m a n , T a l k i n g to h i m s e l f Reveling in his own jokes Y e t , at the same t i m e , I a m h e a r i n g N e w s y m p h o n i e s of l i v i n g A n d concertos i n the once c a c o p h o n o u s t u m b l e Of confusion A n d I am preparing T o be myself...  And I will savour E a c h m o m e n t l i k e a s u m p t u o u s m e a l served T o a starving m a n A n d I w i l l bite life to the b o n e , T h e j u i c e r u n n i n g d o w n m y face A n d all the t i m e a c k n o w l e d g i n g T h a t I a m as b a d as I a m good A s I a m g o o d at b e i n g b a d  And I will shed this skin of illusion A n d punch through this cocoon O n l y to f i n d m y t r u e self S t a r i n g b a c k at m e .  I've (Em)braced Preamble: This poem, written after my courses, and at a moment of honesty/epiphany, is a comprehensive reflection on all the Jam/have such represents a poetic equivalent of an abstract of this Thesis  been and as  I've (Em)braced I've ( E m ) b r a c e d Prankster, C o n M a n , Liar, Lover, Husband, Father, Tfh)inker(er), I m poster, Preposterous Lying i n judgment! Yet Sometimes N o t of this W o r l d A s m y eyes r o l l b a c k w a r d a n d the j a w drops... M y s t i c systemic, pathetic a n d regretful K e e p e r o f c a r t o o n consciousness, M y feet b l i s t e r o n the h y p e r - h e a t e d asphalt O f W e s t e r n reality, I never l e a r n Still M y s t i f i e d b y the r a r i f i e d M i r a c l e o f hope(lessness) Frightened child and old man I a m P e n i s c r o s s e d w i t h penance Son of Zorro and Nosferatu, (Anti)... C h a r l i e t , I w i s h I k n e w ! Saint o r s i n n e r , Certainly F o o l o n the h i l l o f the A c a d e m y o f P o w e r , p o l i t i c s a n d lost souls, L i m i n a l T r a n s g r e s s o r i n the a p o r i a o f F o u n d a n d lost (again) I see T h e oasis o r j u s t another mirage?... M e a n w h i l e the B u d d h a o f C o m p a s s i o n p o u r s R i v e r s o f tears t h r o u g h m e as I l o o k at pictures o f M y daughter because Sometimes I k n o w T o l o o k above m y s e l f  34  What do I encounter: The Master Frame Preamble: I find it fascinating that our childhood learning, expectations and value structures can either intensify or invalidate our life experience in later years. This notion is examined in a poem that, on the literal level, talks . about me building aplayhouse with my daughter, Emily.  The Master Frame Emily, W h o is six, Is h a r d at w o r k Helping me build T h e f r a m e of h e r p l a y h o u s e A n d b e i n g very k e e n , yet a l l the same L a c k i n g real experience, we f o l l o w the p l a n s V e r y slowly a n d carefully, c h e c k i n g the l a y of the l a n d She passes m e the w o o d a n d the s i d i n g A n d w i t h the greatest p a i n s , h o l d s the b e a m s steady f o r T h e M a s t e r F r a m e as I m e a s u r e a n d p e n c i l a n d P o u n d the nails i n t o the w a l l b o a r d s as w e l l as I n t o the story b o a r d of h e r m y t h f o r we t a l k Incessantly a n d w o r k co-operatively t o raise a structure a n d A cohesive e n v i r o n m e n t not o n l y out o f W o o d a n d paper a n d n a i l s b u t o f d r e a m s a n d schemes a n d V a l u e s that often p r e v a i l i n m y o w n M a s t e r F r a m e F o r the o r i g i n a l M a s t e r F r a m e that I b u i l t so l o n g ago H a s served m e w e l l as a r o o m w i t h a v i e w w h e r e I've w i t n e s s e d b o t h n i r v a n a a n d h e l l i s h t i m e s , A l t h o u g h its design has b e e n m o d i f i e d t o r e - a l i g n f o r S i t u a t i o n s that c o m e a l o n g a n d b l o c k the s u n a n d B a r m e f r o m g l e a n i n g the m o s t out o f each a n d every day  Y o u see, M y own Master Frame Is still a w o r k i n progress A n exquisite game of strategy f o r K e e p i n g d r y t h r o u g h a l l types of i n c l e m e n t weather A n d n o w the t i m e is right to take the strongest b e a m s , T h o s e that have p r o v e n themselves again a n d a g a i n , a n d s h o w t h e m T o E m i l y f o r c o n s i d e r a t i o n i n the c o n s t r u c t i o n of h e r o w n M a s t e r F r a m e  A n d so T h i s n e w r i s i n g structure l o o k s right f o r E m i l y W i t h great strength a n d design so that she c a n n o t o u t g r o w it B u t c a n decorate a n d expose it to the s c r u t i n y o f h e r f r i e n d s A n d i n t i m e she t o o w i l l r e v i e w a n d reflect a n d m o d i f y T h i s structuraTsystem i n o r d e r to keep dry...  I h e a r d about a w o m a n w h o grew u p i n a h o u s e of riches f r a m e d w i t h beliefs O f s u p e r i o r i t y o n l y to f i n d that a t u r n of events p u s h e d h e r i n t o a life of C o n s t a n t struggle i n s i d e a n e w d r e a m w i t h a m a n of m o d e s t m e a n s A n d there she r a i s e d a f a m i l y b u t was never able to r e t u r n T o h e r o r i g i n a l H o m e F r a m e w i t h its A f f l u e n c e a n d C o n n e c t i o n s a n d as a result she d i v o r c e d h e r s e l f F r o m h e r very o w n life f o r she s a w h e r life A s a failure as she c o u l d not re-conceive H e r M a s t e r F r a m e to a c c o m m o d a t e A different context a n d So she i n v a l i d a t e d  Everything...  A n d n o w as I l o o k w i t h w o n d e r a n d awe A t the m i r a c l e of o u r s i x - y e a r - o l d d a u g h t e r I shutter at the thought that we m a y be b u i l d i n g A sanctuary that c o u l d s o m e t i m e i n the future T u r n i n t o a cell i f we f a i l to construct a tale T h a t is w i d e e n o u g h to a l l o w h e r to g r o w Yet strong e n o u g h to protect her f r o m the elements A s she seeks to f i n d h e r place a n d peace i n t h i s w o r l d .  Big People Preamble: I love the layers of meaning that are found within language. As a kid I used to love to listen to Mae West or later, John Lennon, as they playfully set up word traps constructed out the foibles of the audience's own pre-conceptions and experience.  Big People T h e b i g people I k n o w C o m e i n a l l shape a n d size F r o m ecto t o m e z z o w i t h T i n y waists o r m a s s i v e thighs Red, white and blue, Black, yellow and mellow F u l l of fire a n d w i r e A n d often t i m e s h i g h e r t h a n y o u o r I W i t h b o t h feet o n the g r o u n d A s they j u m p out of b o u n d s . . .  * •  • '.  B i g people eat p i z z a , g u a c a m o l e a n d rice O r strict p r o t e i n diets f r o m m o r n i n g t i l l n i g h t Pre-fab n u t r i e n t s f r o m trans-fat d i n e r s O r n a t u r a l fresh slices o f organic types B i g people d r i n k s c o t c h , beer, water a n d P e p s i E a r l G r e y , w i t h m i l k o r glasses o f s h e r r y A n d all m a n n e r of l i q u i d c o l d a n d hot B u t s o m e t i m e s not B i g people live i n s p a c i o u s r e f i n e m e n t O r a p a r t m e n t lofts o r cluttered h o m e s S o m e t i m e s all alone i n Bars a n d a b a n d o n e d cars w h i l e O t h e r s live i n t h e i r heads W i t h no b e d of significance A n d no way t o get h o m e B i g people often r u n T h r o u g h the cracks for the b o r d e r s a n d Stay u p all night t o seize the day because B i g people have great v i s i o n E v e n i f they leave t h e i r glasses at h o m e F o r they peer t h r o u g h a lens That has been g r o u n d a n d p o l i s h e d  37  B y years of e p i s o d i c narratives A n d reflective calls a n d responses That turns outward in A n d i n so out B i g people k n o w y o u a n d m e Better t h a n m o s t , h a v i n g c l i m b e d T h e m o u n t a i n s to reply to the host O f u n e n d i n g questions that f i l l t h e m u p T h e y p u s h f o r answers a n d H a v i n g a n s w e r e d the p u s h They live i n 3-D opportunity T o the p o i n t of f i l l i n g this p o e m W i t h the present, future a n d past a t o n e d B i g people cannot be b o t t l e d o r L a b e l e d , categorized o r d e n i e d Dismissed, re-miffed or qualified E x c e p t b y those w h o m i s s the boat A s it leaves f o r a d v e n t u r e i s l a n d s r e m o t e O h h o w I love b i g p e o p l e !  HowOld? H e r e ' s a little n o t i o n T o reflect o n over y o u r A f t e r n o o n tea, o n that r a i n y day W h e n the r o a r of the fireplace a n d T h e dance of the f l a m e s p u l l s y o u i n . F o r as I w a l k e d m y d o g o n s u c h a d a y C r a z y w i t h r a i n , I came across A most senior gentleman who, W h e n seeing m e , b r o k e i n t o a fit of D e e p r e s o u n d i n g laughter a n d s a i d , A s we b o t h s h a r e d a d r o w n e d m o m e n t i n t h i s pathetic state, " T h i s is r i d i c u l o u s w e a t h e r ! " To which H e l a u g h e d even h a r d e r , eyes s p a r k l i n g , A n d as he passed, I w o n d e r e d to m y s e l f H o w o l d are y o u w h e n y o u l a u g h ?  B u t really, H o w o l d are y o u w h e n  38  Y o u l a u g h so deeply t h a t y o u r W h o l e b o d y lets go A n d y o u r eyes d i a m o n d s h i n e A n d the l i n e s o f y o u r face t u r n u p w a r d  A n d h o w o l d are y o u W h e n y o u n i b b l e that chocolate a n d s i p the w i n e A n d you finally grok what T h e m u s i c has b e e n s a y i n g a l l a l o n g A s it washes y o u clean W i t h t i d a l force waves o f Emotions and epiphany. H o w o l d are y o u W h e n y o u lose a l l t i m e at T h e sunset o n the b e a c h W i t h the b u r s t i n g silence b e i n g S p i l l e d b y the l a p o f the waters O n the logs? H o w o l d are y o u w h e n y o u f i n a l l y c o m e A n d tell y o u r l o v e r the t r u t h W h a t e v e r it is t o y o u Or when you run until You're undone and you B r e a k t h r o u g h y o u r b a r r i e r s t o ecstasy? W e u n l o c k the f o u n t a i n o f y o u t h T h r o u g h o u r choice o f f r a m e s t o v i e w A l l m a n n e r o f l i v i n g , b o t h past a n d n e w .  The Goddess of Innovation Preamble: Oh, if only Pcould  make my muse visit more often. What fun I could  have!  The Goddess of Innovation I a m making a n invitation to T h e goddess o f i n n o v a t i o n t o Stop by for tea A little m o r e often  39  O f course she is very b u s y W i t h h e r o w n v a r i o u s activities A n d I k n o w some h o w by saying I'm needy, I'm b e i n g a little greedy F o r the m i r a c u l o u s i n s p i r a t i o n She is offering A n d i f she does arrive It's u s u a l l y a s u r p r i s e a n d I d o n ' t always sense h e r presence J u s t that colors seem b r i g h t A n d the f l o w is totally right A n d n e w ideas p o p f o r t h f r o m m y essence A n d as we d r i n k o u r tea A l l m a n n e r of artistry Is i n t u r n affected. W h y we m u s e about art, W r i t i n g , m u s i c a n d dance A n d life itself as a canvas W a i t i n g to be perfected A n d as I relax, I k n o w she is r i g h t I j u s t get i n m y o w n w a y F o r the t r i c k is to o p e n the d o o r A n d a l l o w her to explore w i t h o u t B l o c k i n g o r c o n t r o l l i n g her stay A n d that's easier s a i d t h a n d o n e F o r the m i n d ' s rascal m o n k e y f o r one Is always t a l k i n g a n d t a k i n g c o n t r o l B u t the goddess needs plenty of r o o m T o create s u c h a tune T h a t ' s o r i g i n a l a n d f u l l of s o u l A n d the m o n k e y w i l l p r e t e n d to Be asleep i n o r d e r to sneak a peek A t the a w e - i n s p i r i n g beauty of the goddess B u t she c a n sense h i m t h r o u g h h i s process A n d she w i l l fade away g l o w i n g F o r t r y i n g to c o n t a i n h e r i n logic's b o u n d s Is as hopeless as p u l l i n g vegetables out of the g r o u n d T o see h o w w e l l they're g r o w i n g B u t I a m always t h a n k f u l f o r A n y v i s i t a t i o n , n o matter h o w short  A n d every day I d o r a i n dances A s a n i n v o c a t i o n to abort A n y d r o u g h t that m a y o c c u r F r o m b e i n g far too b u s y T o realize all the energy A n d b o u n d l e s s fertile creativity that C o m e s f r o m a quiet tea W i t h the goddess  The H u s t l e r (a.k.a.), And What Would You Do? Preamble: This light-hearted narrative deals with the serious issues of teaching ethics and power structures within an educational organization "Come in, Michael." A s I entered, I was s u r p r i s e d to f i n d B i l l s t a n d i n g u p - a w a y f r o m h i s desk. M y heartbeat d o u b l e d . I always f o u n d it h a r d e r to talk to m y p r i n c i p a l w h e n he was s t a n d i n g , f o r h i s e n o r m o u s l y tall f r a m e a n d sheer p h y s i c a l i t y always i n f o r m e d the o u t c o m e of o u r conversations. Indeed, I often felt p a t r o n i z e d i n the silence before the w o r d s , l i k e a little b o y a s k i n g h i s d a d d y f o r a favor. B u t here was a m a n w h o w i l l f u l l y p l a y e d his p h y s i c a l c u r r e n c y to the extant that I w o u l d b u y i n . So I b r a c e d m y s e l f a n d l o o k e d i n t o the h i g h n o o n eyes of t h i s s u r l y J o h n W a y n e . A n d as I l o o k e d , I reflected o n the fact that B i l l , a l t h o u g h he was w e l l i n t o his fifty's, was still a k e e n rugby player, barfly, c h a u v i n i s t , a n d s t i c k m a n whose w o u l d be role as a c o w b o y of the n e w frontier s p i l l e d over l i k e a glass of h o m e - b r e w e d w h i s k e y i n t o his p r o f e s s i o n a l life. A n d of that life, B i l l h a d m o v e d q u i c k l y f r o m b e i n g a P . E . teacher to a n a d m i n i s t r a t o r a n d , u l t i m a t e l y to a n assistant s u p e r i n t e n d e n t . B u t due to the recent a n d severe cutbacks i n the district, he was b u m p e d as his j o b was collapsed. A n d so, l i k e a sleeping grizzly that h a d b e e n  41  disturbed, Bill grumpily accepted the demotion of a principalship at our school. It was either that or face the cold winter of a job search. Today, as I entered his office/den, I was in crisis. Roger, the head of the P.E. department was emboldened by Bill's appointment to our school and thrust a new offensive against me in our long war about evening gym privileges. Earlier that morning, in a small committee meeting that was dealing with the timetable, he hissed that basketball games and practices had been booked for all of December and that there would be no room on any evening for a Christmas concert. I was too shocked to say "But it's only September-can't you alter the schedule and give me one night?" In reality, the power and finality of Roger's tone and trump collapsed any chance of negotiation. I turned to John, our Vice Principal and whispered, "This is crazy. We have to have a Christmas concert!" Ron acquiesced silently with his "I'm not getting involved" look and shrugged his shoulders. Now, with my visit to Bill, I was escalating the issue. As I walked up to his door, I mentally reviewed the points I wanted to make to Bill. I started with a story about the long tradition of Christmas concerts at our school. But before I had completed the first sentence, Bill waved a big paw to cut me off and another to shoo me out, angrily barking that he was going to have to make a decision and that was that! That was that? Obviously, John had mentioned the issue to him-which was fine as far as I was concerned. But I wanted a chance to be heard. I Wanted to pitch the importance of the concert. Did he, as principal, not have to at least give me a little say in this matter?  42  I w a s o n p i n s a n d needles for t w o days. T h e n , the d e c i s i o n came d o w n . I w o u l d get m y concert o n its a n n u a l date. O d d l y , I was t o l d of t h i s not b y the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n t e a m , b u t b y a nutrasweet R o g e r , w h o c l o s e d b y q u i p p i n g , " N o h a r d feelings, e h ? " E v e n t h o u g h I h a d " w o n " this battle, I felt d r a i n e d a n d angry. W h a t c o u l d I do to r e m e d y this s i t u a t i o n ? A n d t h e n it d a w n e d o n m e . It w a s b r i l l i a n t i n its s i m p l i c i t y a n d it gave m e a n e w energy. D a w n i n g m y v i r t u a l boots a n d s p u r s , I " r o d e " i n t o B i l l ' s office w i t h a n A c h i l l e s ' h u n c h a n d a d o u b l e - b a r r e l e d attitude E a s t w o o d for I k n e w that B i l l was a b i g f a n of c o u n t r y a n d western m u s i c . " B i l l , I k n o w this m a y s e e m w i l d , b u t I n o t i c e d h o w r i c h y o u r voice is. W h a t d o t h i n k about y o u a n d m e p e r f o r m i n g a song together? I t h i n k it w o u l d be so great to have y o u s i n g a s o n g i n the C h r i s t m a s concert. W e c o u l d d o a c o u n t r y s o n g . I n fact, I c o u l d p r o b a b l y p u t a w h o l e b a n d together to b a c k y o u u p . T h i n k about h o w p o s i t i v e l y the k i d s w o u l d react at seeing t h e i r p r i n c i p a l s i n g i n g w i t h a b a n d ? " " W e l l , M i c h a e l , I've always l o v e d J o h n n y C a s h , " he e x p l a i n e d . I h a d h i m . " B i l l , that's a great i d e a ! W i l l i a m , i n the science d e p a r t m e n t is a g o o d d r u m m e r a n d J o h n w a n t s to play bass. I'll p u l l i n m y b r o t h e r so that we can have b l a z i n g telecasters, a n d , o h yes, C h a r l i e i n d r a m a c a n p l a y s o m e great h o n k y - t o n k p i a n o . F e v e r i s h l y , I w o r k e d to assemble the m e m b e r s of the b a n d . W e h a d a rehearsal o r t w o to l o c k i n to " F o l s o m P r i s o n B l u e s " a n d t h e n i n v i t e d B i l l to attend. F o r t u n a t e l y , B i l l sang i n tune (sort of) a n d , m o r e i m p o r t a n t l y sang i n t i m e . I h a d f o o l i s h l y a s s u m e d that he c o u l d cut the gig. I m a d e a m e n t a l note to t r i c k future a d m i n i s t r a t o r - s i n g e r s i n t o an i n f o r m a l assessment before c o m m i t t i n g to a project a n d I t h a n k e d t h e gods for t h i s current r o u n d of grace.  43  O n the night of the C h r i s t m a s concert, B i l l was extremely n e r v o u s . I s e n s e d that he w o u l d b a c k out. " B i l l , w h y d o n ' t y o u c o m e out first as Santa, a n d t h r o w out s o m e c a n d y w h i l e the b a c k - u p b a n d plays s o m e t h i n g f u n . T h e n , after a few " H o - H o ' s " y o u c a n c o m e u p to the m i c a n d s i n g y o u r song. T h e k i d s w i l l love it. A f t e r the concert I Can l e a k out that S a n t a was p l a y e d b y y o u ! " (Desperately, I was t r y i n g to figure out a w a y to increase B i l l ' s c o m f o r t as I k n e w that the S a n t a suit a n d b e a r d w o u l d p u l l d o w n the intensity of the p e r f o r m a n c e ) . B i l l felt better. B i l l ' s m o m e n t c a m e at the h a l f way m a r k of the s e c o n d set. T h e teacher b a n d f i r e d u p a n i n s t r u m e n t a l v e r s i o n of " F o l s o m , " complete w i t h s c o r c h i n g solos. S a n t a B i l l b u r s t i n t h r o u g h a c u r t a i n l i k e a B r a h m a b u l l at a rodeo. H e r a n i n t o the bleachers a n d tossed h i s c a n d y canes to the s c r e a m i n g k i d s a n d c a m e c r a s h i n g b a c k to s i n g his s o n g . T h e n , it h a p p e n e d s o m e w h e r e i n the s e c o n d verse. B i l l lost h i m s e l f to the f u n of p e r f o r m a n c e . H e started d i g g i n g i n - b l o s s o m i n g right before o u r eyes. T h e c r o w d , w h o h a d pretty w e l l f i g u r e d out w h o S a n t a w a s , went w i l d w i t h a p p r o v a l . B i l l , reveling i n t h i s n e w f o u n d p o w e r , began to i m p r o v i s e a n d t o l d m e to take another solo. W e r o c k e d the house d o w n a n d t h e n he " r o d e " out of t o w n . B i l l h a d a n e p i p h a n y that night. I n d e e d , t h r o u g h a crazy t u r n of events, t h i s o l d d o g h a d l e a r n e d a n e w t r i c k - the p o w e r a n d j o y of p e r f o r m i n g . T h e b a n d was also h a p p y w i t h the success of the s h o w . C o n s e q u e n t l y , we kept the b a n d together a n d m a d e cameos at m a n y other concerts. W e even wrote B i l l a c a m e o i n o u r m u s i c a l . T h e k i d s at s c h o o l l o v e d it, b u t m o r e i m p o r t a n t l y , B i l l absolutely l o v e d  44  p e r f o r m i n g a n d q u i c k l y realized great v a l u e i n the arts. I t h i n k t h a t it u l t i m a t e l y overtook his l o n g - t i m e love of sports. M y f r i e n d , M i c h e l l e , was a district level a d m i n i s t r a t o r at the t i m e . M i c h e l l e is a w o n d e r f u l singer a n d keyboardist a n d has a soft spot for the p l i g h t of m u s i c teachers a n d fragile m u s i c p r o g r a m s . B u t she was a p p a l l e d at m y actions. "It was ethically w r o n g to m a n i p u l a t e B i l l a n d the s c h o o l l i k e that," she c o m p l a i n e d . I felt uneasy at the suggestion of c o m p r o m i s e d integrity. I e x p l a i n e d to h e r that the s c h o o l district's ( g o v e r n m e n t i n d u c e d ) f i n a n c i a l h a r d s h i p s p o l i t i c i z e d all actions. C o n t i n u i n g threats to m y p r o g r a m h a d f o r c e d m e to c o n s i d e r these m a n i p u l a t i v e actions. B u t I felt uneasy at the suggestion of c o m p r o m i s e d integrity. I d i d n ' t l i k e d o i n g t h e m b u t felt that I h a d little choice. I n d e e d , I d i d t h e m to preserve m y p r o g r a m , f o r I believed t h e n a n d n o w that the s t u d y of m u s i c is of great value to so m a n y c h i l d r e n a n d one night's use of the g y m was reasonable request. W a s I w r o n g i n m y actions? I k n o w that B i l l c o n t i n u e d to s i n g , after he retired, a n d he also t o o k lessons to l e a r n the h a r m o n i c a . P e r h a p s , i n the e n d , B i l l was j u s t a n o t h e r student of m i n e w h o grew, a l o n g w i t h m y students, t h r o u g h the p o w e r of p e r f o r m i n g . C e r t a i n l y , he l e a r n e d w h a t I want a l l m y students to l e a r n , w h i c h is a l i f e l o n g love a n d a p p r e c i a t i o n of m u s i c . I n the e n d , I'm not sure if the pressure of s u r v i v a l j u s t i f i e d m y response. I used the same tactic f o r other p r i n c i p a l s after B i l l , t h o u g h I a m not presently d o i n g this. T h i s issue m a k e s m e reflect o n the w o r d s of the A m e r i c a n " p h i l o s o p h e r , " T h e o d o r G e i s e l , w h o also e x a m i n e d the issues df authority a n d integrity:  45  T h e n o u r m o t h e r came i n A n d she s a i d to us t w o , " D i d y o u have any f u n ? Tell me. What did you do?" A n d Sally a n d I d i d not k n o w W h a t to say. S h o u l d we t e l l h e r T h e t h i n g s that w e n t o n there that day? S h o u l d we t e l l h e r about it? N o w , w h a t S H O U L D we do? Well... W h a t w o u l d Y O U do If y o u r m o t h e r a s k e d y o u ? (Seuss, 1 9 5 7 , p. 6 0 )  The Hi-fi M y first exposure to m u s i c h a p p e n e d w h e n I was f o u r years o l d . M y f a m i l y h a d j u s t m o v e d to M o n t r e a l after m a n y years o n the prairies. M y D a d w o r k e d f o r the F i r e s t o n e R u b b e r & T i r e C o m p a n y . I n those days, F i r e s t o n e tire stores h a d a retail annex that d a b b l e d w i t h m a n y v a r i o u s h o u s e h o l d p r o d u c t s - a concept t h a t has been e x p a n d e d a n d successfully u t i l i z e d i n C a n a d a b y the C a n a d i a n T i r e C o r p o r a t i o n . O n e c o u l d f i n d b i g items, l i k e freezers, washers a n d dryers as w e l l as s m a l l house ware i t e m s l i k e toasters a n d e n t e r t a i n m e n t p r o d u c t s l i k e r a d i o s a n d r e c o r d players. T h e r e was even a s m a l l toy section. M y D a d , as m a n a g e r of this store, was able to b u y items at a special e m p l o y e e d i s c o u n t rate. O n e day, he a r r i v e d h o m e w i t h s o m e h e l p to l o a d i n a n e n o r m o u s crate. W h a t c o u l d it be? W e already h a d a T V . A s it t u r n s out, he h a d p u r c h a s e d w h a t I recall as the most a d v a n c e d r e c o r d player m o n e y c o u l d b u y .  46  It w a s a huge, c o m m a n d i n g piece o f f u r n i t u r e a n d a t h i n g o f e n o r m o u s beauty. T h e massive rectangular cabinet was m a d e o f a s t u n n i n g l i g h t exotic w o o d t h a t h a d b e e n s a n d e d , v a r n i s h e d a n d p o l i s h e d to accentuate the m u l t i - c o l o r e d g r a i n . M y f o u r - y e a r - o l d b r a i n w o u l d s i n k deep i n t o the t h r e e - d i m e n s i o n a l h i l l s a n d valleys o f this w o o d . T h e entire f r o n t o f the cabinet was s t r e w n w i t h a w o n d r o u s m u l t i - c o l o r e d speaker g r i l l c l o t h that h a d g o l d e n t h r e a d s t h a t t i e d together w i t h the g r a i n patterns. I n the late afternoon, w h e n the s u n was j u s t b e g i n n i n g to p o u r i n t o o u r l i v i n g r o o m w i n d o w , I w o u l d be able to " l o o k t h r o u g h " this g r i l l c l o t h at a circle a n d a rectangle that were n o r m a l l y h i d d e n b y the c o l o u r s i n the c l o t h . T h e circle w a s w h e r e the e n o r m o u s speaker was attached. T h e rectangle beside it w a s a large p o r t to a l l o w bass frequencies to e m i t - c l e a r l y a r e v o l u t i o n a r y i d e a for 1 9 5 7 . . T h e t o p of the r e c o r d player o p e n e d u p to reveal its secrets. I h a d to s t a n d o n m y tiptoes to l o o k i n s i d e . T o the left was the actual t u r n t a b l e . B e i n g s u c h a n a d v a n c e d m o d e l , it h a d f o u r speed settings. A l o n g w i t h the p o p u l a r 33 - r p m f o r l o n g - p l a y i n g records a n d 4 5 - r p m for singles, it w o u l d also p l a y at 7 8 - r p m f o r o l d e r discs. A n d , it even h a d a 1 6 - r p m setting. I never s a w a r e c o r d f o r that speed. I often w o n d e r e d i f it was j u s t there for the future w h e n discs m i g h t d o u b l e t h e i r l o n g - p l a y ability. M y father e x p l a i n e d that the h o o k e d device that h o v e r e d above the platter was a feature that a l l o w e d the listener to stack m a n y records so that the t u r n t a b l e c o u l d a u t o m a t i c a l l y " d r o p " a n d p l a y a n e w disc w h e n the f o r m e r disc f i n i s h e d . M i r a c l e o f m i r a c l e s , o u r n e w r e c o r d player e n t e r t a i n e d us f o r h o u r s at a t i m e .  47  O n the right h a n d side was the c o n t r o l p a n e l for the a m p l i f i e r . A decal o n the inside read " H i - f i " w h i c h m y father e x p l a i n e d m e a n t " h i g h fidelity s o u n d . I w o u l d put m y h a n d s o n this area to feel the w a r m t h f r o m the v a c u u m tubes t h a t a m p l i f i e d a n d s h a p e d the tone. N o w , as a n aside, I m u s t tell y o u that m y m o t h e r c o m e s f r o m the village o f M o o r s i d e , j u s t outside of O l d h a m , w h i c h is, i n t u r n , j u s t a few m i l e s f r o m M a n c h e s t e r E n g l a n d . H e r tastes a n d h e r life c o n t i n u e to be one of polite c o n s e r v a t i s m a n d c a r i n g w i t h h e r m o t t o b e i n g "everything i n m o d e r a t i o n . " M y father, however, is H u n g a r i a n . H i s f a m i l y i m m i g r a t e d to the C a n a d i a n prairies i n the late 1920's after his father d e c i d e d that the politics of t h e i r h o m e l a n d was c h a n g i n g . R e g i n a p r o v i d e d a scruffy, t o u g h existence i n the 1930's, w h a t w i t h the ghettoized l i v i n g of scores of eastern E u r o p e a n f a m i l i e s struggling t o survive the c r a s h of the e c o n o m y as w e l l as the b l i s t e r i n g hot, d r o u g h t r i d d e n s u m m e r s a n d deep-freeze w i n t e r s . U n c l e F r a n k taught m y d a d the r u d i m e n t s a n d repertoire of v i o l i n p l a y i n g . T h e y o u n g b o y was also e n r o l l e d i n a m a n d o l i n orchestra, w h e r e , f o r 50 cents a m o n t h , y o u were l o a n e d a m a n d o l i n a n d received a weekly l e s s o n a l o n g w i t h rehearsals of the large e n s e m b l e . A l l t h r o u g h h i g h s c h o o l , m y D a d a n d his b a n d played m a n y styles of p o p u l a r a n d ethnic m u s i c f o r all types of c o m m u n i t y celebrations, w e d d i n g s , a n d dances. C a n a d a ' s entry into W o r l d W a r II, however, took h i m far away f r o m h i s v i o l i n . A f the w a r ' s e n d he r e t u r n e d a c h a n g e d m a n w h o h a d m a r r i e d a n d b r o u g h t his E n g l i s h b r i d e b a c k to C a n a d a . A f t e r h i s r e t u r n , he d i d not p i c k u p the v i o l i n f o r forty years.  48  N o w , w i t h the purchase of the H i - f i , m y D a d h a d a n o p p o r t u n i t y to re-visit to m u s i c of his y o u t h . O n m a n y a n e v e n i n g , w h e n he a r r i v e d h o m e f r o m w o r k , m y D a d w o u l d l o a d u p o u r m a g n i f i c e n t n e w r e c o r d p l a y e r w i t h w o n d e r f u l r e c o r d i n g s of the m u s i c of E a s t e r n E u r o p e . A s w e l l as p l a y i n g the w i l d gypsy m u s i c of H u n g a r y , he w o u l d p l a y R u s s i a n gypsy, R o m a n i a n gypsy a n d J e w i s h f o l k m u s i c . I w i l l never forget the huge, i n c r e d i b l e s o u n d that o u r n e w H i - f i c o u l d generate. It was s i m p l y o v e r w h e l m i n g . N o t h i n g h a d ever s o u n d e d so g o o d , so l o u d a n d so t h u n d e r o u s . Its t o n a l possibilities s e e m e d endless. D a d w o u l d s i m p l y c r a n k u p the bass a n d it was as if the bass p l a y e r h i m s e l f h a d j u s t entered the r o o m ! It was t h i s huge s o u n d , c o m b i n e d w i t h D a d ' s choice of p l a y i n g gypsy m u s i c , that m a d e m e lose t o t a l c o n t r o l . T h e passionate v i o l i n p l a y i n g f l o o d e d the r o o m w i t h heavy e m o t i o n . It seemed that every s o n g started w i t h a s l o w , heartw r e n c h i n g o p e n i n g . T h i s was f o l l o w e d b y a gentle a c c o m p a n i m e n t of moderate t e m p o . T h e n , the b a n d w o u l d s u d d e n l y start to accelerate, p l a y i n g faster a n d faster u n t i l the m e l o d y a n d the b a n d w o u l d peak at the c l i m a x a n d c r a s h to a m o s t s t i r r i n g a n d exuberant e n d i n g . S o r r o w , r e v o l u t i o n , a n d t r i u m p h a n t  resolution—the  heroic European way! M y e m o t i o n s a n d b o d y were k i d n a p p e d a n d f o r c e d to r i d e this s o n i c r o l l e r coaster. It was as if the m u s i c c o u l d s o m e h o w charge u p m y w h o l e system. P e r h a p s we c o u l d b l a m e it o n m y genetics, b u t , for whatever r e a s o n , t h i s m u s i c f o u n d its way to the very core of m y b e i n g . It j u s t about drove m e crazy. I w o u l d s l o w l y sway to the m o u r n f u l o p e n i n g t h e m e , (there is always s o r r o w i n any gypsy piece of m e r i t ) , a n d t h e n , u n c o n t r o l l a b l y , I w o u l d have to dance as the t e m p o accelerated. I was t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a marionette a n d the m u s i c was the m a s t e r puppeteer. A s the  49  b a n d w o u l d rocket to a " P r e s t o " t e m p o I w o u l d be f o r c e d to r u n , n o n - s t o p , i n circles t h r o u g h the r o o m s of the h o u s e . T h i s crazy p u p p e t d a n c e w o u l d c o n t i n u e u n t i l the t r i u m p h a n t f i n i s h h a d m e c o l l a p s i n g i n t o a c h a i r , breathless a n d sweating profusely. T h i s explosive release of k i n e t i c p a s s i o n was consistently d r a w n f r o m m e b y the H i - f i w i t h its gypsy m u s i c . O t h e r types of m u s i c never t o o k a h o l d of m e i n the same way, u n t i l the Beatles b r o k e , m a n y years later. T h e H i - f i stayed w i t h the f a m i l y for 30 years, f a i t h f u l l y s p i n n i n g its m u s i c a l spells u n t i l m y aging parents d o w n s i z e d to a n apartment. A l t h o u g h it h a d l o n g b e c o m e obsolete w i t h the i n t r o d u c t i o n a n d r e f i n e m e n t of stereo s o u n d , neither m y b r o t h e r , n o r m y s e l f w a n t e d to let go of the m a g i c m a c h i n e . W h e n it was t i m e to j u n k the m a c h i n e , I r e m o v e d the t o p f r o m its hinges a n d u s e d it to b u i l d a baffle f o r m y a m p l i f i e r . I n t h i s w a y I l i k e to t h i n k that I have a little bit of the m a g i c w i t h m e . C u r i o u s l y , m y parents never, ever b r e a t h e d a w o r d to m e about t h i s e x o r c i s m of feelings a n d a d r e n a l , w h i c h c o n t i n u e d , u n a b a t e d for years. I, i n t u r n , never t o l d t h e m of h o w i n v o l u n t a r y the process was. I often w o n d e r i f m y b e c o m i n g a p r o f e s s i o n a l m u s i c i a n a n d a m u s i c teacher m a y be i n part due to the s t r o n g s o n i c v o o d o o that the H i - f i cast W i t h every n u a n c e of the gypsy's b o w .  Lessons from the Piano It has b e e n six weeks n o w , since E m i l y started G r a d e 1 a n d g r o u p p i a n o lessons. R o s e m a r y , m y wife, u s u a l l y meets E m i l y after s c h o o l . W h a t w i t h f u l l t i m e t e a c h i n g a n d m y course at U B C , I c a n o n l y p i c k - u p m y daughter o n W e d n e s d a y s . O n these nights, her m o m u s u a l l y stays late at w o r k a n d t h e n attends a w o r k o u t o r  50  dance class, so it has c o m e to pass that W e d n e s d a y s p r o v i d e a s p e c i a l t i m e together f o r E m i l y a n d I. E m i l y has s p e l l i n g a n d p i a n o h o m e w o r k a l m o s t every night. I n o r d e r to p r o v i d e a b r e a k i n the r o u t i n e a n d to have m o r e f u n i n the l e a r n i n g , I ask E m i l y teach m e w h a t she has l e a r n e d o n the p i a n o . T h i s t w i s t p r o v i d e s E m i l y a n o p p o r t u n i t y to verbalize her l e a r n i n g a n d c r i t i c a l l y observe m y r e a c t i o n a n d u n d e r s t a n d i n g of it. It also allows h e r a c h a n c e to experience the p o w e r o f t e l l i n g s o m e o n e w h a t to d o , thereby b r e a k i n g the m o n o t o n y of f o l l o w i n g r u l e s - s o m e t h i n g that m y 6 year o l d has to do m o s t of the day. So far, I've b e e n able to keep u p w i t h the c u r r i c u l u m p r o v i d e d t h r o u g h the lessons. E m i l y has p r o v e d to be a g o o d teacher, w i t h a k e e n eye f o r t e c h n i q u e . " K e e p a l l y o u r l i n g e r s o n the keys—even y o u r t h u m b ! " She catches m e w h e n I slack. She teaches me about F i r e m a n F r e d a n d the D i n o s a u r D e n . W e take t u r n s p l a y i n g F a n d D o n the p i a n o . A t the e n d of the l e s s o n w e close u p o u r b o o k s . O u r next activity w i l l be a s p e l l i n g r e v i e w of the w o r d s o n the F r i d a y d i c t a t i o n . " W h a t does t h i s s p e l l ? " E m i l y has n o t i c e d the p i a n o m a k e r ' s n a m e o n the i n s t r u m e n t . "It says B a l d w i n . B a l d w i n is the n a m e of the c o m p a n y that m a d e t h i s p i a n o . Y o u c o u l d t h i n k of this n a m e as a c o m p o u n d w o r d m a d e of t w o s m a l l e r w o r d s - b a l d a n d w i n , " I answer. E m i l y beats m e u p s t a i r s to the k i t c h e n table where we practice o u r F r e n c h s p e l l i n g . I l i n g e r b e h i n d , c l e a n i n g u p . E m i l y has j u s t started to c o m p o s e a n d w r i t e short sentences. She w i l l d o this for f u n a n d to get a verbal stroke f r o m her p r o u d father. T o n i g h t she neatly p r i n t s out a t h r e e - w o r d sentence for m y praise a n d delight. It even i n c l u d e d a n e w w o r d . " H e r e , D a d . " I t o o k the p a p e r f r o m h e r h a n d to r e a d the w o r d s " D a d is B a l d . "  51  " T h a n k y o u so m u c h , " I s a i d , t r y i n g to keep m y face i n a n e u t r a l state of r e a c t i o n . " W e certainly h a d interesting l e s s o n f r o m the p i a n o t o n i g h t . " Emily smiled,  Sunday at the Art Gallery It's S u n d a y a n d o u r little house is f i l l e d w i t h the s o u n d s of y o u n g voices. E m i l y has h a d h e r f r i e n d , T a m a r a , stay f o r a "sleep-over." T a m a r a is t a l l f o r h e r seven years. H e r f a i r s k i n a n d freckles c o m p l i m e n t h e r l o n g , soft, c o r n s i l k h a i r . A p l a c i d d e m e a n o r belies the energetic rascal u n d e r n e a t h . T a m a r a never spoke f o r the first t w o years of her life-she j u s t observed. B u t n o w there is n o s t o p p i n g h e r , i n either E n g l i s h or F r e n c h . E m i l y w o u l d love it i f T a m a r a were h e r sister. T h e girls h a d stayed u p late last night i n g i d d y revelry. Rose a n d I h a d h o p e d that they w o u l d sleep i n . N o t a c h a n c e ! B y 6:40,  they were already deeply at  w o r k i n t h e i r play. I a d m i r e h o w c h i l d r e n c a n get to close to each other i n s u c h a short t i m e . M y m o m w o u l d describe t h e m as b e i n g " t h i c k as t h i e v e s " f o r it is as i f t h e i r lives d e p e n d o n t h e i r m u t u a l trust to p u l l of t h e i r fantasy constructs a n d conspiracies of little girl anarchy. I t h i n k about h o w l o n g it takes m e to f o r m f r i e n d s h i p s n o w . M i d d l e - a g e d people are, i n general, so cautious a n d set. It takes a n i n v e s t m e n t o f t i m e to peel off the layers of p r o t e c t i o n to get to t h e i r hearts, whereas the girls i m m e d i a t e l y connect. A n d the extended t i m e of t h i s visit has a l l o w e d their game p l a y i n g to spread f r o m the d o w n s t a i r s p l a y r o o m to E m i l y ' s b e d r o o m a n d n o w to the u p s t a i r s l i v i n g r o o m . In fact, i n d o o r tents have been foisted next to m y favorite chair.  52  L u c y , o u r little d o g , searches f o r a bit of sofa to c u r l u p o n . It has b e e n c o n v e r t e d to a t r e n d y a p a r t m e n t loft for a g r o u p of stuffed teddy bears that are w e a r i n g sunglasses. T h e t e m p t a t i o n for L u c y is u n b e a r a b l e . S m a l l toys, l i k e the P o l l y pocket c o l l e c t i o n are w i t h i n reach. L u c y loves to g n a w the feet off these little dolls—to the abject h o r r o r of E m i l y , w h o s e i m a g i n a t i o n has b r e a t h e d life i n t o these stylized p o l y m e r s . T h e s m e l l of F r e n c h toast a n d coffee p u l l a l l of us i n t o the k i t c h e n . It is m a n g o season i n l a n d s far away a n d Rose has b o u g h t a Case f o r six d o l l a r s . W e feast o n m a n g o a n d strawberries before the n e w l y f o u n d recipe for F r e n c h toast. Rose is t r y i n g to emulate a recipe that T a m a r a ' s m o m m a k e s for her. T a m a r a asks for m o r e . A f t e r breakfast, we a n n o u n c e o u r i n t e n t i o n s to visit the art gallery w i t h the t w o girls. T h e girls c o u n t e r w i t h t h e i r d i s a p p o i n t m e n t that t h e i r game w i l l have to stop. (At t h i s p o i n t , the girls are ready to p l a y the game forever a n d f o r T a m a r a to p e r m a n e n t l y m o v e i n to facilitate this.) T h e y p l e a d f o r the game to c o n t i n u e . W e c o u n t e r b y e x p l a i n i n g the special features of w h a t the A r t G a l l e r y m a r k e t e r s describe as " F a m i l y S u n d a y , " a once a m o n t h event w h e r e the gallery b e c o m e s a " h a n d s - o n " experience f o r its y o u n g e r visitors. A n d besides, we e x p l a i n , the A r t G a l l e r y is o n the way b a c k to T a m a r a ' s h o m e a n d h e r parents are h o p i n g to see h e r again. O n c e the girls grok the reality that the visit has a n e n d i n g , we all w o r k at the tedious process of c l e a n i n g u p a n d getting i n t o the car. T h e car ride is n o n - d e s c r i p t as we travel to the m u s i c a l m u s i n g s of C h a r l o t t e D i a m o n d  53  W e f i n d the p a r k a d e l o c a t e d u n d e r the o l d E a t o n ' s b u i l d i n g . T h e b r i g h t s u n s h i n e fails to o v e r c o m e the c o l d c h i l l of a F e b r u a r y d a y i n V a n c o u v e r . F o r t u n a t e l y , the o l d l a w courts b u i l d i n g , w h i c h n o w houses the art gallery is o n l y a few short steps away. T h e art gallery is w a r m a n d i n v i t i n g a n d totally p r e p a r e d f o r u s . T h e first f l o o r has a special s h o w o n p h o t o g r a p h y . T h e o l d photos have b e e n f r a m e d a n d h u n g l i k e pictures. S o m e p h o t o s are so o l d a n d fragile that they are c o v e r e d w i t h a lightb l o c k i n g f a b r i c that y o u lift f o r v i e w i n g . It is a w i n d o w to the p a s t - C S A a p p r o v e d t i m e - t r a v e l . O n e part of the exhibit s h o w e d a series of 1 9 c e n t u r y p h o t o s of a t h  m o o s e h u n t . A s we l o o k e d closer, we r e a l i z e d that a l l the pictures i n t h i s series w ere r  staged. L i k e a m o v i e set, these early p h o t o g r a p h e r s h a d created p h o n y b a c k d r o p s to create the i l l u s i o n of b e i n g out i n the w i l d s of C a n a d a . These c o n t r o l l e d situations a l l o w e d the p h o t o g r a p h e r s to use t h e i r b u l k y a n d s l o w cameras w i t h o u t the w o r r y i n g about changes i n l i g h t i n g o r weather. A p p a r e n t l y , this series a n d others l i k e it were u s e d i n B r i t i s h m a g a z i n e s to i n f o r m B r i t i s h readers of life i n the colonies. A n art gallery v o l u n t e e r q u i e t l y w a l k s u p . She asks, " W o u l d the girls l i k e t o m a k e o n e ? " T h e gallery has created a little area where each c h i l d c a n construct a s m a l l m o d e l of a p h o t o shoot. T h e c h i l d p i c k s a m i n i a t u r e b a c k d r o p a n d f i g u r i n e s for the t i n y scene. E a c h scene is decorated w i t h t i n y trees a n d tools. It r e m i n d s m e of the scenes that I u s e d to construct as a b o y w i t h G r a n t E m m s ' m i n i a t u r e r a i l w a y . T h e girls w o r k f u r i o u s l y at t h e i r c o m p o s i t i o n s . It has to be j u s t right, f o r once it is c o n s t r u c t e d , one P o l a r o i d s n a p s h o t w i l l be t a k e n as a s o u v e n i r .  54  T h i s l e a r n i n g / p l a y allows the girls to experience w h a t went i n t o these p i c t u r e s w h i l e R o s e a n d I take t u r n s v i e w i n g h u n d r e d s o f m a g n i f i c e n t pictures. I love the stories that the pictures t e l l . T h e r e are s o m e w o n d e r f u l portraits o f v a r i o u s characters f r o m the C a n a d i a n past. G r e a t p o r t r a i t photos s e e m to s p i l l over w i t h the attitude a n d values of the p a r t i c i p a n t s . T h e revelatory n a t u r e o f these p h o t o s r e m i n d s m e o f w h e n , as a y o u n g m a n I w e n t to take a p i c t u r e o f a f a r m l a b o r e r i n M o r o c c o . H e s t o p p e d m e before I c o u l d s n a p a n d t o l d m e that he d i d not w i s h to lose h i s s o u l to the c a m e r a . N o w , m a n y years later, I c o n c u r w i t h h i m . If a p h o t o g r a p h e r has the talent to w a i t u n t i l the right m o m e n t , it does s e e m p o s s i b l e to capture m o r e t h a n the reflection o f l i g h t o f a n i n d i v i d u a l . I love the " t r u t h " that I f i n d l o o k i n g i n t o the eyes o f ' " u n m a s k e d " subjects. I n a n o t h e r r o o m of p h o t o s , l a m i n t r i g u e d a n d d e l i g h t e d to travel b a c k to A m e r i c a i n the 1 9 4 0 ' s a n d I n d i a i n the late 1 9 century. T h e pictures o f west coast t h  F i r s t N a t i o n s peoples f r o m the t u r n o f the 2 0  t h  c e n t u r y m a k e m e r u n b a c k to R o s e  to tell h e r about s o m e portraits o f native w o m e n . B u t there is n o t i m e to s h o w her. E m i l y a n d T a m a r a have b o t h c o m p l e t e d t h e i r m i n i a t u r e p h o t o sets a n d a n art gallery v o l u n t e e r is t a k i n g a P o l a r o i d o f each Creation. E a c h g i r l watches the m a g i c o f the i n s t a n t p h o t o as it changes f r o m a r e d d i s h haze to a crystal clear picture i n a few m i n u t e s . W i l l s o m e o n e l o o k at these pictures w i t h Curiosity s o m e t i m e i n the future? L o o k i n g f o r m o r e a d v e n t u r e , the f o u r o f us e n d u p o n the top f l o o r o f the gallery. T h i s f l o o r i s devoted to the w o r k o f E m i l y C a r r . I a m so pleased because I really have never t a k e n a good l o o k at h e r w o r k . So often, we m i s s s o m e of the finest w o r k available, j u s t because it is l o c a l . In a w o r l d o f intense m a r k e t i n g , s o m e  55  of us have developed b l i n d e r s a n d filters to w o r k s that are not p r o m o t e d i n certain ways. A s we arrive b y escalator at the t o p floor, we are greeted w i t h a n o v e r s i z e d picture of the artist i n h e r later years. E m i l y C a r r projects the essence of a s h a m a n o r a B u d d h i s t priest. H e r eyes are deep a n d i n d e p e n d e n t a n d s h i n n i n g w i t h energy f r o m b o t h the present a n d the i n f i n i t e . A s we enter the p r e s e n t a t i o n area, these w o r d s are w r i t t e n o n the w a l l : "...enter i n t o the life of trees, k n o w y o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p a n d u n d e r s t a n d t h e i r l a n g u a g e , u n s p o k e n , u n w r i t t e n t a l k " (Carr, 1966,  p.  30).  Seeing h e r w o r k , y o u k n o w that E m i l y C a r r d i d i n d e e d b e c o m e p r o f o u n d l y at one w i t h the forest. I was p u l l e d i n t o the trees a n d the canopies of green. It m a k e s me reflect o n Peter E l b o w ' s "theory of v o i c e " i n literary w r i t i n g ( E l b o w 1998). E l b o w believes that a w r i t e r m u s t be t o t a l l y " i n " a n d " o f any experience i n o r d e r to w r i t e p o w e r f u l l y a n d c o n v i n c i n g l y about it. I f i n d m o r e w r i t i n g o n the w a l l . " P e o p l e said, " E x p l a i n the pictures." B u t h o w can one e x p l a i n s p i r i t ? " ( C a r r , 1966,  p. 179)  W h i l e these w o r d s t h r o w m e i n t o yet a deeper l e v e l , I see that Rose has o u r E m i l y a n d T a m a r a w o r k i n g h a r d i n the h a n d s - o n area. T h e i r challenge is first to f i n d , w i t h i n the E m i l y C a r r w o r k s , a l a n d s c a p e w i t h s w i r l i n g skies; t h e n a scene w h e r e trees that create a p a t h a n d f i n a l l y to discover close u p a n d far away views. T h e n they are asked to sketch a favorite C a r r l a n d s c a p e . T h i s sketch is m o r p h e d i n t o a pastel d r a w i n g that the gallery l a m i n a t e s . E m i l y a n d T a m a r a n o w have there o w n d i n n e r place m a t s , a l a C a r r . W e are n o w r u n n i n g out of t i m e . T h r o u g h the pedagogical w i s d o m of the art gallery, T a m a r a a n d E m i l y have b e e n i n t r o d u c e d to the w o r l d of p h o t o g r a p h i c art a n d the s u b l i m e artistry of E m i l y C a r r . Rose a n d I are b o t h energized a n d i n s p i r e d .  56  In the car a g a i n , the little girls m u n c h q u i e t l y o n goodies f o r the p i c n i c that we r a n out of t i m e for. W e d r o p T a m a r a off a n d say goodbye. B o t h girls cry a bit. It is h a r d to b r e a k the b o n d — t w o voices as one. W e attempt to m a k e E m i l y feel better b y r e m i n d i n g h e r that she w i l l be seeing T a m a r a i n t w o weeks f o r a t r i p to the ballet. T h e r e is no c o n s o l i n g her w i t h logic. I reflect that E m i l y always wrestles w i t h t r a n s i t i o n s f r o m one activity to another. It seems that we are always i n t e r r u p t i n g her. I feel c o m p a s s i o n for her. It is s u c h a t o u g h lesson. I t h i n k about o u r f r i e n d s i n A b b o t s f o r d a n d t h e i r n e w b a n n e r that is m o u n t e d o n a d o o r i n t h e i r h o u s e . It s i m p l y a n d p r o f o u n d l y reads: " L e a r n to l i v e ; l e a r n to l o v e ; l e a r n to let g o . "  3.  What do I create?  High Wire Guitar P u t t i n g y o u r foot out y o u feel the w i r e Before y o u w a l k o n water A n d t h o u g h y o u are very h i g h In the stratosphere, there is n o Net a n d certainly n o t u r n i n g b a c k , O n l y t u r n i n g i n w a r d as y o u C o m p l e t e l y relax, O h m M a n i P a d m e H u m , A n d unconsciously align and poise Y o u r m i n d , body and soul In absolute c o n c e n t r a t i o n T o let out y o u r voice f r o m T h e deepest pit of y o u r spirit A s o n l y the w a y y o u c a n W h i l e the rest of the universe L o o k s over y o u r shoulders A n d floats y o u u p i n a Sea of t e a r d r o p s f r o m T h e B u d d h a of c o m p a s s i o n A n d i n the b l i s t e r i n g w h i r l i n g of the spheres Y o u t u n e i n t o its tautness,  57  Its frequency a n d t h i c k n e s s U n t i l there is n o s e p a r a t i o n Through storm and still  You are... Y o u r extension a n d If a l l m a n n e r o f things have L o c k e d themselves i n t o T h e m o s t sacred p a t t e r n W h e n t h e s u n m a k e s love t o the m o o n A n d the tides r o l l b a c k w a r d t o reveal A n c i e n t s h i p w r e c k s a n d cities O f so l o n g ago, yet y o u k n o w A n d t h e h o w l o f the w o l f B e c o m e s a n a r i a o f u n s p e a k a b l e beauty... T h e n y o u are ready  On Music Class after a Sleepless Night Preamble: Teaching beginners' band is a daunting task, even at the best of times. I find that it requires enormous amounts of patience and fast thinking to make it a success. In 1998, after a decade of successful teaching, I now encountered a new set of challenges to my career with the arrival of a baby girl. Emily provided us with immeasurable happiness and fulfillment. Emily was not able, however, to sleep through the night. She would call out loudly to us for food or attention. Friends told us to be happy about this, knowing that the frequent calls probably meant that Emily had a very active brain. Now I know that many Dads can sleep through this kind of sound, but I found that every time Emily called out, my adrenal glands would fire and my heart would race, leaving me totally awake. After 10 months of this, both Rose and I were wrecks. It started to affect my work. My patience dwindled, as did my energy levels. In this state of exhaustion, I found that the first five minutes of class, when the children are warming up, to be the most challenging. Here is a light-hearted poem on the subject of losing your mind before the class has even started.  On Music Class after a Sleepless Night L a z y s o u n d s , crazy s o u n d s , D e e p f r o m a b e d o f m o r n i n g silence They bloom In a l l shapes a n d sizes, S o u n d s o f brass, s o u n d s electric, s o u n d s pathetic F r o m o l d reeds a n d m o l d y reeds a n d  58  Mis-reads of music with Cases b a n g i n g a n d m u s i c stands c l a n g i n g A n d y o u n g voices l a u g h i n g a n d all of this S p e a k i n g t o m e t h r o u g h all m a n n e r of tongue until... The growling, howling, crashing, and clashing O f these fragments o f f r e q u e n c y a n d e m o t i o n I n this l u m p y s o n i c m a s s hits Its critical p o i n t o f no r e t u r n a n d m o r p h s Into one h i d e o u s m u l t i - t e n d r i l l e d entity That continues to expand and F e e d off b l a c k hole recesses u n t i l It s u d d e n l y lashes o u t at m e , K n o c k i n g m e senseless w i t h U n b e a r a b l e d i s s o n a n c e a n d decibels T h a t m o v e s t o destabilize m y very f r a m e O f c a l m a n d d e t a c h e d p r o f e s s i o n a l i s m (?)  I s c r a m b l e t o p a d m y ears a n d Grab my baton while I C a l l for the F o r c e a n d the G o d s o f R e a s o n . W a l k i n g out o f m y office I tap t w i c e o n the m u s i c s t a n d , r a i s i n g m y h a n d w h i l e P r a y i n g that the a l i e n i n m y r o o m W i l l hear m y c a l l a n d sense m y i n t e n t i o n a n d W i l l fail t o detect m y b l u f f A n d that m y sheer m a g n i t u d e o f c o n v i c t i o n W i l l dissipate this entity b a c k t o A b e d o f silence so that the seeds o f F o c u s , c o h e s i o n , grace, a n d beauty M a y take root a n d once again R e t u r n us t o a garden o f s y m p h o n y .  How Do You Determine? Preamble: This poem stems from a meeting with a UBC music professor with whom I was having lunch. I recall asking him about a Master's program. All his responses indicated that I had asked an "illegitimate" question-one that I should already know the answer to. As I reflect on this incident, I know that I learned a lot. I leaimed that I would never want to speak like this to a student. On the back of my door in my office is written "Act Neutral on the Obvious!" This is to remind me that, regardless of what I think of any question posed to me, I will endeavor to respond in a caring, supportive, and professional manner. After all, it took me 15 years to return to UBC.  59  How Do You Determine? H o w do you determine I n y o u r p o s i t i o n of p o w e r  If the question put to you Is w o r t h y of a n a n s w e r ? T h a t is to say, A s s u m i n g that the q u e s t i o n e r is C o m i n g f r o m a space o f clean i n t e n t i o n , H o w d o y o u differentiate b e t w e e n the i n s i g h t f u l a n d The plodding H o w d o y o u (dare) do...it? Is there s o m e special h i e r a r c h y , A M a s l o w ' s list t o w a r d s a p e a k experience q u e s t i o n T h a t allows a v a l u e to be attached as a n i m m e d i a t e p r e c u r s o r to the answer? H o w often d o y o u hear the p h r a s e " G r e a t Q u e s t i o n " ? H o w is that so? A r e questions great t h a t have n o a n s w e r ? O r are they s i m p l y great as segues i n a p e r f o r m a n c e ? Let m e n o w ask: H a v e y o u b e e n bereted after a s k i n g s o m e t h i n g T h a t s e e m e d totally reasonable to ask? I have. " W e l l , obviously, y o u w o u l d d o t h i s , " H e b e l l o w e d , h i s tone a n d b o d y E n g l i s h Dripping with dismissive scorn.  A=B; B=C; therefore, A=C Isn't it i n t r i g u i n g h o w the w o r d " O b v i o u s l y " cues the questioner T h a t the q u e s t i o n is d u m b a n d therefore, T h e questioner m u s t "obviously" be d u m b .  A n d of course, t h i s p o o r l y c o n s t r u c t e d q u e s t i o n A n d its c r u s h i n g response leads m e to M a n y m o r e s i l l y questions about the r e s p o n d e r , l i k e : W h e r e i n h i s experience d i d he adapt t h i s response?  60  L e a r n e d o r i n v e n t e d , I ask? D i d his m o t h e r o r father treat h i m l i k e this? O r is it a w a y f o r h i m T o f e n d off his c o n c e r n s about H i s o w n insecurities i n general, O r perhaps to vent h i s o w n specific anger T h a t was generated F r o m a l l o w i n g h i m s e l f to be i n a p o s i t i o n W h e r e he h a d to dance w i t h fools s u c h as m e ? C e r t a i n l y , I felt s t u p i d for a s k i n g because I had foolishly assumed... T h a t he was w i s e r t h a n that.  This Day in the Life Preamble: One of my continuing goals in this course is to learn how to address educational issues through a relaxed, yet informative narrative style that honors the importance of context in understanding of human issues. "This Day in the Life" reveals of a lot of my own values and philosophy on the art and science of teaching. The reflections and ruminations are strung together through the "scaffolding" of a typical day. The introduction gives the reader a general feeling of the start of a typical day. The middle of the narrative can be thought of as a reflection of past challenges of the profession. The final portion of the narrative moves into a reflection on the process of mentoring.  It's the green-labeled k e y that opens this door. I h a d to resort to c o l o u r c o d i n g as every area has its o w n key. A s I enter the p i t c h - b l a c k r o o m , I t u n e i n t o its character. It feels airy, a m b i e n t a n d a little c o o l this m o r n i n g i n p a r t i c u l a r . I a m always struck b y its eerie m a g n i t u d e . In the intense b l a c k n e s s , I edge t o w a r d the first step. T h e r e are 21 steps d o w n w a r d s i n t o this c h a s m . O n c e I f i n d the first step, I c o n f i d e n t l y d e s c e n d i n t o the p i t c h , l i s t e n i n g to the r o o m echo b a c k m y soft steps as i f it were gently c o m p l a i n i n g about b e i n g s t i r r e d so early i n the m o r n i n g .  61  M o s t of these m o r n i n g s i n the w i n t e r , I s l e e p w a l k d o w n the stairs a n d t h r o u g h t h i s cavernous b l a c k hole as I always have f o r the last 19 years. It is j u s t another r o u t i n e that m y s u b c o n s c i o u s leads m e t h r o u g h . I even once t o o k E m i l y t h r o u g h t h i s route. She was not i m p r e s s e d . B u t o n the o d d m o r n i n g , w h e n I a m w i t h myself, I m a r v e l at m y o w n fearlessness/foolishness at s h u f f l i n g b l i n d l y d o w n these b a n n i s t e r l e s s , o p e n stairs, w h o s e p a i n t e d concrete is equally as u n f o r g i v i n g to a f a l l as the i n v i s i b l e h a r d w o o d bleachers t h a t n e i g h b o r the stairs. I s t i l l have to count the steps t h o u g h , as the d r o p f r o m the 2 1 step to the s t  f l o o r is a l m o s t twice the size- s o m e t h i n g that we w o u l d n a t u r a l l y adjust to w h e n we have sight references. O n c e o n the f l o o r , I leave the e n o r m o u s u n l i t g y m to r e t u r n to its early m o r n i n g sleep. S o o n it w i l l be t e e m i n g w i t h a n a r m y of b a s k e t b a l l J o n e s a n d its a i r w i l l be d i s p l a c e d w i t h volleys of r u b b e r b a l l s that are a i m e d at its baskets. I exist b y a side d o o r , a n d a m once again outside. A f t e r a few steps, I enter another s m a l l e r , d a r k edifice. T h i s r o o m , m y c l a s s r o o m , has a few n o r t h e r n f a c i n g w i n d o w s that a l l o w i n the p r e - d a w n sky so n a v i g a t i n g it is m u c h easier. W i t h o u t t u r n i n g o n the lights I u n l o c k m y office, take off m y coat a n d shoes a n d p r o p u p m y posture o n the s m a l l sofa b y m y desk. O m Mani Padme H u m . T h i s office is a t i n y w i n d o w e d r o o m o n the southeast c o r n e r of the m u s i c p o r t a b l e . T h e p r e - d a w n light is so p o o r , that I can h a r d l y d i s c e r n the contents o f the m a n y f r a m e d p h o t o s that festoon the f o u r w a l l s . P i c t u r e s of m y Rose a n d E m i l y h a n g next to pictures of m y guitar c o l l e c t i o n a n d pictures of f o r m e r students, b a n d  62  t r i p s a n d m u s i c a l p r o d u c t i o n s . T h e y a l l feed the r o o m energy a n d attitude. E a c h one tells a story i n m y life. O f course, there is the obligatory c o m p u t e r o n m y large oak desk. N e x t to it are piles of m i s c e l l a n e o u s papers to be r e a d a n d t e n d e d to. It is messy. I n m y n i n e t e e n years as a m u s i c teacher, I have never h a d even one d a y w h e r e I left the b u i l d i n g feeling that I h a d a n s w e r e d a l l the v a r i o u s m a i l a n d w a s f u l l y p r e p p e d f o r the next day. A f t e r so m a n y h o u r s , I j u s t leave. I hate this level o f m e d i o c r i t y , b u t I a m m o r e fearful o f l o s i n g m y life to this j o b . I k n o w that t e a c h i n g is one o f the greatest a n d m o s t i m p o r t a n t j o b s one c o u l d d o . B u t t h r o u g h the lens o f a m o r e c y n i c a l context, I've w a t c h e d career teachers p o u r t h e i r s o u l i n t o this l e a r n i n g c o m m u n i t y , o n l y to f i n d themselves as strangers to the b u i l d i n g a n d its i n h a b i t a n t s w i t h i n a v e r y f e w years o f retirement. T h e s y s t e m gobbles t h e m u p , squeezing out the j u i c e s o f t h e i r i n s p i r a t i o n a n d c o m p a s s i o n a n d t h e n spits t h e m out a n d t u r n s away. H a v i n g g i v e n t o o m u c h to t h e i r j o b s , these people have n o t s t r u c t u r e d a life outside these h a l l s o f l e a r n i n g . T h e y u s u a l l y leave u n d e r s t r a i n e d c i r c u m s t a n c e s a n d they f u n c t i o n l i k e the u n d e a d o f the s y s t e m . T h e i r t i m e h a d c o m e b u t they resist the c a l l . T h e y s e e m c o n d e m n e d to a t w i l i g h t zone of m e m o r i e s o f t e a c h i n g past a n d u n c o m f o r t a b l e visits b a c k to the s c h o o l . O f course, there are m a n y teachers w h o have c o m p l e t e l y r e w a r d i n g careers a n d m o v e o n to the next adventure w i t h grace a n d ease a n d h u m o u r . B u t it is the o d d few that leave k i c k i n g a n d s c r e a m i n g that h a u n t m y psyche. O n a g o o d day, the 5 0 - k i l o m e t e r d r i v e to w o r k takes about 5 0 m i n u t e s . It's a h a r d d r i v e a n d often I a m w i t n e s s to a lot o f i m p a t i e n c e a n d f r u s t r a t i o n as  63  t h o u s a n d s o f cars o n m y route squeeze t h r o u g h a b r i d g e a n d a t i n y c o r r i d o r to m o v e to w o r k . I p u r p o s e f u l l y arrive at w o r k before 7:30 a m . T h i s gives m e t i m e t o u n w i n d f r o m the c o m m u t e p r i o r to o p e n i n g the r o o m at 8:00 am. I n the d a r k n e s s , I sit o n m y office c o u c h a n d meditate. T r a n s c e n d e n t a l M e d i t a t i o n , o r T M , is the style that I practise. F o r a l m o s t 20 years, I f a i t h f u l l y m e d i t a t e d twice a day. W h e n E m i l y w a s b o r n i n 1998,1 h a d to p u t m y m e d i t a t i n g o n h o l d . I n 2003,1 w a s able to squeeze i n one m e d i t a t i o n a d a y a n d I've b e e n pretty w e l l stuck at t h a t a m o u n t . I have always received t r e m e n d o u s benefit f r o m t h i s E a s t e r n d i s c i p l i n e . I n fact, I was s h o c k e d at h o w m u c h T M h a d i n c r e a s e d m y w e l l - b e i n g , m y creativity a n d m y ability to concentrate. I n fact, s o o n after I started m e d i t a t i n g , I b e c a m e evangelistic a n d t o l d a l l m y f r i e n d s that they h a d to try it. T o m y c h a g r i n , n o n e of m y friends f o u n d m u c h value i n the practice a n d a l l s t o p p e d . I d o n ' t k n o w w h y I get so m u c h out of T M but after the failure of m y f r i e n d s , I h a r d l y ever tell people about it. I j u s t d o . A f t e r 20 m i n u t e s of the practise, I've left the drive totally b e h i n d . B e t w e e n 8:00 a n d 8:30,1 t u r n o n the lights, u n l o c k the d o o r s a n d b r e w s o m e strong coffee. Students are i n v i t e d to c o m e i n f o r extra h e l p at this t i m e . E x t r a h e l p sessions are special f o r the " p r o f e s s i o n a l " m e as they are a t i m e w h e n I can really d i g i n a n d w o r k one o n one w i t h o u t the pressure of the class d y n a m i c s . It is a t i m e w h e r e I c a n really s u p p o r t a n d m a k e a difference. It is also a t i m e w h e n I can increase m y r a p p o r t a n d u n d e r s t a n d i n g of a student. T o d a y , M a r k , a grade 7 b e g i n n e r f r o m a nearby feeder s c h o o l , has b o o k e d i n for the h e l p session. It is not the first session. W e have b e e n m e e t i n g quite  64  regularly as M a r k is really struggling. I have l e a r n e d t h r o u g h the years that c h i l d r e n of the s a m e age c a n w i l d l y vary i n t h e i r d e v e l o p m e n t . M a r k is 12 years o l d , b u t really he's j u s t a little b o y , w h o is t r y i n g h a r d to stay a little boy. I n h i s r e g u l a r class he is a l m o s t always off-task s o c i a l i z i n g , m a k i n g f u n n y faces a n d p r e t e n d i n g to p l a y his bass guitar. N o w he is s e r i o u s l y b e h i n d the rest of the class. H e has reluctantly agreed to accept s o m e h e l p . H i s m o t h e r b r o u g h t h i m to the first session. H e was not h a p p y . I w a t c h e d the d y n a m i c b e t w e e n the m o t h e r a n d the c h i l d . I sensed that the c h i l d is very p o w e r f u l w i t h i n t h a t d y n a m i c . T o d a y is his f o u r t h visit. W h e n I d o get h i m f o c u s e d , I f i n d that he c a n l e a r n the m a t e r i a l as w e l l as any one. W e m a k e s o m e progress a n d he leaves h a p p y . I w o r r y about next year. H o w w i l l he h a n d l e the rigors of h i g h s c h o o l life? W h e n I h e l p these students, I a b a n d o n any expectations o n h o w the l e a r n i n g s h o u l d progress. F o r e x a m p l e , I w i l l c o n t i n u e to s l o w d o w n m y rate o f t e a c h i n g , even to p a i n f u l l y s l o w levels a n d s m a l l steps i f it is r e q u i r e d . I w i l l endlessly repeat processes a n d r e - f r a m e t h e m u n t i l the concept o r t e c h n i q u e is a b s o r b e d . T h e student's o w n ability a n d needs d e t e r m i n e the rate of l e a r n i n g a n d the a m o u n t of l e a r n i n g . N o j u d g m e n t is passed o n the student. I try to be c a l m , easy a n d upbeat. A n y "one o n o n e " w o r k w i t h a student always changes the d y n a m i c s o f o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p . It i n v a r i a b l y i m p r o v e s it. O n m a n y levels, m y early m o r n i n g h e l p session is the most f r u i t f u l t i m e of the day. A t 8:25,  the w a r n i n g b e l l s o u n d s . I q u i c k l y r u n to the w a s h r o o m , as the  coffee w o n ' t let m e carry o n u n t i l 9:47.  W e have one h o u r a n d seventeen m i n u t e  classes. T o m e , this length of class is too m u c h for grade 8 a n d 9 students. M y  65  f r u s t r a t i o n w i t h this issue gives m e cause to reflect o n s o m e o f the i n t e r n a l processes o f the t e a c h i n g p r o f e s s i o n . T h e i n t e r s e c t i o n o f politics w i t h the e d u c a t i o n o f c h i l d r e n w a s s o m e t h i n g that I was not p r e p a r e d for as a novice teacher. T h e e d u c a t i o n a l s l o g a n o f o u r p r o v i n c i a l g o v e r n m e n t : " S t u d e n t s c o m e first," evokes m i x e d responses w i t h i n m e . O n e o f the e d u c a t i o n a l t r u i s m s that I have d e v e l o p e d is that scarcity evokes political activity. W h e n I entered the p r o f e s s i o n i n the late 1 9 8 0 ' s , I f o u n d that the v a r i o u s d e p a r t m e n t s i n the s c h o o l were b r o k e n i n t o separate c a m p s a n d e a c h aggressively sought favor w i t h the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n i n o r d e r to g a r n e r m o n i e s to r u n t h e i r u n d e r - f u n d e d p r o g r a m s . W i t h this i n c r e a s e d p o l i t i c i s m , I n o t i c e d a p r o p o r t i o n a t e decrease i n ethical a c t i o n . T h e t i m e t a b l e issue was d r i v e n p r i m a r i l y b y t h r o u g h the needs o f the science d e p a r t m e n t . W e h a d b e e n r u n n i n g 5 / 5 5 - m i n u t e b l o c k s a day. T h e s c h o o l at t h i s t i m e w a s n u m b e r 1 i n the p r o v i n c e as d e t e r m i n e d b y the conservative t h i n k - t a n k — the " F r a s e r Institute report." O n e w o u l d have to d e t e r m i n e that, b y the m e a s u r e o f the F r a s e r Institute, we were d o i n g w e l l as a s c h o o l . T h e L a b teachers w a n t e d m o r e t i m e to clean u p after labs. T h e i r d e p a r t m e n t h e a d h a d the ear o f a lot of people a n d successfully spearheaded the c o m m i t t e e for change. I a m sure it has b e e n g o o d for the l a b sessions, b u t I feel that the result has b e e n devastating f o r the 13 a n d 14 year olds at o u r s c h o o l . M y sense is that it is j u s t too l o n g for the grade 8's a n d 9's to sit a n d focus. Children need to move. A t least, i n the o l d s y s t e m , the k i d s rose u p a n d m o v e d to t h e i r next class every 5 5 m i n u t e s . F u r t h e r m o r e , these l o n g classes have m o v e d l u n c h t i m e s to 1 2 . 5 3 ! T h i s m a k e s t h i r d b l o c k classes u n f o c u s s e d a n d u n r u l y , as people are m u c h too h u n g r y to be p r o d u c t i v e .  66  Besides peer p o l i t i c s , I have e n c o u n t e r e d a n d w o r k e d t h r o u g h a d m i n i s t r a t i v e politics a n d s c h o o l b o a r d p o l i t i c s . I n m y first years of t e a c h i n g , I actively engaged i n r a p p o r t b u i l d i n g activities w i t h m y a d m i n i s t r a t o r s . I s o o n l e a r n e d that m a n y a d m i n i s t r a t o r s h a d c o m e f r o m P E b a c k g r o u n d s . I feared that i n a f i n a n c i a l squeeze, a d m i n i s t r a t o r s m i g h t cut p r o g r a m s that they w e r e u n f a m i l i a r w i t h . In o r d e r to increase t h e i r u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the v a l u e of the arts, I w o u l d f o r m after-school rock b a n d s w i t h the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . T h e p r i n c i p a l a n d v i c e - p r i n c i p a l s w o u l d s i n g o r play w i t h m e . Inevitably, we w o u l d p e r f o r m for l a u g h s at s c h o o l district f u n c t i o n s . I f o u n d t h i s strategy to be v e r y effective i n r a i s i n g the p e r c e i v e d value of the arts. R i c k M y e r s , one of m y s p o n s o r teachers w h e n I was a student teacher, always s a i d that if y o u w a n t to get access to p o w e r ( m o n e y ) , b e f r i e n d the P A C . R i c k clearly u n d e r s t o o d the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n the parents a n d the p r i n c i p a l s . I have not a s k e d f o r m u c h f r o m o u r P A C , b u t w h e n I d i d , I l e a r n e d the w i s d o m i n R i c k ' s statement. In fact, a w o m a n o n the P A C n o t i c e d that I h a d not b e e n a s k i n g for any m o n e y . M y r a t o l d m e that it was t i m e for m y d e p a r t m e n t to get s o m e f i n a n c i a l support. She a s k e d w h a t I h a d d r e a m t about h a v i n g i n m y b a n d r o o m . I t o l d h e r that I w o u l d love to get a s m a l l r e c o r d i n g s t u d i o , as I b e l i e v e d that m a k i n g a r e c o r d i n g of the students w o u l d generate m u c h l e a r n i n g for m y classes. W i t h i n t w o m o n t h s , I h a d a f u l l y e q u i p p e d 16 D i g i t a l r e c o r d i n g s y s t e m , c o m p l e t e w i t h m i c r o p h o n e s , cables a n d p r o c e s s i n g e q u i p m e n t . T h e P A C h a d p u t a m a j o r p o r t i o n of t h e i r f u n d - r a i s i n g m o n e y i n t o the project.  67  T h i s was a n i n c r e d i b l e w i n f o r the m u s i c d e p a r t m e n t , b u t I f o u n d the next part of the story m u c h m o r e c u r i o u s . I n e e d e d a s m a l l s o u n d b o o t h to h o u s e the n e w r e c o r d i n g s y s t e m . M y P A C f r i e n d t o l d m e that S u p e r i n t e n d e n t w o u l d have Facilities c o n s t r u c t the b o o t h . I w a r n e d h e r that it m i g h t be difficult for m e to get the b o a r d to f i n a n c e this. M y r a , h o w e v e r , d i d not see t h i s as a p r o b l e m . She s i m p l y went to the b o a r d office a n d t o l d the S u p e r i n t e n d e n t to b u i l t it, as the P A C h a d already invested so m u c h m o n e y i n the p u r c h a s e of the e q u i p m e n t . P e r i o d i c a l l y , M y r a w o u l d p h o n e m e to ask h o w the c o n s t r u c t i o n was g o i n g . If it were not u p to her satisfaction, she w o u l d m a r c h d o w n to the b o a r d office a n d give the S u p e r i n t e n d e n t a h a r d t i m e . A s the process w a s n e a r i n g a n e n d , I got another call f r o m M y r a . "Is it f i n i s h e d y e t ? " she i n q u i r e d . " T h e y tell m e it w i l l be c o m p l e t e b y T h u r s d a y , " I r e p l i e d . "I'll be d o w n to see it t h e n , " she q u i p p e d . W h e n T h u r s d a y a r r i v e d , the r o o m was not quite f i n i s h e d b u t , to m y t h i n k i n g , close e n o u g h . " W e l l , " s a i d M y r a , after r e c e i v i n g the r o y a l t o u r , "I m u s t be g o i n g n o w to take the S u p e r i n t e n d e n t this apple p i e that I c o o k e d f o r her." " W h a t if the project h a d not b e e n f i n i s h e d ? " I shyly asked. "In that case, I was g o i n g to " N o r t h S h o r e N e w s " to have it p r i n t e d that the Sea V i e w P A C h a d spent $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 o n e q u i p m e n t that was not b e i n g u s e d o n account of the S u p e r i n t e n d e n t . " I k n e w that M y r a was t e l l i n g the t r u t h . T h e S u p e r i n t e n d e n t c o u l d be difficult at t i m e s , b u t M y r a u n d e r s t o o d her aversion for b a d press.. In s o m e ways, the s u p e r i n t e n d e n t didn't s t a n d a chance. N e i t h e r d i d the teachers w h e n they w h e n they t r i e d to d e f e n d t h e i r interests w i t h the S u p e r i n t e n d e n t . In a budget s a v i n g m o v e , the S u p e r i n t e n d e n t cancelled the p o s i t i o n of d e p a r t m e n t h e a d . T h i s p o s i t i o n was not protected i n o u r  68  contract at the t i m e . S o , the S u p e r i n t e n d e n t p u l l e d b a c k the m o n e y f o r the p o s i t i o n , a l t h o u g h she f u l l y expected the d e p a r t m e n t heads to c o n t i n u e t h e i r duties, albeit f o r free. T h i s p o s i t i o n was not a h i g h l y p a i d one. T e a c h e r s , w h o were i n service as d e p a r t m e n t h e a d s , received a few t h o u s a n d d o l l a r s a year i n exchange f o r a lot of meetings a n d w o r k . M y staff, however, was very offended b y t h i s swift a n d u n e x p e c t e d a c t i o n . A s a r e a c t i o n , the staff voted to not attend the s u m m e r p r o - d a y m o r n i n g i n late A u g u s t - t h e one w h e r e they h a d to l i s t e n to the S u p e r i n t e n d e n t ' s a n n u a l report. T h e result of t h i s action was that Sea V i e w went t h r o u g h m a n y years of n o m o n i e s f o r s c h o o l r e n o v a t i o n o r u p d a t i n g . Instead, it s e e m e d to the staff at Sea V i e w that the S u p e r i n t e n d e n t t o o k all the m o n i e s f o r u p g r a d i n g a n d r e p a i r a n d p o u r e d it i n t o n e i g h b o u r i n g C l o v e r Bluffs H i g h . T h i s s c h o o l h a d accepted the S u p e r i n t e n d e n t ' s cut i n d e p a r t m e n t h e a d pay. T h e r e h a d b e e n n o overt a c t i o n . W a s C l o v e r Bluffs d e e m e d the g o o d employees a n d the g o o d s c h o o l , as the Sea V i e w teachers suspected? I was r e m i n d e d of this real or i m a g i n e d d i s p a r i t y one day, w h e n I s a w m y f r i e n d , J o h n , a r r i v i n g w i t h a clock for the s c h o o l . " A r e y o u b r i n g i n g us a n e w c l o c k ? " I a s k e d , not really Caring for a n answer, b u t rather w a n t i n g to connect w i t h J o h n . " O h , this isn't a n e w clock, it's f r o m C l o v e r Bluffs H i g h . " D o e s n ' t C l o v e r Bluffs need i t ? " I i n q u i r e d . " O h n o , these analog clocks have b e e n j u n k e d b y C l o v e r Bluffs . T h e y o n l y use digital c l o c k s . " W e were getting C l o v e r Bluffs' t h r o w - a w a y s . O n a m u c h larger scale, o u r s c h o o l has n o theatre. T h i s is despite a s t r o n g p e r f o r m i n g arts t r a d i t i o n . A b o u t 5 years ago, a w o n d e r f u l w o m a n n a m e d F a y B i l l i n g s w a n t e d to b u i l d , as a legacy, a dual-use c o m m u n i t y / s c h o o l theatre. T h a t is,  69  b o t h the c o m m u n i t y a n d the s c h o o l w o u l d share the facility. T h e s c h o o l w o u l d p r o v i d e the l a n d at a s c h o o l site a n d F a y B i l l i n g s w o u l d donate $5.5 m i l l i o n d o l l a r s to construct the facility. O u r school n a t u r a l l y l o b b i e d f o r the theatre. N o w I w i l l not p r e t e n d t o k n o w w h a t h a p p e n e d i n the b a c k r o o m negotiations, b u t I k n o w that C l o v e r Bluffs H i g h was c h o s e n b y the S u p e r i n t e n d e n t as the site f o r the theatre, even t h o u g h it h a d a f u l l y f u n c t i o n i n g a n d great s o u n d i n g theatre already. I'll never forget the feeling I h a d as I w a t c h e d t h e m d e m o l i s h t h i s theatre i n o r d e r t o b u i l d a n e w o n e w h e n Sea V i e w h a d n o p e r f o r m a n c e v e n u e t o d i s p l a y the talents o f t h e i r k i d s . W e c o u l d have h a d t w o theatres i n s t e a d o f one. I n a f i n a l i r o n i c twist, Sea V i e w was g i v e n the o l d seats f r o m the theatre that was b e e n d e m o l i s h e d i n o r d e r t o convert the d r a m a r o o m i n t o a s m a l l theatre. C l e a r i n g m y m i n d o f the past, I focus o n the tasks at h a n d . M y first class o f the day, w h i c h starts at 8:30am is one o f m y favorite classes. It is m y R & B ( R h y t h m a n d Blues) B a n d Class. I love t h i s class f o r a n u m b e r o f reasons, b u t m a i n l y f o r the fact that it teaches the students h o w t o play b y ear. E a c h student receives a C D o f R & B m a t e r i a l at the b e g i n n i n g o f the year. T h e goal is f o r the b a n d t o figure o u t w h a t t o p l a y off the C D a n d t h e n t o go out a n d p e r f o r m the m a t e r i a l . Besides p r o v i d i n g ear t r a i n i n g , this course offers other benefits: it i n t r o d u c e s t h e m t o A f r o A m e r i c a n s o u l m u s i c o f the 1960's a n d 1970's; it develops t e a m m e n t a l i t y ; it teaches the g r o u p i n d e p e n d e n c e a n d r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , collective d e c i s i o n m a k i n g , h i g h e r p e r f o r m a n c e standards, a n d it develops l e a d e r s h i p qualities i n students. T h i s course w a s developed b y m y s e l f to foster l e a r n i n g that was not b e i n g addressed t o m y satisfaction t h r o u g h t r a d i t i o n a l concert b a n d p r o g r a m s . O n e o f  70  the t h i n g s that I have l e a r n e d is that children are "able." B y that I m e a n t h a t i f y o u o p e n the doors of expectation to greater l e a r n i n g , c h i l d r e n w i l l often rise to meet the challenge. O n e of the gratifying b y - p r o d u c t s of t h i s course is the collective m a t u r i t y o f the b a n d : If, b y chance, the office needs to speak w i t h m e a n d I arrive late to class, the class w i l l have started w i t h o u t m e . W h a t a f u l f i l l i n g m o m e n t t h i s is. T h i s b a n d , a l o n g w i t h m y after-school j a z z e n s e m b l e s , is clearly one of the h i g h l i g h t s of m y t e a c h i n g experience. I t is a l o n g j o u r n e y of t e c h n i c a l a n d aesthetic g r o w t h f r o m the G r a d e 7 b e g i n n e r s ' b a n d to these e n s e m b l e s . T h e c o m m u n i t y has t h o r o u g h l y e m b r a c e d the R & B b a n d . C o n s e q u e n t l y , the b a n d is f r e q u e n t l y a s k e d to p l a y f o r assorted f u n c t i o n s a n d celebrations outside of s c h o o l . K e r r y S t a l l i n g , m y student teacher, is t e a c h i n g the s e c o n d b l o c k of the day. H e is 2 6 years o l d a n d j u s t starting o n h i s j o u r n e y . K e r r y is the 8  t h  student teacher  that I've s p o n s o r e d . H e is a " n a t u r a l " at t h i s g a m e , w i t h s u p e r i o r k n o w l e d g e of w i n d i n s t r u m e n t s a n d a n irrepressible energy a n d positive p e r s o n a l i t y . W h e n they s h o w p r o m i s e , student teachers c a n be w o n d e r f u l aides i n getting m e a little m o r e i n order. Student teachers always p r o v i d e a n excellent m i r r o r f o r myself. T h e y m a k e m e u n c o m f o r t a b l y aware of the areas that I n e e d t o w o r k o n . Student teachers also eventually p r o v i d e m e w i t h valuable c a t c h - u p t i m e w i t h m y w o r k . A n d it is really a j o y to discuss pedagogy a n d strategy w i t h t h e m . K e r r y has c h o s e n to teach stage b a n d d u r i n g his first week. H i s confidence a n d love of the m a t e r i a l is o b v i o u s to the class. T h e y l i s t e n a n d co-operate. T h e class is, i n general, a success. A f t e r w a r d s , I talk w i t h K e r r y about p a c i n g a n d m o m e n t u m to keep u p the f u n a n d get t h r o u g h all the l e a r n i n g objectives. H e  71  listens carefully. F i n a l l y , I e x p l a i n that a l l the classes, regardless o f h o w nice they are at t h e b e g i n n i n g , w i l l test h i m to d e t e r m i n e h i s b o u n d a r i e s . I tell h i m t o a v o i d t a k i n g it p e r s o n a l l y a n d that it is j u s t a n a t u r a l n e e d f o r students to discover l i m i t s . T w o weeks later, K e r r y tells m e that he realizes t h a t c l a s s r o o m t e a c h i n g is m u c h m o r e a p s y c h o l o g i c a l " g a m e " t h a n h e t h o u g h t a n d that h i s m u s i c a l k n o w l e d g e is n o t that i m p o r t a n t . I tell h i m that b o t h p s y c h o l o g i c a l a n d m u s i c a l k n o w l e d g e are b o t h i m p o r t a n t a n d that he b r i n g s a l o t to offer the k i d s . Secretly, I a m very h e a r t e n e d b y h i s e p i p h a n y so that w e c a n m o v e a n d d i s c u s s p s y c h o l o g i c a l issues a n d strategies.  Getting into the Water Week One I c a n feel y o u t h i n k i n g T h a t I'm j u s t a n o t h e r o l d f o o l A n d that I c a n n o t m a t c h Y o u r k n o w l e d g e base A n d y o u r y o u t h f u l age A n d y o u r p a s s i o n f o r y o u r art A n d your h u m o u r and your earring T h i s gig w i l l be easy, y o u a s s u m e M u s i c has been y o u r life; y o u r c a l l i n g So it s h o u l d be n o t h i n g at a l l T o get the k i d s t o f a l l i n A n d to w h i s p e r t h e i r w h i m T h a t y o u , l i k e h i m , w o u l d be T h e i r teacher o f choice B u t t h o u g h y o u bristle w i t h confidence A n d t h o u g h I whistle at y o u r t e c h n i q u e Y o u d o not yet u n d e r s t a n d that S t i l l waters r u n deep A n d teaching is m u c h m o r e C o m p l e x t h a n first appears A n d j u s t as a v i r t u o s o m u s i c i a n  72  C a n seduce y o u i n t o b e l i e v i n g That something incredibly hard Is actually easy, D o n ' t be f o o l e d b y that a p p a r i t i o n F o r y o u are l i k e a s w a n that has N e v e r seen w a t e r A n d never f l o w n s o u t h F o r the w i n t e r A n d though Y o u m a y b e genetically p r e - d i s p o s e d N o t h i n g w i l l replace getting wet A n d i n t o the w a t e r  Week Two What happened? Didn't I explain? W a t c h carefully N o w w h o is to b l a m e ? T h a t the t i m i n g is off A n d y o u ' r e not f o l l o w i n g Y o u r very o w n p l a n A n d the c h i l d r e n are R e - d i r e c t i n g y o u r objectives A n d y o u are p l a y e d i n t o t h e i r h a n d A n d get y o u r h e a d u p ! D o n ' t y o u see? W h a t has t r a n s p i r e d i n the class A s y o u w a x e d poetic a b o u t y o u r past? Y o u m u s t l e a d , b u t not too s l o w l y O r the class w i l l totally Pull you down, nothing personal, T h e y ' l l d o it at any rehearsal T o any c o n d u c t o r T h a t fails to keep m o v i n g F o r these k i n e t i c beings C a n h a r d l y keep still so Y o u better be o n t o p of y o u r g a m e A n d use y o u r smarts a n d w i l l A n d guide the t r a i n before it derails  Week Three W h a t is this that you've f o u n d ? W e m a y have c o m m o n g r o u n d After all A s y o u notice h o w easily I step i n a n d steer y o u away F r o m a disastrous fall A n d n o w y o u are starting to see T e a c h i n g requires subject k n o w l e d g e B u t j u s t as m u c h it needs strategy A n d i n t u i t i o n a n d subtlety T o fly a n d i n s p i r e respectfully A n d n o w I sense A change i n the game You're watching and talking A n d g l e a n i n g m y ideas A n d I too A m o p e n to y o u F o r y o u have m u c h T o teach m e as w e l l So let us w o r k as one T h e o l d a n d the y o u n g A n d tap out t h i s t i m e F o r a l l its w o r t h T o play i n one of T h e greatest s h o w s o h earth  T h e t h i r d b l o c k of the day is m y b a n d class of 43 grade 8's. I have s c h e d u l e d a test f o r t h i s b l o c k . I'm i n i t i a l l y i n t e r r u p t e d b y a visit f r o m a p e r s o n f r o m facilities. T h e c h i l d r e n set u p t h e i r i n s t r u m e n t s a n d f u r i o u s l y practise the test piece w h i l e I say h e l l o to C r a i g . I've k n o w n C r a i g f o r a n u m b e r of years. C r a i g is a s m i l i n g , m i d d l e - a g e d t r a d e s m a n w h o is often assigned repair a n d r e s t o r a t i o n j o b s at o u r s c h o o l . D u e to cutbacks, he u s u a l l y delivers m a i l a n d parcels for the s c h o o l district, b u t today he is b u s y m e a s u r i n g o u r w i n d o w s i n the m u s i c portable. H e w i l l b r i n g to closure a subject of stress for m e . T w o years ago, one of the n a r r o w m u s i c portable  74  w i n d o w s was b r o k e n b y thieves w h o p r o c e e d e d to steal a n u m b e r of i n s t r u m e n t s . A l t h o u g h facilities i n s t a l l e d a m o t i o n sensor to capture a n d deter f u t u r e b r e a k - i n s , I a s k e d for s o m e subtle w h i t e bars to be p l a c e d across the w i n d o w s i n s u c h a w a y as to b l o c k entry. T h i s m e a s u r e is b e i n g i m p l e m e n t e d j u s t at the right t i m e as I have h e a r d that m u s i c r o o m s i n S u r r e y a n d B u r n a b y have b e e n r o b b e d . A f t e r a n s w e r i n g C r a i g ' s design questions, I m o v e q u i c k l y to start the class. I a m t h w a r t e d again as h a l f a d o z e n G r a d e 8 students r u n u p to m e . T h e y are a l l f i l l e d w i t h reasons w h y they s h o u l d n ' t be tested today. S o m e s e e m l e g i t i m a t e a n d have b r o u g h t notes f r o m h o m e . O t h e r s are l a c k i n g the d o c u m e n t a t i o n a n d are begging for special t r e a t m e n t . T h i s is really h a r d for m e . T o reduce t h i s k i n d of negotiation, I p e r e n n i a l l y r e v i e w a h a n d - o u t e n t i t l e d "Tests a n d Test P r o t o c o l . " T h i s is to m a k e a f l a w e d process as fair as possible.  Tests  and  Test  Protocol  1.  FIVE TO SEVEN DAYS NOTICE OF A TEST WILL B E GIVEN.  2.  TESTS W I L L O N L Y B E O N M A T E R I A L STUDIED IN CLASS.  T E S T S A R E O U T O F 25 M A R K S A N D A R E B A S E D O N T H E P L A Y I N G O F CORRECT: NOTES, RHYTHM, ARTICULATION, DYNAMICS, A N D TONE, TUNING, POSTURE, A N D A PROJECTION OF T H E UNDERLYING E M O T I O N A L M E S S A G E I N T H E P I E C E , (IE- T H E " S P I R I T " O F T H E P I E C E ) . 3.  4.  5.  IF Y O U W A N T H E L P O R A N O P I N I O N O N H O W Y O U W O U L D B E G R A D E D , P L E A S E A R R A N G E A M E E T I N G W I T H M R . T. N O L A T E R T H A N 48 H O U R S P R I O R T O T H E T E S T . M R . T. W O U L D B E H A P P Y T O A S S I S T Y O U ! Y O U M A Y H A V E T W O "TRYS" IN A R O W A T T H E MATERIAL.  75  6.  IF Y O U A R E SICK, Y O U M U S T P R E S E N T A H A N D W R I T T E N N O T E F R O M Y O U R PARENT/GUARDIAN. THIS NOTE MUST INCLUDE A SIGNATURE A N D A PHONE NUMBER. MR. TWILL PHONE HOME!  7.  IF, F O R S O M E R E A S O N , Y O U A R E P R E S E N T , B U T A R E U N P R E P A R E D T O PLAY T H E TEST, (EG- FORGOT INSTRUMENT, FORGOT MUSIC, FORGOT REEDS, CORDS, ETC. OR A R E S U D D E N L Y FEELING POORLY), Y O U W I L L LOSE 5 MARKS FOR EACH CONSECUTIVE DAY THAT Y O U DO NOT PLAY T H E TEST.  8.  THOSE INDIVIDUALS W H O "SKIP" T H E CLASS O N T H E DAY OF T H E TEST, WILL, IN A C C O R D A N C E W I T H SCHOOL POLICY, RECEIVE A N AUTOMATIC "o" O N T H E QUIZ. BE READY TO PLAY O N T H E ASSIGNED TEST DAY. PLEASE DO NOT A S K F O R A T I M E E X T E N S I O N , O R A R E T E S T . IT'S N O T F A I R T O T H E O T H E R S . R E M E M B E R - A N Y O N E W H O P R A C T I S E S 30 M I N U T E S A N I G H T , 5 D A Y S A W E E K W I L L H A V E LITTLE T R O U B L E M A I N T A I N I N G A FIRST CLASS M A R K IN THIS COURSE.  GOOD LUCK!  M R . T.  A s I review this list, I a m s t r u c k at the n u m b e r of issues addressed as w e l l as the general c o m p l e x i t y of t h i s f o r m . It is really the antithesis o f m y t e a c h i n g style. In m y h a n d o u t s , I strive for clarity a n d s i m p l i c i t y . H e r e , I have f a i l e d . I n fact, I a m r e m i n d e d of a n episode encapsulated b y G a r y L a r s o n i n the " F a r S i d e " cartoons. In t h i s p a r t i c u l a r c a r t o o n , a n o l d , e x p e r i e n c e d e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l teacher has w r i t t e n o n the b o a r d a list of do's a n d d o n ' t s - m u c h l i k e this one. In the c a r t o o n , the list is endless a n d absolutely r i d i c u l o u s i n d e t a i l . It is an extremely f u n n y a n d a b s u r d c a r t o o n w h o s e potency is d e r i v e d f r o m s o m e c o n n e c t i o n to the t r u t h . O v e r the years of t e a c h i n g , the o l d teacher has h e a r d j u s t about every excuse a n d w i t n e s s e d j u s t about every possible slip i n b e h a v i o r . T h e r i d i c u l o u s list is h e r a t t e m p t at class control.  76  M y h a n d o u t has the sense of a legal d o c u m e n t . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , I have f o u n d that at every test, the G r a d e 8's have a r a s h of sickness ( a l t h o u g h t h e y are w e l l e n o u g h to attend school) a n d a n e p i d e m i c of forgetfulness. W h a t is even m o r e f r u s t r a t i n g is that the students w i l l aggressively argue f o r t h e i r " r i g h t " to not be tested. S o , i n o r d e r to protect m y s e l f f r o m b e i n g accused o f b e i n g u n f a i r , I have c o n s t r u c t e d this p r o t o c o l . T h i s clarifies the " r u l e s " a r o u n d testing. I never s p r i n g tests o n t h e m . I encourage students to see m e to p r e p f o r the tests. I talk a b o u t what I a m m a r k i n g o n i n great detail w i t h v o l u n t e e r s p l a y i n g a m o c k test. C h i l d r e n can be excused f r o m tests, b u t a note m u s t a c c o m p a n y it. F i n a l l y , I use a n audiotape to r e c o r d the test days so that I c a n e x p l a i n i n detail to upset students a n d parents the areas o f competence a n d the areas that n e e d m o r e w o r k . H a v i n g s a i d all t h i s , m o s t of the students receive first class m a r k s i n m y b a n d classes. B y grade 9, m o s t students c a n guess w i t h i n h a l f a m a r k , w h a t a n y student p e r f o r m a n c e w i l l be w o r t h . I use t h i s system f o r every class, w i t h the e x c e p t i o n of the R & B class. I n t h i s senior class, I a l l o w the c h i l d r e n to contribute to the f i n a l grade t h r o u g h peere v a l u a t i o n . Peers d e t e r m i n e t w o m a r k s - a n effort m a r k a n d a s k i l l s o r r e s u l t - b a s e d m a r k f o r every student i n the class. I d o the s a m e f o r each student. T h e peerassessed m a r k s are averaged out so I e n d u p w i t h a class perspective of each student's effort a n d a results m a r k . These t w o m a r k s are a d d e d together w i t h m y assessment of each student's effort a n d results m a r k . T h e average of these f o u r m a r k s gives m e a f i n a l m a r k for t h e i r report cards. In u s i n g t h i s s y s t e m , I a c k n o w l e d g e that it w e i g h s h e a v i l y o n effort. B u t I w a n t the students to take the risks n e e d e d to meet the challenges of the course a n d c o n s e q u e n t l y g r o w as  77  m u s i c i a n s . L e a r n i n g t o play b y ear is a very u n n e r v i n g prospect f o r m a n y students. I believe as a m u s i c educator that children must move from being "paper"  dependent to becoming explorers of sound who are open to other systems of learning music. T h i s is h o w m u s i c o r i g i n a l l y a n d organically c a m e t o be a n d still i s the m o d u s o p e r a n d i f o r a l o t of the w o r l d . T h e class ends a n d it is l u n c h t i m e . I collect m y l u n c h f r o m m y office a n d start t o m a k e m y way t o the staff r o o m . A s I o p e n m y d o o r t o leave m y office, m y eye catches s o m e o f m y o w n graffiti. T h e c h i l d r e n can't see it, b u t I can't m i s s it w h e n e v e r I leave m y office. A t the t o p of the d o o r , s c r a w l e d i n b l a c k m a r k e r i s "Learning should be fun!" T h i s s i m p l e p h r a s e eloquently describes the p i v o t a l concept o f m y t e a c h i n g p h i l o s o p h y . I believe t h a t c h i l d r e n l e a r n faster a n d retain m o r e w h e n there is j o y a n d p a s s i o n attached t o the lesson-regardless of the content. I m p l i c i t i n that statement is that there is a n u n d e r l y i n g r h y t h m a n d m o m e n t u m t o any g o o d teaching. I believe that even s o m e of the driest topics c a n be r e - f o r m a t t e d t o be delivered i n m o r e m e a n i n g f u l ways t o c h i l d r e n . A s m y eyes scan d o w n w a r d o n the door, the next s c r a w l comes i n t o v i e w . It reads: "Act neutral on the obvious."This  cryptic message is w r i t t e n t o h e l p m e keep  professional at points w h e n I c o u l d lose it. O n e of the ways I can lose m y p r o f e s s i o n a l edge is b y a s s u m i n g expectations of behaviors that I have not addressed i n class. S o m e t i m e s i n the past I w o u l d f i n d m y s e l f s u r p r i s e d at acts o f totally i n a p p r o p r i a t e b e h a v i o r o r the l a c k of the most f u n d a m e n t a l social s k i l l s o f certain students. I w o u l d f i n d m y s e l f w a n t i n g t o r e s p o n d t o these o b v i o u s l y i n a p p r o p r i a t e actions b y saying, " Y o u s h o u l d k n o w better...." N o w , i n the 2 1  s t  C e n t u r y , w i t h a diverse m u l t i - c u l t u r a l clientele that often c o m e f r o m c o m p r o m i s e d  78  f a m i l y s i t u a t i o n s , I t e n d to act i n a v e r y n e u t r a l m a n n e r to even the m o s t o u t l a n d i s h acts of i n a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s a n d c a l m l y e x p l a i n o u r school's expectations— hence, " A c t n e u t r a l o n the o b v i o u s . " A s I a m l e a v i n g m y office, t w o students enter to ask a q u e s t i o n . A s t h e y leave, they spot o l d p r o m o photos of the b a n d s that I p l a y e d w i t h i n m y p r o f e s s i o n a l days. T h e y l a u g h c r a z i l y w h e n they f i n d m e w i t h l o n g h a i r a n d r o c k attire. T h e experience of p r o f e s s i o n a l p l a y i n g has b e e n a n i n v a l u a b l e t o o l i n m y arsenal of t e a c h i n g strategies. M y entire m u s i c a l career has b e e n a h y b r i d affair. A l t h o u g h I h e a r d a lot of m u s i c at o u r h o u s e w h e n I w a s g r o w i n g u p , I was n o t m o t i v a t e d to l e a r n m u s i c u n t i l the Beatles hit the airwaves. T h i s l e d to a 2 0 - y e a r j o u r n e y i n t o rock, b l u e s , R & B a n d p o p m u s i c . W h e n I came out of p r o f e s s i o n a l p l a y i n g to a t t e n d U B C ' s s c h o o l of m u s i c , I e n d e d u p w i t h a degree i n classical m u s i c . A s I w a s u n f a m i l i a r w i t h this genre, I m a j o r e d i n m u s i e o l o g y so that I c o u l d g a i n a w i d e h i s t o r i c a l perspective. N o w I a m v e r y t a k e n w i t h j a z z m u s i c a n d I a m s t u d y i n g it at h o m e . I have t a k e n these v a r i o u s genres a n d m o l d e d a three-way s y s t e m f o r m y t e a c h i n g . I teach classical m u s i c , j a z z a n d R & B . A n d so, after the j u n i o r years of generic s k i l l b u i l d i n g , grade 1 0 students a u d i t i o n f o r the orchestra class, the v a r i o u s j a z z ensembles o r the R & B class. M y student teacher a n d I h e a d u p to the cafeteria. W e have about 2 5 m i n u t e s to eat before we m u s t drive to o u r first feeder s c h o o l . I t r e m e n d o u s l y enjoy m y p r e c i o u s t i m e w i t h the staff u p s t a i r s . It is " a d u l t " t i m e i n a day saturated w i t h youngsters. There is a w o n d e r f u l array of characters at the table. K r i s t y is the l i b r a r i a n a n d R o b e r t teaches E n g l i s h . H a r r y u s e d to be a n e d i t o r a n d b o o k  79  p u b l i s h e r i n a n o t h e r life. D o u g is w o r k i n g p a r t - t i m e as a c h e m i s t r y teacher so that he c a n c o m p l e t e h i s masters' degree at R o y a l R h o d e s . R i g h t n o w , I l i k e to sit next to B r i a n , o u r d r a m a teacher. H e a n d I are g o i n g t h r o u g h a t e a c h i n g rite o f passagethe " h i g h s c h o o l m u s i c a l " a n d w e n e e d to be close for o u r o w n p r e s e r v a t i o n . A t t e m p t i n g to m o u n t a p r o f e s s i o n a l B r o a d w a y m u s i c a l that was not d e s i g n e d i n any w a y for h i g h s c h o o l o r a m a t e u r actors, m u s i c i a n s , o r t e c h n i c i a n s is p o t e n t i a l l y a n extr em ely stressful s i t u a t i o n . It is f i n a n c i a l l y stressful a n d pedagogically stressful. In fact, one c o u l d l a u n c h a n a r g u m e n t that it is a v e r y u n s o u n d activity for any m u s i c student to attempt. S o m e s c h o o l s , however, have l o n g - s t a n d i n g t r a d i t i o n s of h i g h s c h o o l m u s i c a l s . M y s c h o o l has been p r o d u c i n g t h e m since it o p e n e d i n t h e early 1 9 6 0 ' s . W h e n I started i n 1 9 8 8 , we p r o d u c e d f o u r m u s i c a l s i n f o u r years. A f t e r that, I successfully a r g u e d to have a m u s i c a l every other year a n d a b a n d t r i p o n the off years. A l t h o u g h the m u s i c a l s are a great experience f o r those o n stage^ it is a lot o f u n r e w a r d i n g w o r k for the pit m u s i c i a n s . Students s p e n d u n t o l d h o u r s s t r u g g l i n g w i t h parts that r e q u i r e exacting a n d expert r e a d i n g s k i l l s . O f t e n , the brass parts r e q u i r e players w i t h exceedingly h i g h range. A r i d a n i r r i t a t i n g feature for a m a t e u r s is the constant t r a n s p o s i t i o n s o f songs i n t o v e r y difficult k e y signatures. T h e m u s i c is leased to us o n a m o n t h - t o - m o n t h basis. It is expensive to lease a n d so we w i l l have h a d access to the m u s i c f o r about 3 m o n t h s , p r i o r to s h o w t i m e . A t least i n the o r i g i n a l s h o w s , the m u s i c i a n s were w e l l p a i d for t h e i r efforts. M a n y N e w Y o r k p r o s spent t h e i r careers i n the cavernous holes o f the B r o a d w a y theatres. In l i e u o f m o n e y , B r i a n a n d I have created other " w i n s " f o r the m u s i c students. W e p u t t h e m u p o n stage. W i t h this a p p r o a c h , f r i e n d s a n d parents c a n  80  see the b a n d students. T h e m u s i c i a n s are also featured w i t h i n d i v i d u a l p i c t u r e s a n d w r i t e - u p s i n the p r o g r a m m e . T h r o u g h these m e a n s , the student m u s i c i a n s feel m u c h m o r e i n c l u d e d i n the p r o d u c t i o n . T h i s year, we are p r o d u c i n g " S o u t h P a c i f i c " O n e of m y strategies f o r i m p r o v i n g the b a n d ' s p e r f o r m a n c e a n d h e l p i n g the d a n c e r s a n d singers is to r e c o r d the i n s t r u m e n t a l parts of the m u s i c as s o o n as the b a n d c a n get t h r o u g h it. I j u s t f i n i s h e d r e c o r d i n g the b a n d . N o w the singers w i l l have " b e d " t r a c k s t o s i n g a n d practise w i t h a n d the dancers w i l l be able to adjust to the b a n d t e m p o s a n d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the m u s i c . T h e m u s i c i a n s a n d I w i l l c r i t i c a l l y r e v i e w the r e c o r d i n g a n d w o r k t o fix p r o b l e m s . If t i m e p e r m i t s , we w i l l d o a s e c o n d r u n of r e c o r d i n g . P r i o r to that, o n S p r i n g B r e a k , I w i l l r e c o r d the singers so t h a t they m a y have a g o o d m i r r o r of their p e r f o r m a n c e to analyze I rehearse the m u s i c a l orchestra u n t i l it has actually t r a n s c e n d s w h a t we t h o u g h t we c o u l d achieve. O n the last week of rehearsals, I m a k e sure that everyone has the s p e a k i n g cues for starting each m u s i c a l part w r i t t e n i n t h e i r m u s i c . T h e n I ask a b a n d m e m b e r (usually the d r u m m e r ) , to count i n the cues. W i t h the d r u m m e r starting each n u m b e r , I have literally h a n d e d over the m u s i c a l to the students. N o w there is no rteed for a c o n d u c t o r . I f i n d that t h i s f i n a l step has s o m e risks, but b y p u l l i n g the teacher out of the e q u a t i o n , the m a t u r i t y of the b a n d m e m b e r s b l o o m s l i k e t u l i p s o n a s p r i n g day. S e n i o r students crave a chance to lead b y themselves. A n d successful risk t a k i n g i n l e a d e r s h i p at this age, I believe, c a n be a l i f e - a l t e r i n g experience. I j u s t stack the deck a bit, as I t r a i n the orchestra so t h o r o u g h l y , that they a u t o m a t i c a l l y p l a y everything w i t h m y exact interpretation of the m u s i c . S t i l l , the r i s k s a n d  81  r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s to c o m e i n correctly a n d o n t i m e are s t i l l real. A n d a l t h o u g h I a m i n the theatre, I a m not w i t h i n easy f o r any crisis as I a m u s u a l l y m i x i n g the b a n d o n the s o u n d b o a r d at the f r o n t of the h a l l . O u r last p r o d u c t i o n step w i l l be k n i t t i n g the m u s i c i a n s , actors, d a n c e r s , singers a n d t e c h n i c i a n s i n t o one presentable p r o d u c t . T h i s is called " r u n n i n g the m u s i c a l . " W h e n y o u r u n a m u s i c a l , certain energy a n d r h y t h m emanates f r o m the a m a l g a m of the v a r i o u s parts. T h i s f l o w a n d focus w i l l m a k e o r destroy a m u s i c a l . D r o p s i n p a c i n g a n d e m o t i o n j u s t create a n o t h e r " b a d " s c h o o l m u s i c a l that everybody politely suffers t h r o u g h . Great f l o w a n d energy c a n take the m u s i c a l b e y o n d the expectations of any h i g h s c h o o l p r o d u c t i o n . A n d so B r i a n a n d I e n d u p t a l k i n g about details of the m u s i c a l before K e r r y a n d I h u r r y to the car to get to o u r feeder s c h o o l . T o d a y , we teach the afternoon b l o c k at E c o l e P a u l J o n e s . T h i s is one of three feeder schools that I service i n the a f t e r n o o n b l o c k . W h e n I i n i t i a l l y started w o r k i n g t h i s j o b , Sea V i e w , 1 was a grade 7-12 s c h o o l . U n l i k e m a n y other districts, there was n o w i l l to s u p p o r t b a n d p r o g r a m s at a n elementary level. S o , b e g i n n i n g b a n d was taught at G r a d e 7 i n Sea V i e w , A p p r o x i m a t e l y 6 years ago, the district r e m o v e d the grade 7's f r o m the h i g h s c h o o l a n d put t h e m back i n t o the e l e m e n t a r y schools. I was v e r y c o n c e r n e d about the f u t u r e of the m u s i c p r o g r a m at Sea V i e w . I believe that students need to start l e a r n i n g a m u s i c a l i n s t r u m e n t before puberty. C o n s e q u e n t l y , I have been d r i v i n g to the feeder schools ever since this change. It is t i r i n g b e i n g i t i n e r a n t after all these years, b u t I have l e a r n e d , i n m y district, that if I don't l o o k after a n d l o b b y f o r m y p r o g r a m , it w i l l q u i c k l y disappear.  82  T h e b e g i n n e r b a n d classes are the m o s t c h a l l e n g i n g p a r t o f the day. T h e y d e m a n d energy, o r g a n i z a t i o n a n d i n f i n i t e patience. I m u s t c o n t r o l the class, b u t at the s a m e t i m e o p t i m i z e the f u n so that the c h i l d r e n w i l l sense v a l u e i n l e a r n i n g a n i n s t r u m e n t a n d choose to carry o n to s t u d y it at h i g h s c h o o l . M y classes are v e r y h i g h p a c e d . In J a n u a r y , I start t e a c h i n g t h e m r o c k a n d r o l l classics f r o m the ' 5 0 ' s . T h e k i d s l o v e songs l i k e " L a B a m b a , " " T e q u i l a " a n d " T h e L o c o m o t i o n . " If I c a n get the k i d s to " r o c k " I u s u a l l y c a n expect a g o o d n u m b e r to c o n t i n u e i n G r a d e 8 at Sea View. A t 3 : 0 0 o'clock I have about 15 m i n u t e s d o w n t i m e before I start m y afters c h o o l j a z z i m p r o v i s a t i o n e n s e m b l e s . I have a j u n i o r a n d a s e n i o r e n s e m b l e . I r u n these after s c h o o l b a n d s as e n r i c h e d p r o g r a m s f o r gifted l e a r n e r s . M y a p p r o a c h to m a x i m i z i n g the l e a r n i n g success of m y p r o g r a m is as f o l l o w s :  1.  T h e b u l k o f the students l e a r n i n the c l a s s r o o m setting. I pace m y y e a r l y o u t c o m e s o n the l e a r n i n g r h y t h m s o f each class so that the b u l k o f the students succeed to achieve m y d e f i n e d o u t c o m e s .  2.  C h i l d r e n w h o c a n n o t meet the r h y t h m o f the class l e a r n i n g are i n v i t e d f o r c o n t i n u e d b e f o r e - s c h o o l private h e l p f r o m m e .  3.  Students w h o clearly need challenge b e y o n d the c l a s s r o o m are i n v i t e d to meet the challenge o f l e a r n i n g j a z z i m p r o v i s a t i o n i n a n e x t r a - c u r r i c u l a r setting w i t h other gifted students. A n d s o , t h r o u g h these before a n d after s c h o o l sessions, I feel that I've m a d e s o m e i m p r o v e m e n t o n the b u l k l e a r n i n g f o r m u l a o f p u b l i c e d u c a t i o n . A l t h o u g h I d o n ' t get p a i d for these services, I sleep better at n i g h t k n o w i n g that there is o p p o r t u n i t y f o r m y students to either catch u p o r be c h a l l e n g e d t h r o u g h m u s i c program.  83  The junior  a n d senior  after-school  jazz  ensembles  are t r e m e n d o u s l y  r e w a r d i n g f o r m e . I love t e a c h i n g at a n " a d v a n c e d " l e v e l . These students receive college level theory. It i s really nice t o be t e a c h i n g a n d p l a y i n g w i t h o u t t h e issues o f d i s c i p l i n e . T h e s e n i o r jazz e n s e m b l e w i t h its h a r d b o p a n d " K i n d o f B l u e " repertoire has b e c o m e a favorite i n o u r district f o r receptions a n d gatherings that require m u s i c that creates a pleasant a m b i e n c e . These e n s e m b l e s take u p m y after-school t i m e f o r t w o days a week. O n o t h e r days, after s c h o o l , I attend M a s t e r ' s classes, rehearse f o r t h i s year's m u s i c a l , o r w o r k o n o u r yearly b a n d t r i p . T h i s ends t h e day. M y h e a d s w i m s f r o m m u l t i - t a s k i n g . T h e s u n i s setting a n d I'm o f f f o r the f i n a l leg o f m y w o r k d a y , t h e 5 0 - k i l o m e t e r battle h o m e . S o o n I'll b e : Deep i n the g r i d a n d l o c k o f 9 t o 5 E a t i n g the f u m e s a n d c u r s i n g b u f f o o n s In a p a n i c t o get off the t a r F o r d o m e s t i c abyss i n m y little house i n t h e s u b W i t h its 7 0 ' s b i g engine t i m e w a r p a n d N e i g h b o r s w h o are w h i t e - r i g h t o f A r n o l d . . . . . . a n d I w i l l start the next part o f m y day-the one w i t h m y f a m i l y . I leave m y w o r k at w o r k u n t i l I r e t u r n once again i n the p r e - d a w n h o u r s t o d e s c e n d the l o n g g y m b l e a c h e r stairs a n d start another day.  A Trilogy of Developmental Stories The Story  of "The Blues Brothers—a  Musical"  C h a r l i e P h i l l i p s a n d I h a d p l a y e d together i n a l o t o f b a n d s w h e n w e were m u c h younger. N o w , as professional educators, w e were once again w o r k i n g as a t e a m . T h i s t i m e it was i n the roles o f m u s i c teacher a n d d r a m a teacher.  84  I h a d already b e e n t e a c h i n g m u s i c at Sea V i e w f o r five years p r i o r to C h a r l i e b e c o m i n g the d r a m a teacher. D u r i n g this t e n u r e , I h a d e s t a b l i s h e d m y s e l f i n m y role a n d m y p e r s o n a l p r i o r i t i e s , interests a n d passions were starting to surface i n the p r o g r a m . O n e t r a d i t i o n that I h a d to deal w i t h was a c o m m u n i t y expectation f o r a m u s i c a l . I was not very k e e n o n m u s i c a l s , b u t as a n e w teacher, I w a s quite concerned with local politics and policies. Consequently, I h a d , i n partnership w i t h the p r e v i o u s d r a m a teachers, p r o d u c e d " F i d d l e r o n the R o o f , " " T h e S o u n d o f Music," "Grease" and "Bye-bye Birdie." W i t h C h a r l i e t a k i n g o n the p o s i t i o n o f d r a m a teacher, I k n e w that I w o u l d have to b e c o m e i n v e n t i v e i n m y a p p r o a c h to the m u s i c a l . C h a r l i e w a s a m o d e r n v i s i o n a r y w h o possessed O l y m p i a n energy a n d d e d i c a t i o n to h i s j o b . I k n e w that he h a d n o t i m e f o r " o l d " B r o a d w a y m u s i c a l s that t e n d e d to represent v a l u e s a n d s e n t i m e n t s o f the past. I also k n e w that C h a r l i e was crazy a b o u t R h y t h m a n d B l u e s u r b a n A f r o - A m e r i c a n s o u l m u s i c f r o m the 1 9 6 0 ' s - so m u c h s o , that I h a d c o n n e c t e d h i m w i t h a " B l u e s B r o t h e r s " t r i b u t e b a n d . C h a r l i e l o v e d to p e r f o r m o n h i s H a m m o n d B3 o r g a n w i t h a b a n d that p a r o d i e d the c o m e d i e story o f the m o v i e that stared J o h n B e l o u s h i a n d D a n A c k r o y d . " H o w about creating " T h e B l u e s B r o t h e r s — a _ M u s i c a l , " I suggested, p u t t i n g i n t o m y voice a positive s p i n . " W e c o u l d w r i t e o u r o w n script over a b a c k g r o u n d o f f a m o u s R & B songs. W h y , y o u c o u l d even p l a y the B3 i n the m u s i c a l ! " T h e creative p o t e n t i a l of this s i t u a t i o n was w a y too great for a c h a m p i o n e d u c a t o r l i k e C h a r l i e to pass o n .  85  "I w a n t to a d d J o h n P e p p a r d to the t e a m , " he s a i d . J o h n was a y o u n g S o c i a l Studies teacher at the s c h o o l . J o h n l o v e d C h a r l i e ' s energy a n d v i s i o n a n d t r i e d to m o d e l his style after C h a r l i e . " J o h n has b e e n t a k i n g courses o n h o w to w r i t e screen plays for T e l e v i s i o n , " C h a r l i e c o n t i n u e d . "I w i l l w o r k w i t h h i m o n the script. I w i l l also be the p r o d u c e r a n d set designer. M i c h a e l , y o u , o f course, w i l l be the m u s i c director." C r e a t i n g the m u s i c a l w o u l d be c h a l l e n g i n g . U s u a l l y the songwriters a n d lyricists c o m p o s e songs that are generated f r o m a l i b r e t t o o r text. T h e p u r p o s e s of the songs are m a n y . F o r e x a m p l e , the songs c a n describe w h a t has passed i n the action o r w h a t e m o t i o n s the singer o r the g r o u p is e x p e r i e n c i n g . Songs c a n also m o v e the plot f o r w a r d b y d e t a i l i n g w h a t w i l l h a p p e n next. W e h a d a u n i q u e s i t u a t i o n i n that the songs a n d t h e i r l y r i c stories were already c o m p o s e d . F u r t h e r m o r e , there was no i n t e n t i o n a l t h e m a t i c l i n k a g e b e t w e e n these R & B hits. O u r first step was to c o m p i l e a n u m b e r o f o u t s t a n d i n g R & B hits. I d u g t h o u g h m y C D ' s a n d c o n s t r u c t e d a n anthology that i n c l u d e d artists l i k e W i l s o n Pickett, S a m a n d D a v e , A r e t h a F r a n k l i n , J a m e s B r o w n , S m o k e y R o b i n s o n , T h e F o u r T o p s , to n a m e a few. J o h n took t h i s collection a n d n o t a t e d the themes of the l y r i c s f o r each song. T h e n , b y l u c k a n d creativity, he was able to see a p o t e n t i a l " c o h e r e n c e " i n a n u m b e r of the songs. T o his credit, J o h n , w i t h C h a r l i e ' s s u p p o r t , c o n s t r u c t e d a fine libretto. T h e story e n d e d u p b e i n g s t r o n g i n itself, w i t h n o c o n n e c t i o n , except i n n a m e to the o r i g i n a l " B l u e s B r o t h e r s " m o v i e script. O n c e J o h n h a d n a r r o w e d d o w n the list to those songs that w o u l d be i n the m u s i c a l , it was m y j o b to transcribe all the parts of all the songs a n d t h e n teach t h e m to m y stage b a n d . T h i s represented a lot of w o r k . F o r t u n a t e l y , I h a d a student  86  teacher. I recall countless h o u r s i n m y s c h o o l office t r a n s c r i b i n g . I u s e d h e a d p h o n e s as I fought to b l o c k out the s o u n d s of the classes w h i l e the student teacher taught. T h e parts were a l l h a n d w r i t t e n . A s I f i n i s h e d each s o n g , I w o u l d t h e n p r o c e e d to teach t h e m to m y s e n i o r stage b a n d class. T h e class s e e m e d v e r y interested i n the m a t e r i a l a n d it was a n easy fit f o r the i n s t r u m e n t a t i o n as m o s t R & B records use h o r n s as w e l l as guitar, d r u m s , bass a n d k e y b o a r d s . W e h a d s o m e real " f i n d s " i n o u r casting. A l t h o u g h we t h o u g h t w e k n e w a l l the a c t o r / s i n g e r s i n the s c h o o l , we were delighted to discover a y o u n g l e a d i n g m a n , J a m e s O l e n . J a m e s was a football player, w h o h a d not w o r k e d w i t h the fine arts d e p a r t m e n t . T h e r e were three c o m p o n e n t s to the casting calls. T h e first c o m p o n e n t was a d r a m a t i c r e a d i n g . T h e s e c o n d c o m p o n e n t was a dance n u m b e r . F i n a l l y , the student h a d to s i n g a s o n g . W e were s h o c k e d to discover that J a m e s s o u n d e d exactly l i k e the y o u n g m a l e singer w h o stared i n the R & B m o v i e " T h e C o m m i t m e n t s . " W e p a i r e d u p J a m e s w i t h another s t r o n g singer, L u k e G o o d a l l . T h e t w o m a d e a m a g i c a l t e a m . O t h e r characters q u i c k l y fell i n t o place. T h e d r a m a was starting to take shape. A n o t h e r h u r d l e to j u m p was that of s e c u r i n g a theatre. U n f o r t u n a t e l y , o u r s c h o o l d i d not have a p r o p e r theatre. W e h a d a large g y m that h a d a stage at one e n d . C h a r l i e was not h a p p y w i t h t h i s venue. E v e r since he started t e a c h i n g , C h a r l i e has always t r i e d to e n v i s i o n bigger a n d m o r e exciting l e a r n i n g experiences for c h i l d r e n . So it d i d not c o m e as a s u r p r i s e to l e a r n that he h a d t a l k e d the o w n e r o f the P a r k R o y a l c i n e m a s i n t o l o a n i n g us one o f his three c i n e m a s to rehearse a n d foist the p r o d u c t i o n .  N o w we h a d a script, m u s i c , cast o f actors, a n d a p e r f o r m a n c e v e n u e . W e set u p a n intensive practice schedule t o k n i t together the i n d i v i d u a l w o r k of the actors, dancers, a n d b a n d . P u t t i n g a s h o w together so that it has a n energy a n d a p u l s e o f its o w n i s a c h a l l e n g i n g p r o p o s i t i o n . It is h a r d e n o u g h t o develop the students t o a q u a l i t y level either i n s i n g i n g , d a n c i n g , a c t i n g , o r p l a y i n g , b u t it is a d a u n t i n g task to put the i n d i v i d u a l parts together i n s u c h a w a y that the o v e r a l l s u m o f energy surpasses the t o t a l of the i n d i v i d u a l parts. W i t h t h i s s h o w , o u r level o f success s h o c k e d a l l of u s . T h e m u s i c a l d i d l a u n c h a n d develop an energy o f its o w n . B u t there w a s a n o t h e r factor for success that we u n d e r e s t i m a t e d . W e h a d n ' t really calculated the u n i v e r s a l a p p e a l o f R & B m u s i c . W e d i s c o v e r e d b o t h the parents a n d the students l o v e d this m u s i c . N o t o n l y d i d we have a s o l d - o u t r u n at the P a r k R o y a l c i n e m a , b u t , also, we e n d e d u p t a k i n g the p r o d u c t i o n d o w n t o w n a n d h a v i n g a successful r u n at the V o g u e Theatre. T h e t r e m e n d o u s success of this experience s p u r r e d the t e a c h i n g t e a m t o b e g i n a r u n o f o r i g i n a l m u s i c a l s w h e r e i n the m u s i c as w e l l as the librettos w a s conceived b y the t e a m . M y w o r k m o v e d t o i n c l u d e c o m p o s i t i o n as w e l l as b a n d d i r e c t i n g . B u t greatest i m p a c t o n m y p r o g r a m a n d m y career came f r o m a v i s i o n o f creating a class devoted t o a c u r r i c u l u m o f R & B m u s i c .  The Story of the Creation  of the Rhythm  and Blues  Class  A f t e r a s u m m e r o f reflection o n the success o f " T h e B l u e s B r o t h e r s - A M u s i c a l , " I d e c i d e d that I w a n t e d t o s w i t c h the focus o f m y senior stage b a n d class. I h a d b e e n quite frustrated w i t h the s t a n d a r d fare o f h i g h s c h o o l b a n d m u s i c . I felt  88  that it was staid a n d t i r e d a n d hopelessly out o f date. I d e c i d e d that I w a n t e d t o teach a class about R & B m u s i c . T o understand the reasoning behind this undertaking beyond the obvious success o f the m u s i c a l , I m u s t reveal s o m e m o r e o f m y values a n d reflections as a m u s i c i a n , educator a n d h u m a n . T h e f o l l o w i n g i s a n excerpt f r o m a n essay o f m i n e that was w r i t t e n as p a r t o f a n a s s i g n m e n t f o r a course o n A c t i o n R e s e a r c h .  The making of music has always held a very special place in my life. It has provided continuous challenge and rewards. Moreover, it has been a place of sanctuary and self-expression. From an early age, music making has consistently grounded and revitalized my spirit. In fact, it has been a world unto itself-a world of never ending joy, adventure, and learning. It has given me a platform to launch my priorities, my values and my point of view. It has allowed me a level of self-determination that would be hard to obtain in the real world. It is because of this rich, fulfilling, and multi-faceted experience that I determined I would spread this joy to others-I would become a teacher. Teaching my beloved subject in the public high school system was, initially, afar cry from my previous experience with music. In my naivety, I had not considered the non-musical issues, such as class control, dealing with parents, principals and school-based politics in general. Fortunately, over the years, I have developed strategies and learned skills that have helped me overcome these impediments. In fact, my program has become quite successful. One area, however, where I have only experienced limited success is in adjusting to the limitations of the curriculum-a curriculum that for the most part, tends to support the music from a past colonial culture. The band music curriculum in North American public schools has been dominated by the concert band genre and its associated repertoire. This is an old genre with roots in the British military tradition. The genre includes marches, anthems and a generous borrowing of repertoire from the classical and jazz idioms. Today's band teachers have virtually all grown up under the auspices of this system. Their values and formative notions ofpedagogy have been influenced by this system. Consequently, band programs in North America have been structured to deliver and maintain this style of music. So pervasive is this genre, one finds that high school jazz bands, who actually play a more modern and indigenous style and repertoire, are reduced in importance and viewed in schools as an add-on or adjunct to the concert band experience. Junior and senior concert bands are considered the pre-eminent bands in many schools. The concert band approach, though it is thorough, sequential and grounded in a good technical pedagogy, might benefit from a revitalization of the curriculum by some of the advances, both musically and technologically, of today's world. The main area of contention seems to be the repertoire itself. In my experience, concert band repertoire does not connect with young performers. It does not move them emotionally and, in general, the students do not connect with the underlying messages or the pulse of this music. This detachment seems quite  89  reasonable if one accepts the notion that music is one of the great purveyors and representatives of culture. Concert band music, for the most part does not reflect the culture of today. Few people, if any, in today's society listen to concert band music. One cannot find a "concert band" section in most CD stores. Students never enter my classroom listening to concert band music. I suggest that, for the most part, music teachers are teaching a historical form that is detached from the world, as we know it now. It comes as no surprise then that students are not reaping the wonderful rewards of playing music-the rewards that have consistently nourished and sustained my interest and drove me to teaching in the first place.  T h e c r e a t i o n o f a n R & B course i n i t i a l l y s e e m e d t o b e a s o l u t i o n to m y issues w i t h the c u r r i c u l u m as it was b e i n g taught i n m o s t h i g h s c h o o l s i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a . I h a d l e a r n e d t h r o u g h t h e m u s i c a l that t h e c h i l d r e n l o v e d R & B m u s i c . A l t h o u g h it is still n o t completely a current genre, it is m u c h closer t o today's m u s i c t h a n a n y concert o r stage b a n d repertoire c o u l d h o p e t o be a n d it uses b r a s s , so that it c a n b e o p e n t o lots o f m y students. W h e n I d e c i d e d to i m p l e m e n t t h i s i d e a , I'knew that it w a s c r i t i c a l t h a t I enlist s o m e o f the great singers f r o m the m u s i c a l . W i t h o u t t h e i r level o f talent, I d i d not t h i n k t h a t I c o u l d l a u n c h any k i n d of p r o g r a m that c o u l d p u b l i c l y p e r f o r m . A s fate w o u l d have it, J a m e s O l e n , o n e o f the t w o stars o f o u r s h o w , h a d a spare b l o c k that c o i n c i d e d w i t h the fledgling R & B class. F u r t h e r m o r e , t w o m o r e female singers f r o m the m u s i c a l were also able to alter t h e i r timetables t o a l l o w t h e m to j o i n . T h e class c o u l d fly! I w a n t e d this class to p a r r o t a l o t o f the experiences a n d m e m o r i e s that I h a d as a p r o f e s s i o n a l m u s i c i a n . W h e n I p l a y e d w i t h b a n d s i n V a n c o u v e r n i g h t c l u b s , f o r e x a m p l e , w e c o u l d n o t wait f o r t h e m u s i c o f the c u r r e n t rock a n d p o p hits t o b e p r i n t e d . Instead, w e l e a r n e d a l l the m a t e r i a l b y ear. If we h a d t r o u b l e , we w o u l d h e l p each other. A l s o , the s h o w h a d to be tight a n d p r o f e s s i o n a l , as there was m u c h  90  c o m p e t i t i o n f o r the gigs. A s is often the case, there were m a n y m o r e b a n d s i n the area t h a n there was w o r k . O f course, we h a d to l o o k g o o d as w e l l as s o u n d g o o d . A l t h o u g h n o t h i n g was really c h o r e o g r a p h e d , we still m o v e d o n stage a n d r o c k e d h a r d . W e h a d to connect w i t h the audience a n d take t h e m o n a m u s i c a l adventure every night. S o n g lists were carefully c o n s t r u c t e d a n d there were n o delays b e t w e e n songs, o r we w o u l d lose the dancers a n d the a t m o s p h e r e that we w e r e t r y i n g to create. F i n a l l y , there w a s a special b o n d that f o r m e d b e t w e e n the b a n d m e m b e r s . A l l of us w a n t e d to survive a n d s u c c e e d i n the b u s i n e s s . I r u n the class w i t h m u c h of the attitude a n d techniques that were e m p l o y e d d u r i n g m y p r o f e s s i o n a l tenure. T h e course is accessed t h r o u g h a u d i t i o n s . It is d o m i n a t e d b y G r a d e n a n d Gradei2 m u s i c students, m o s t of w h o have w o r k e d w i t h m e since G r a d e 7 b e g i n n e r b a n d a n d have g r o w n t h r o u g h the h i e r a r c h y of l e a r n i n g i n the Sea V i e w m u s i c p r o g r a m . A t the first class of each s c h o o l year, each student receives a C D o f a p p r o x i m a t e l y 22 songs. O n e of the o u t c o m e s of the course is for e a c h student to l e a r n t h e i r part for each of the songs. W e generally try to tackle a n e w s o n g every class o r two. Students i n i t i a l l y w o r k o n the assigned s o n g at h o m e , a n d p r o d u c e a short set of notes d e s c r i b i n g w h a t they were able to t r a n s c r i b e . I collect these notes. T h e y represent the effort m a d e b y each student to develop t h e i r ears. T h e effort is a c k n o w l e d g e d - n o t w h e t h e r the notes are right o r w r o n g . W e t h e n l o o k at the s o n g collectively, i n class. People b r e a k u p i n t e a m s to discuss t h e i r results a n d c o m e to a consensus o n h o w the s o n g w i l l be p l a y e d . T h e song is t h e n rehearsed. V o c a l s are a d d e d ; h a r m o n i e s a n d dance m o v e s are c o n s t r u c t e d . W h e n the s o n g j e l l s , it is a d d e d to a rotating p l a y list of songs that the students p l a y each class..  91  T h e correct attitude is e m p h a s i z e d . Students m u s t be p u n c t u a l a n d ready t o w o r k i n a m a t u r e a n d serious m a n n e r . O f t e n there w i l l b e " d o w n t i m e " w h e r e o n e section o f t h e b a n d has t o fix a p r o b l e m . T h e rest o f the b a n d m u s t act m a t u r e l y and not j a m or disrupt the few w h o need help. T h e toughest part o f the m u s i c i s t o p l a y it w i t h e n o u g h c o n c e n t r a t i o n a n d feeling. D u e t o the deceptively s i m p l y f o r m a n d structure o f the m u s i c , students i n i t i a l l y get l u l l e d i n t o b e l i e v i n g that the m u s i c is very easy. T h i s results i n a b r e a k i n c o n c e n t r a t i o n a n d a d r o p o f the " g r o o v e " a n d feeling o f the song. B e g i n n i n g R & B players d o n o t always recognize that t h e feeling o f the s o n g is n o t right. I w o r k h a r d to s u p p o r t t h e m t o realize w h e n they have lost t h e " g r o o v e . " B a n d m e m b e r s are actively e n c o u r a g e d t o get t o k n o w a n d , p e r h a p s , b e f r i e n d other b a n d m e m b e r s . T h e a m o u n t o f i n t e r n a l c o h e s i o n seems t o d i r e c t l y i m p r o v e t h e level o f p e r f o r m a n c e . T o s u p p o r t t h i s n o t i o n , t h e b a n d often h a s d i n n e r s together after gigs a n d generally takes a b a n d t r i p each year. Students m u s t be ready t o participate i n these e x t r a - c u r r i c u l a r activities. M y role is o n e o f facilitator. I have n o desire t o police t h e b a n d ' s b e h a v i o r , as d o i n g so w o u l d t h r o w the class i n t o a t r a d i t i o n a l f r a m e a n d the objectives o f d e v e l o p i n g l e a d e r s h i p , m a t u r i t y , a n d creative p r o b l e m s o l v i n g c o u l d be p l a c e d i n j e o p a r d y . T o s u p p o r t the n o t i o n o f teacher as facilitator a n d t e c h n i c a l a i d , each student a l o n g w i t h t h e i r parents sign a contract o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g a n d c o m m i t m e n t . T h i s contract is as f o l l o w s :  R &B  EXPECTATIONS  THE R&B BAND ISA VERY SPECIAL CLASS AT SEA VIEW. THE REWARDS DERIVED FROM THIS CLASS ARE NOT OFTEN AVAILABLE IN A REGULAR HIGH  92  SCHOOL COURSE. STUDENTS WILL NEED TO DEMONSTRATE MATURITY. ENTHUSIASM. AND A STRONG COMMITMENT TO THE BAND AND IT'S GOALS AND REPERTOIRE IN ORDER FOR THE CLASS TO BE SUCCESSFUL. THIS WILL BE DISPLAYED IN THE FOLLOWING MANNER: 1. STUDENTS WILL WORK HARD AT THEIR SONG PARTS AT HOME. 2. STUDENTS WILL HAVE A SONG PREPARED (IN WRITING) FOR EACH CLASS. 3 . STUDENTS WILL PLAY THE SONGS BY MEMORY. 4 . STUDENTS WILL MAKE THEMSELVES AVAILABLE FOR THE VARIOUS EXTRACURRICULAR PERFORMANCES. 5. STUDENTS WILL TAKE EACH CLASS SERIOUSLY 6. STUDENTS WILL BE PUNCTUAL AND SET UP QUICKLY. 7. ONCE CLASS HAS STARTED/STUDENTS WILL ONLY PLAY AND FOCUS ON THIS YEAR'S REPETOIRE OF MUSIC. 8.STUDENTS WILL ALWAYS PLAY THE MUSIC WITH AS MUCH ENERGY, SPIRIT, AND "SOUL" AS POSSIBLE. 9.STUDENTS WILL BEFRIEND AND RESPECT OTHER BAND MEMBERS TO CREATE A COHESIVE "TEAM" ENVIRONMENT. 10. STUDENTS WILL ASSIST EACH OTHER IN THE LEARNING OF NEW SONGS. I, ,HAVE READ AND UNDERSTAND THE 10 EXPECTATIONS FOR THE R & B CLASS, AND AM PREPARED TO DO MY BEST TO FOLLOW THESE RULES. I KNOW THAT THIS COURSE REQUIRES CONSISTENT MATURITY AND FOCUS ON MY PART. I REALIZE THAT FORCING MR. T. TO CONSTANTLY POLICE MY BEHAVIOURS IS COUNTER- PRODUCTIVE TO THE CLASS AND THAT FAILURE TO MEET THESE EXPECTATIONS MAY RESULT IN A LOSS OF THE RIGHT TO ATTEND AND BE IN THE CLASS. SIGNATURE OF STUDENT. SIGNATURE OF PARENT AFTER READING THE EXPECTATIONS  A second e d u c a t i o n a l challenge for the R & B class is the m u s i c a l that we p r o d u c e every second year. O n these years, we p u s h h a r d to get t h r o u g h o u r basic repertoire i n o r d e r to m a k e r o o m for in-class rehearsals o f the m u s i c for the p r o d u c t i o n . T h i s " h a r d " r e a d i n g provides a balance to a l l the "ear" w o r k o f the fall t e r m . P e r f o r m i n g for t w o weeks i n the m u s i c a l is a very r e w a r d i n g experience, b o t h m u s i c a l l y a n d socially for the students.  93  T h i s e d u c a t i o n a l project is a l o c a l success. W e seem to p r o v i d e the u l t i m a t e " c r o s s o v e r " m u s i c f o r m a n y events. P a r e n t s are e s p e c i a l l y w e l c o m i n g to t h i s genre. I k n o w that the R & B b a n d has b e e n p i c k e d over other s c h o o l b a n d s f o r events s i m p l y because the m u s i c is energetic, danceable a n d f u n . A s a result, we u s u a l l y play f o r large c r o w d s at b o t h N o r t h a n d W e s t V a n c o u v e r C a n a d a D a y celebrations. Private businesses, w h e n they are h a v i n g a c e l e b r a t i o n , w i l l often pay us to p e r f o r m . T h e m u s i c festival at K e r e m e o s , A . K . A . " M u s i c u n d e r the K." has a s k e d us to be p a r t of the entertainment package f o r the festival-a festival that we use to attend as i n the role of students. Besides the a p p r e c i a t i o n f o r R & B m u s i c a n d the legacy of g o o d R & B players a n d singers that the p r o g r a m has t u r n e d out, there as w e l l exits a n a l u m n i b a n d , k n o w n as the R & B C o n s p i r a c y . T h i s b a n d p e r f o r m s at v a r i o u s p r o f e s s i o n a l R & B clubs i n V a n c o u v e r . T h e o n l y area of s k e p t i c i s m seems to e m a n a t e f r o m s o m e t r a d i t i o n a l concert b a n d teachers w h o , f o r a m y r i a d of reasons, q u e s t i o n the v a l i d i t y of this p r o g r a m .  The Story of the R&B  Conspiracy  It h a d b e e n a year since m y first g r o u p of R & B class singers h a d g r a d u a t e d f r o m Sea V i e w . M o s t of the students were a t t e n d i n g v a r i o u s l o c a l p o s t - s e c o n d a r y i n s t i t u t i o n s . T w o students, S h e i l a I r v i n g a n d C y n t h i a S w a n s b u r g h each i n d e p e n d e n t l y v i s i t e d the f o l l o w i n g year. B o t h girls b e m o a n e d the fact that, u p o n g r a d u a t i o n f r o m Sea V i e w Secondary, they h a d lost t h e i r avenue of m u s i c a l e x p r e s s i o n . T h e Sea V i e w R & B B a n d Class h a d b e e n a n i m p o r t a n t a n d v a l u e d  94  experience, b u t neither h a d b e e n able to f o r m o r connect w i t h a b a n d since they h a d graduated. I started reflecting about this issue a n d the fact that I w a s n ' t p l a y i n g either. I n fact, it h a d been a difficult t r a n s i t i o n f r o m p l a y i n g six nights a week to a f u l l t i m e t e a c h i n g j o b w h e r e i n y o u r h a r d w o r k was not often n o t i c e d . I h a d b e e n use to a lot of r e c o g n i t i o n a n d status. N o w , as a teacher, I m a d e m o r e m o n e y a n d h a d m o r e security, b u t I h a d to generally pat m y s e l f o n the b a c k f o r m y effort a n d results. M y o l d f r i e n d a n d m e n t o r , C h a r l i e P h i l l i p s , was really m i s s i n g p l a y i n g too. So to meet these v a r i o u s needs, I p u l l e d seven people together. T h r e e f o r m e r S e a V i e w singers w o u l d f r o n t the b a n d : S h e i l a I r v i n g , C y n t h i a S w a n s b u r g h a n d D o n n a Lee. T h e d r u m m e r ' s c h a i r eventually fell another Sea V i e w a l u m n i — C a s e y W h i t e . C h a r l i e p l a y e d H a m m o n d B3 o r g a n a n d I p l a y e d guitar. T h e g r o u p a d d e d o n l y one n o n - S e a V i e w p e r s o n — P e t e r B o y c h u k o n bass guitar. It was a n o d d m a t c h i n g of twenty-year olds w i t h forty y e a r o l d s , b u t it w o r k e d . T h e " k i d s " b r o u g h t i n energy a n d i m a g e a n d the " o l d g u y s " b r o u g h t i n stability a n d depth of m u s i c a l experience. U s u a l l y a n age gap of t w e n t y years precludes the success of a g r o u p , b u t because we h a d b e e n t h e i r teachers, we h a d already established a g o o d rapport. T h e b a n d started out slowly, p l a y i n g free gigs a n d events for the W e s t V a n c o u v e r c o m m u n i t y a n d s c h o o l district. A s o u r p r o f e s s i o n a l i s m started to emerge, we able to start p l a y i n g the l o c a l p r o f e s s i o n a l R & B a n d b l u e s r o o m s i n Vancouver.  95  P r e s e n t l y , t h e b a n d plays once o r twice a m o n t h at t h e Backstage L o u n g e (Arts C l u b Theatre), the F a i r v i e w p u b , o r o n o c c a s i o n at t h e Y a l e . It i s h a r d to believe that w e have been together f o r a l m o s t n i n e years. W e have clearly g r o w n i n t o a q u a l i t y l o c a l act that has a f o l l o w i n g . A s a teacher, I feel very p r o u d o f this p r o f e s s i o n a l u n i t . I see t h e y o u n g people i n m y b a n d c o m p l e t i n g m y e d u c a t i o n a l vision—that m u s i c c o u l d be a r e w a r d i n g h o b b y that it c o u l d be successfully integrated i n t o t h e f r a m e w o r k o f their b u s y p r o f e s s i o n a l lives.  Heroes Preamble: Heroes is a collection of narratives, poems, and reflections on the pervasive issue of heros and hero journeys. F u r t h e r m o r e , w e have n o t even to r i s k t h e adventure alone, f o r t h e heroes o f all t i m e have gone before us. T h e l a b y r i n t h is t h o r o u g h l y k n o w n . W e have o n l y to f o l l o w t h e t h r e a d o f the h e r o p a t h , a n d where w e h a d t h o u g h t to f i n d a n a b o m i n a t i o n , w e s h a l l f i n d a g o d . A n d w h e r e w e t h o u g h t t o slay another, we s h a l l slay ourselves. W h e r e w e h a d t h o u g h t t o travel o u t w a r d , w e w i l l c o m e t o t h e center o f o u r o w n existence. A n d where w e h a d t h o u g h t t o b e alone, w e w i l l b e w i t h a l l the w o r l d ( C a m p b e l l , 1 9 8 8 , p.123.)  H e r o e s : w h o are they? I n t h e first decade o f the 2 1 C e n t u r y , t h e w o r d s t  " h e r o " is b e c o m i n g a n overused w o r d . It is o n the edge of j o i n i n g a host o f other w o r d s that, i n o u r w o r l d o f incessant s p i n a n d h y p e r b o l e , are l o s i n g t h e i r o r i g i n a l m e a n i n g a n d force. C o n s t a n t m e d i a use o f w o r d s s u c h as " a w e s o m e , " "legendary," " v i s i o n a r y , " " m y t h i c , " o r " t r a d i t i o n , " to n a m e a few, have h a d t h e i r value i n c u l t u r a l c u r r e n c y m a d e a l m o s t m e a n i n g l e s s . I n part, they have been d r a i n e d o f their potency b y t h e i r use to describe t h i n g s that they are not.  96  Despite t h i s , the p h e n o m e n o n of " h e r o " is s t i l l real a n d p o w e r f u l . T o s o m e extent, the n o t i o n of h e r o has a n d w i l l always have.an i m p o r t a n t role i n the h u m a n d r a m a . W h o qualifies as a h e r o ? In the above q u o t a t i o n , J o s e p h C a m p b e l l w a s i n t r i g u e d w i t h the h e r o w i t h i n each p e r s o n . H e was also i n t r i g u e d w i t h exterior heroes that have acted as m o d e l s for generations of cultures t h r o u g h o u t the w o r l d . H i s exterior w o r k f o c u s e d o n m y t h s a n d legends. O f t e n , i n m y f o r m a t i v e years, I l o o k e d outside of m y s e l f f o r h e r o i c i n s p i r a t i o n . I sought out a n d m o d e l e d m y s e l f after others, w h o m a n i f e s t e d a deep r e s o n a n c e w i t h m y o w n core values a n d d r e a m s . T h e r e f o r e , m y a p p r o a c h to t h i s piece is f r a m e d b y the f o l l o w i n g d e f i n i t i o n : H e r o e s are people w h o i n s p i r e m e to reach deeper, to fly higher, m o v e to a m o r e v i s i o n a r y state a n d , s u b s e q u e n t l y , l i v e a r i c h e r life. I n short, m y heroes are people w h o have catalyzed a shift of m y t h o u g h t s a n d values. T h e y are people w h o have u l t i m a t e l y c h a n g e d m y p a t h . W i t h i n t h i s context, I a m interested i n the f o l l o w i n g questions for reflection: •  W h o are o r have b e e n the heroes i n m y life?  •  W h y d o I see t h e m as heroes?  •  H o w d i d they resonate w i t h m e  •  H o w d o they live t h r o u g h m e ?  •  H o w d o they i m p a c t o n m y teaching?  •  A m I m y yet m y o w n h e r o ?  •  W h a t is the role of present day heroes f o r m e ? A s a h u m a n w h o has b e e n obsessed w i t h the beauty a n d p o t e n t i a l o f m u s i c a n d guitar p l a y i n g , I have h a d m a n y heroes. O n e m a y argue that t h r o u g h the  97  culture o f h e r o a n d m y t h , the t r a d i t i o n of guitar is kept alive a n d p a s s e d o n t h r o u g h successive generations of youngsters. O n e n e e d o n l y peruse t h e m a g a z i n e racks t o f i n d m a g a z i n e s devoted t o i c o n s of b o t h m u s i c a n d guitar p l a y i n g . T h e n o t i o n t h a t m u s i c i a n s w h o play guitar c o u l d b e s o m e h o w bigger t h a n life—that they c o u l d k n o w t h i n g s a n d have insights a n d w i s d o m t h a t w e have yet t o find—is j u s t accepted as part o f the g u i t a r / m u s i c culture. I sense that t h i s i l l u s i o n stems f r o m t h e i n h e r e n t s p i r i t u a l potency o f t h e m u s i c itself, f o r the p o w e r o f m u s i c o n s o m e o f us is i m m e n s e . M u s i c c a n i n s p i r e , g r o u n d a n d balance u s . It can s u p p o r t h e a l i n g a n d reflection. It c a n l e a d t o n e w avenues o f d i r e c t i o n . Therefore is seems n a t u r a l to d r a w s p i r i t u a l a s s u m p t i o n s about it. I a t t e m p t t o express s o m e o f these n o t i o n s i n t h e f o l l o w i n g p o e m , e n t i t l e d  Magician/Musician.  Magician/Musician Preamble: Sometimes, but not often, I have witnessed a musical performance that is so breath -taking and deep and transcendental in nature, that I start wondering where the line lies that separates musicians from magicians and shamans. It is at times like these, the artist/hero says exactly what needs to be said at a level that profoundly resonates my core. These events, although they are very infrequent, are so overwhelming that, like an opiate, I immediately crave more. The other issue that enters my mind is the possibility that in fact there is no magic at all and that I've been duped by slight of hand into believing that there is more than meets the eye. Certainly in my life story(s), I always seem to be craving a deeper understanding than seems possible. The following poem follows a vivid memory of one of the first Vancouver concert performances of the jazz/fusion guitarist/magician Mike Stern. Stern was a member of the Michael Brecker band at the time. The performance was at the Commodore Ballroom in the late 1980's.  Magician/Musician It was i n t h e a i r A s s o o n as they c o u n t e d o u t  98  A n d freed the first s o u n d s Y o u knew, but couldn't explain T h e feeling That wrapped around you like A w a r m blanket and convinced you T h a t the c o n v e r s a t i o n between the i n s t r u m e n t s W o u l d s p i n a m a r v e l o u s story Filled with passion, intrigue, Caring and humour with E a c h soloist b r i n g i n g H i s s p e c i a l t w i s t to the epic B y t a k i n g h i s o w n poetry A n d w e a v i n g it i n t o the s o n i c f a b r i c O f the w h o l e W h i c h through tonal alchemy W o u l d convert s i m p l e s o u n d s Into a narrative so intense A n d b u r s t i n g w i t h resonance T h a t the story w o u l d A c t u a l l y g r i n d to a place So deep, yet c l e a n s i n g That the audience would Be left i n silence at the e n d a n d F o r c e d a g a i n to wrestle w i t h E n o r m o u s questions of p u r p o s e O n e of the players H a d special gifts, A n original and stunning C o m b i n a t i o n of years of t e c h n i q u e W i t h serious r e a d i n g a n d critique O f a u t h o r s of m u s i c past A n d this melded w i t h frames O f h e r o i c v i s i o n a n d tenacity that R i p p e d f o r t h f r o m h i s b e i n g as A torrential outpouring T h a t started slowly, C r e e p i n g i n the b a c k p o r c h A n d edging ever so closely A n d he c a p t u r e d the s m e l l O f the r a i n j u s t before the break A n d he m a d e m e s h i v e r In a n t i c i p a t i o n of the first Tenuous drops and I w a s sure that I c o u l d See the t h u n d e r gray a n d  B l a c k c l o u d s c i r c l i n g above H i s h e a d as the i n t e n s i t y Of his playing heralded an E x p l o s i o n of t o r r e n t a n d c u r r e n t A n d the a u d i e n c e s c r e a m e d F r o m the resonance of this tale O f epic r o m a n t i c i s m A n d j u s t w h e n we t h o u g h t T h a t the j o u r n e y was c o m p l e t e T h e soloist t o o k us T o a n e w level of fresh t e r r a i n a n d T o n e w w o r l d s of u n d e r s t a n d i n g A n d the a u d i e n c e e x p l o d e d A n d rose to t h e i r feet as they A s they s t r a i n e d to see h i m P u s h h i s h e a d above the t h u n d e r c l o u d s T o the d e a f e n i n g silence above the w h i t e noise W h e r e he w a s h e d us clean A n d g r a c e d us w i t h a chance T o t r y again.  Growing up under the Glow M y first e n c o u n t e r w i t h " h e r o e s " w a s not t h r o u g h m u s i c . Instead they c a m e t h r o u g h t w o sources, the T . V . a n d c o m i c b o o k s . I was l o o k i n g for a m a l e m e n t o r t h r o u g h w h o m I c o u l d m o l d myself. M y father, alas, was not this p e r s o n , a l t h o u g h I w o u l d have l o v e d for h i m to be. W h e n I was g r o w i n g u p , m y father was c o n s u m e d w i t h d i s c o v e r i n g h i s o w n potential a n d r e a l i z i n g h i s o w n m y t h . I w a s j u s t v i e w e d as s o m e t h i n g he created to please a n d o c c u p y m y m o m . A s m y father h a d little interest i n m e , he rarely inter-acted w i t h m e f o r any k i n d of p l a y o r l e a r n i n g . W h a t I d o r e m e m b e r is that every night, w h e n I was g r o w i n g u p , m y father w a t c h e d T . V . F r o m the m o m e n t D a d a r r i v e d at h o m e u n t i l b e d t i m e , the tube s h o n e f o r t h , d e l i v e r i n g its messages to b o t h h i m a n d the h o u s e h o l d . I w o u l d sit b y h i m i n  100  silence and watch and absorb a world-view and set of ethics generated by the entertainment industry. I witnessed an unending parade of heroes and goddesses from all periods of history. I summate this experience in "The Unnatural Act," a poem that I wrote in August, 2004.1 think that no one in the early 1960's really understood the impact that such an immersive T.V. experience would have on children. It seemed to be accepted as another technological miracle. (I personally am still saddened by our culture's acceptance of the programming of our children. In the video, Super-Size Me, the author states that children are exposed to approximately 10,000 messages of consumerism per year. These messages tell children what is good, bad, and cool and what they need to buy.)  The Unnatural Act (A poem about T.V. in the 60's) No one knew: It seemed like a Bonanza if You loved Lucy like Jeanie like Samantha With Emma and 86 (just the flip of a switch) At the Junction of Green Acres J could never resist. I loved their perfection, their ultra mythic feminine Looks with doe eyes and cheek bones Chiseled out of granite and smiles That would take you miles to a distant planet of sirenWhat possible chance did I have, but, again, To be a man, a Paladin, Real Rifleman wanted Dead or Alive, A Chuck or a Steve, Clint or Gary Tallness and silence brimming with violence and fury Much too soon to define the American Male On the black and white pages of high noon.  Or out of the West and into a jungle  101  O r L o s t i n Space o r the courts o r the f u m b l e O f f a m i l y life, j u s t Leave It T o Beaver C a p t a i n s K i r k a n d K a n g a r o o , C r u n c h , H o o k a n d Cleaver. W i t h rabbits a n d m i c e a n d w o o d p e c k e r s too that H a d g r o w n u p i n the B r o n x , right next t o the zoo. H o w m u c h d i d I l a u g h ? H o w m u c h d i d I hate H o w deep these m y t h s d i d s i n k a n d f o r m u l a t e M y b r a i n a n d assist i n the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f b l a c k a n d w h i t e r e d u c t i o n T h a t drove me a n d a y o u n g n a t i o n o f over s t i m u l a t e d r o m a n t i c s t o R e b e l at the antics o f a w o r l d that we really d i d n ' t k n o w , T u n e o u t a n d o n w i t h the s h o w !  I l o v e d these T . V . shows as a boy. T h e c o w b o y / w e s t e r n s a n d D i s n e y revisionist h i s t o r i c a l d r a m a s s u c h as Davy Crockett s p u r r e d a l l the b o y s t o b e c o m e y o u n g cowboys. I h a d a n arsenal o f v a r i o u s toy guns a n d rifles t o fight the b a d guys. T h e y were the ones w h o were s c u r r i l y d r e s s e d , u n s h a v e d , a n d m e a n . T h e i r s i d e k i c k s were often cast as overweight, b a l d i n g , d i m - w i t s w i t h f u n n y voices. I also h a d a toy b o x f i l l e d w i t h hats o f every style. I h a d t o have the right hat i n o r d e r t o l a u n c h i n t o these i m a g i n a r y roles. O f course, I h a d t o be the h e r o i n the b l a c k a n d w h i t e m o r a l i t y plays o f m y i m a g i n a t i o n . T h e b a d guys always went d o w n a n d I, as s y m b o l o f the g o o d , s t r o n g , clean, a n d h a n d s o m e , always w o n . T h e b o t t o m l i n e plot o f g o o d over evil was played out w i t h slight v a r i a t i o n s f o r years. B u t w h a t h a p p e n s if, after all this i n d o c t r i n a t i o n a n d practice, y o u d o n ' t measure u p as a hero? W h a t i f you're not h a n d s o m e a n d y o u have n o cleft i n y o u r M o u n t i e j a w . W h a t i f y o u are shorter t h a n six feet? W h a t i f y o u have b r i g h t red h a i r ? W h a t i f (perish the t h o u g h t ) y o u are not a t o u g h fighter but rather a sensitive dreamer?  102  Another source of angst for me was the indoctrination of American standards of female beauty. The objectification of women and valuing women for what they looked like as opposed to who they were as people was a terrible lesson to be taught. For years I dated women with high cheekbones and thin waistlines. I felt trapped by these standards of beauty that were planted so deeply into my psyche. The power of the T.V. heroes faded, however, when the "British Invasion" hit the radio airwaves in early 1 9 6 4 .  The Heroes of the Sound Waves I had a long distance bonding with many of the music icons of the 1960's. This new source for external heroes and mentors commenced with the North American break through of the Beatles in the early months of 1 9 6 4 . The Beatles introduced anew vitality to the entire world of pop.And with this vitality came a new relevance for young people. We all grew up with the Beatles as they themselves grew and moved from the simplicity of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" to the sophistication of "A Day in The Life." I recall eagerly anticipating each of the later Beatles' albums so my friends and I could listen to the lyrics. These cryptic messages constantly exposed me to concepts that were experientially way beyond my reach.  The Lyric Heroes-Bob Dylan and John Lennon Post-modernism meets the sonic landscape. Other artists as well as the Beatles became intensely personal and reflective and relevant. It appealed to the young who were wrestling with narrow stereotypical life opportunities and values  103  that had been generated from the needs for security and stability by the previous generation-one who had survived the great depression and W o r l d W a r II. Pop music went from Pat Boone to Bob Dylan i n the blink of an eye. Many lyricists joined the new wave, moving away from cliches and naivety to profound essays on values, change, the need for refection, a sense of place and personal growth. Dylan's lyrics in Like a Rolling Stone (Wissolik, R.D., McGrath, S., Colaianne, A . J . , 1 9 9 4 ) touched some of these subjects. M y sense is that this song is about a woman who was raised in wealth and enjoyed this distinction. Her wealth provided her with great enjoyment, but seemed to shield her from growing up and into the world. When she tumbles into a new context, she is forced to re-evaluate and work with the very people that she looked down upon. It represents an incredible change from the "boy meets girl" simplicity of only a few years earlier. After detailing the young woman's fall from both grace and innocence, Dylan essentially asks what will happen next and how will one deal with it. This level of "reality" in song lyrics—one that captured the grayness and complexity of l i f e captured the imaginations of all who heard it. Other artists reflected on spirituality and alternate philosophies. John Lennon, of the Beatles, was one of the best examples of pop artists who wrote on such issues. John wrote about the Tibetan Book of the Dead in the song, Tomorrow  Never  Knows. H i s lyrics center on the acceptance of the natural end of our life journey. John works hard to re-frame our thinking to complement the process as "love is all and love is everyone" (Womack, K., Davis, T.F: [Eds.], 2006.) These lyrics, unlike  104  the street w i s d o m of B o b D y l a n , t o o k y o u n g e r people to esoteric adventures i n Eastern metaphysical philosophy. In the s t r e a m - o f consciousness f l o w of "I A m the W a l r u s , " L e n n o n b l e n d e d Eastern spiritual learning and drug-based hallucinations/realizations with a D y l a n e s q u e critique o n E n g l i s h society a n d sexual n o r m s . L y r i c a l l i n e s l i k e "I a m he as y o u are h e r as y o u are m e a n d we are all together" are j u x t a p o s e d w i t h " C o r p o r a t i o n tee shirt, s t u p i d b l o o d y T u e s d a y m a n " a n d references to " L u c y i n the sky," o r L S D ( W o m a c k , K., D a v i s , T . F . [Eds.],  2006.) T h e l y r i c s are as b o l d as the  s t r e a m of consciousness style. B y the late '6o's, L e n n o n h a d a r r i v e d at a special artistic place, w h e r e i n he c o u l d voice any of his thoughts i n any l i t e r a r y style, a n d the w h o l e w o r l d w o u l d l i s t e n a n d try to m a k e m e a n i n g f r o m it.  Jimi Hendrix and the Guitar Heroes A l o n g w i t h l y r i c s , the m u s i c also reflected the huge changes a n d g r o w t h that a c c o m p a n i e s a n y m a j o r societal p a r a d i g m b r e a k t h r o u g h . I n t h i s context there was n o t h i n g i n s t r u m e n t a l l y that better d e m o n s t r a t e d the change of values t h a n the guitar p l a y i n g . U s i n g a n e w a m a l g a m that c h a n n e l e d the p a s s i o n a n d v o c a b u l a r y of the b l u e s t h r o u g h the filter of p o p aesthetic, the guitar players b e c a m e the h i g h " p r i e s t s " of rock. T h e b l u e s has always b e e n an a n t i - r e l i g i o n i n the S o u t h e r n States. It was generally v i e w e d as the "devil's m u s i c , " p r o b a b l y because it took as m a n y converts as the t r a d i t i o n a l C h r i s t i a n religions. J i m i H e n d r i x , f r o m Seattle (via N e w Y o r k a n d L o n d o n ) a n d a n u m b e r of E n g l i s h guitarists s u c h as E r i c C l a p t o n , J e f f B e c k , a n d  105  J i m m y Page, a b s o r b e d A m e r i c a n b l u e s a n d f u s e d it i n t o a h i g h - p o w e r e d avantgarde style that e n t h r a l l e d m i l l i o n s of teenagers. I w a s one of those teenagers. A l t h o u g h I was n o t there w h e n a l l the y o u n g T o r o n t o n i a n s w o r e the i n f a m o u s " C l a p t o n is G o d " b u t t o n s , I d i d f u l l y u n d e r s t a n d the message, as there is a u n i q u e p h e n o m e n o n that occurs w h e n b l u e s i n f u s e d solos are p l a y e d w i t h excessive p a s s i o n . It seems that there is a b r e a k i n g p o i n t where the p a s s i o n pushes t h r o u g h the d o o r s of n o r m a l c y to a l a n d of the lotus. T h a t is to say, t h r o u g h the intensity, a s p i r i t u a l edge arises a n d the m u s i c starts to s o u n d like a h y m n . A l l paths eventually l e a d to G o d ? I have often w o n d e r e d if the m u s i c of the '6o's offered a p a t h to f i l l the v o i d that w a s b e i n g generated b y the failure of the c h u r c h at the t i m e . C l e a r l y , I w a s one of the n e w converts. In the w i n t e r of 67-68, m y heroes, E r i c C l a p t o n a n d J i m i H e n d r i x , p l a y e d i n m y h o m e t o w n . T h i s w a s the first t i m e that I h a d actually seen heroes of m i n e i n flesh a n d b l o o d . T h e experience c h a n g e d m y d i r e c t i o n of guitar p l a y i n g a n d m y life forever. I started the l o n g j o u r n e y of t r y i n g to play i m p r o v i s e d guitar l i n e s that w o u l d generate the t r a n s c e n d e n t a l m o o d s of m y heroes. T h e w o r k of h o n i n g this s k i l l c o n t i n u e s today a n d has i n s p i r e d the f o l l o w i n g p o e m .  High Wire Guitar Preamble: Taking improvised solos is one of the scariest and most thrilling things that I know. From my context, it is an act of vulnerability, truthfulness and, ultimately, heroism. And it is very similar to walking a tightrope. How does one prepare? The obvious answer is to practice, but there is much more to it. With one slip you can crash and the whole edifice of emotion, intellect, soul, and aesthetic tumbles down. But when you make it....  106  High Wire Guitar P u t t i n g y o u r foot out y o u feel the w i r e Before y o u w a l k o n water A n d t h o u g h y o u are very h i g h I n the stratosphere, there is no N e t a n d certainly n o t u r n i n g b a c k , O n l y t u r n i n g i n w a r d as y o u C o m p l e t e l y relax, O h m M a n i P a d m e H u m , A n d u n c o n s c i o u s l y a l i g n a n d poise Your mind, body and soul In absolute c o n c e n t r a t i o n T o let out y o u r voice f r o m T h e deepest p i t of y o u r s p i r i t A s o n l y the w a y y o u c a n W h i l e the rest of the u n i v e r s e L o o k s over y o u r s h o u l d e r s A n d floats y o u u p i n a Sea of teardrops f r o m T h e B u d d h a of c o m p a s s i o n A n d i n the b l i s t e r i n g w h i r l i n g of the spheres Y o u t u n e i n t o its tautness, Its frequency a n d t h i c k n e s s U n t i l there is n o s e p a r a t i o n T h r o u g h s t o r m arid s t i l l  You are Y o u r extension a n d If a l l m a n n e r of things have L o c k e d themselves i n t o T h e m o s t sacred pattern W h e n the s u n m a k e s love to the m o o n A n d the tides r o l l b a c k w a r d to reveal A n c i e n t s h i p w r e c k s a n d cities O f so l o n g ago, yet y o u k n o w A n d the h o w l of the w o l f Becomes an a r i a of u n s p e a k a b l e beauty... T h e n y o u are ready  Working with Heroes in Real Time A reflexive narrative on Charlie Phillips, a man in motion, and a true archetype of energy, commitment and vision M y first attempts to p u b l i c l y live a n d tell m y story came t h r o u g h the p e r f o r m a n c e of m u s i c . I played i n f u l l t i m e b a n d s f r o m 1 9 7 3 u n t i l 1 9 8 4 . It w a s s i m p l e a n d n a t u r a l m u s i c , w i t h the biggest t h r i l l b e i n g the i m p r o v i s a t i o n o f solos i n the s p i r i t of m y i d o l s . I h a d never b e e n h a p p i e r . It was t h r o u g h m y m u s i c that I met a n d w o r k e d w i t h a m a n w h o p r o f o u n d l y i n s p i r e d a n d c h a n g e d m e . C h a r l i e P h i l l i p s w a s the s o n of a n E n g l i s h f a m i l y that l i v e d a n d w o r k e d i n O w e n S o u n d , O n t a r i o . T h e f a m i l y o w n e d a n d operated m o v i e theatres a r o u n d the O w e n S o u n d r e g i o n . C h a r l i e ' s father w a s the projectionist. C h a r l i e s a w every m o v i e t h a t c a m e t h r o u g h t o w n a n d even h a d the l u x u r y of private screenings of the cartoons. C h a r l i e grew u p i n a context that h a r d w o r k w a s the n o r m . I r e m e m b e r C h a r l i e t e l l i n g m e that h i s w h o l e f a m i l y , i n c l u d i n g h i s g r a n d p a r e n t s w o u l d gather regularly at h i s D a d ' s m o v i e h o u s e . A s s o o n as the p a t r o n s f r o m F r i d a y ' s f i n a l s h o w left the theatre, the entire f a m i l y w o u l d r u s h i n a n d u n s c r e w a n d r e m o v e all the seats i n the theatre. W h i l e f a m i l y m e m b e r s c a r r i e d out the last seats, other f a m i l y m e m b e r s w o u l d w a s h a n d t h e n r e p a i n t the entire floor. T h i s is not a n easy o r f u n j o b . T h e p o p a n d p o p c o r n a n d o l d g u m stick tenaciously to the floor. B u t as paint w i l l not adhere to a d i r t y surface it was a necessary task. In the early m o r n i n g , as the p a i n t d r i e d , the seats were b r o u g h t back i n a n d r e m o u n t e d i n the theatre. T h e theatre w o u l d be c o m p l e t e l y clean a n d ready to f u n c t i o n i n t i m e for the S a t u r d a y m a t i n e e . N o f a m i l y m e m b e r slept at a l l .  108  They simply worked into the next day and kept going. Furthermore, no one complained. This is but one example to demonstrate boyhood experience that helped Charlie to develop a heroic frame of living. I met Charlie when I was an immature 19 year-old who was trying to put together a rock band. M y friend and bass player, W i l l Bronson, suggested that we audition a Hammond B-3 organ player who managed the bicycle shop where W i l l worked. When I met Charlie, who was 2 5 years old, the mythic proportions of the man's skills, life experiences, energy and work ethic overwhelmed me. Here was a man who was living a life-not just dreaming about it, asT was. Charlie was a university student at this time. He had left Owen Sound to attend Simon Fraser University. Prior to that, he had been on the Canadian National Ski Team. As well as this achievement, Charlie had developed a passion for aircraft and flying, and had earned his private flying license. But now the focus was on academics. In true "Phillips" style, his approach to higher education was completely over the top. The year I met Charlie, he was studying at two schools at.-the sametime. He was enrolled at U B C for a teaching certificate and he was finishing his Masters degree in community development at the University of Western Washington. He also taught a remedial reading class at S F U . He worked on the weekends as manager of the "Peddler" shops. When he decided to join us, he was maintaining a primary relationship. As a student, he did not have a lot of money and so he rode his bike everywhere (including up the S F U hill once a week). One of his secrets to his ability to work so much was that his hard driving psyche was connected with a fantastic metabolism that allowed h i m to run at full  109  energy w i t h o n l y f o u r h o u r s of sleep a night. H e c l a i m e d that this a b i l i t y was l i n k e d to his w o r k i n g class B r i t i s h heritage. I h a d never m e t anyone, B r i t i s h o r otherwise, like h i m . Besides his i m p r e s s i v e p h y s i c a l gifts, C h a r l i e ' s character values were clearly d e f i n e d a n d o p e r a t i o n a l . W h e n C h a r l i e m a d e a p r o m i s e to y o u , it was always kept. H e was always o n t i m e a n d always cheerful a n d f o c u s e d . C o m m i t m e n t was a n i m p o r t a n t n o t i o n for C h a r l i e . A l l P h i l l i p s projects were seen t o their c o m p l e t i o n . C h a r l i e d e s p i s e d the t h o u g h t of q u i t t i n g . C h a r l i e ' s style w i t h people was h i g h l y c h a r i s m a t i c . E v e r y o n e w a n t e d to w o r k w i t h P h i l l i p s . C h a r l i e h a d t h o r o u g h l y s t u d i e d the w o r k s o f D a l e Carnegie. T h i s p r o g r a m gave h i m the i n t e r p e r s o n a l s k i l l s to m a k e everyone feel b o t h c o m f o r t a b l e a n d s p e c i a l . M o r e o v e r , it p r o v i d e d the tools for C h a r l i e to p o s i t i o n h i m s e l f as a n i n c r e d i b l e m o t i v a t o r - s o m e t h i n g that w o u l d serve h i m w e l l as a teacher. O n e of the most i n s p i r i n g aspects of C h a r l i e w a s h i s creative side. H e constantly t h o u g h t out of the b o x . A s a s e n i o r G e o g r a p h y teacher, C h a r l i e t o o k h i s class u p glaciers. H e u s e d h i s o w n s m a l l p l a n e a n d p e r s o n a l l y flew each student over the N o r t h S h o r e M o u n t a i n s w h i l e p o i n t i n g out the features. H e c o n n e c t e d w i t h every single student. H e m a d e the c h i l d r e n believe i n themselves b y h e l p i n g t h e m realize that they were able a n d creative beings. T h r o u g h e x a m p l e , C h a r l i e l e d t h e m to try h a r d e r , d i g deeper a n d p u l l m o r e out of themselves. C o n s e q u e n t l y , students o u t c o m e s soared u p w a r d s as d i d t h e i r a p p r e c i a t i o n f o r P h i l l i p s . . B e i n g a r o u n d a t i t a n l i k e this f o r c e d m e to r e - t h i n k a lot of m y b e h a v i o r s a n d values. I c o u l d n ' t h e l p b u t reflect o n m y o w n issues of indecisiveness, p r o c r a s t i n a t i o n , a n d ineffective c o m m u n i c a t i o n s k i l l s . A n d I c o u l d n ' t h e l p b u t  110  notice h o w s m a l l m y w o r l d w a s c o m p a r e d t o C h a r l i e ' s w o r l d . A l t h o u g h I k n e w t h a t I c o u l d never keep u p w i t h C h a r l i e , I d e t e r m i n e d t o i n c o r p o r a t e as m u c h o f h i s style as p o s s i b l e .  Brian  Fuller,  an archetype  of intellectual  inquiry  B r i a n F u l l e r w a s the next r e a l - t i m e h e r o t o i n s p i r e m e i n p r o f o u n d a n d e n d u r i n g ways. B y m y late 2 0 ' s , I h a d succeeded i n integrating i n t o the " A " r o o m rock m u s i c c o m m u n i t y . T h e " A " r o o m s i n V a n c o u v e r w e r e the best places t o play. T h e y were p o p u l a r h a n g outs that p a i d the best m o n e y f o r rock cover acts. A l t h o u g h I h a d n o t b e e n w i t h a r e c o r d i n g act, I s t i l l felt g o o d about b e i n g a w o r k i n g p r o f e s s i o n a l . I was s u r v i v i n g quite w e l l a n d the m u s i c i n d u s t r y is a very t o u g h i n d u s t r y t o be i n . It is very c o m p e t i t i v e a n d has a l o w ethical t h r e s h o l d . I h a d r e a c h e d this level o f p r o - l e v e l c o m m e r c i a l r o c k t h r o u g h a l o t o f h a r d w o r k . I k n e w that I h a d t o keep l e a r n i n g i f I w i s h e d t o p l a y f o r the rest o f m y life. I d e c i d e d t o study s o m e n e w styles t o increase m y versatility a n d t e c h n i q u e . I cannot recall h o w I got B r i a n ' s telephone n u m b e r . B r i a n is w h a t is k n o w n i n the trade as a "legit-player." H i s w o r k c o n s i s t e d o f free-lance u n i o n j o b s , private t e a c h i n g a n d w o r k i n g at the n e w V a n c o u v e r C o m m u n i t y College m u s i c d e p a r t m e n t . B r i a n ' s greatest strengths a p p e a r e d t o be h i s s t r o n g s i g h t - r e a d i n g ability, h i s stylistic versatility, h i s i n n a t e m u s i c a l talent, a n d a first rate intellect. H e was recognized as a serious a n d gifted classical player, a l t h o u g h a l o t o f h i s c o m m e r c i a l w o r k r e q u i r e d h i m t o p l a y v a r i o u s electric styles.  Ill  W h e n B r i a n agreed to give m e lessons, I requested a l e n g t h of 2 h o u r s . T h e first h o u r w o u l d be devoted to classical studies a n d the other h o u r to jazz. I was not v e r s e d i n either style, b u t I felt that I s h o u l d be. M y earliest recollection of B r i a n is that of a s m i l i n g e c t o m o r p h i c m a n w i t h large glasses—a quiet, b a l a n c e d a n d reflective m a n w h o m I guessed to be about t e n years o l d e r t h a n myself. B r i a n , his wife, B a r b , a n d h i s t w o y o u n g c h i l d r e n , l i v e d i n a b e a u t i f u l section of V a n c o u v e r that was p o s i t i o n e d j u s t S o u t h of C i t y H a l l . In the late 1970's there were a n u m b e r of artists w h o l i v e d i n this m a t u r e residential area that was n o t e d f o r its quiet streets a n d large d e c i d u o u s trees that w o u l d r a i n s t o r m s of c o l o r e d leaves i n the f a l l . B r i a n was the t h i r d s o n i n a large f a m i l y of boys w h o grew i n the a c a d e m i c setting of Berkeley C a l i f o r n i a . H i s father, D r . J o h n A . F u l l e r , was a w e l l - k n o w n sociologist i n the faculty at the U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a , B e r k e l e y B r i a n attended Berkeley a n d received a B A i n c o m p a r a t i v e literature. H i s areas of specialty were G r e e k a n d E n g l i s h literature. A t the s a m e t i m e , he h a d a love of m u s i c a n d h a d developed a h i g h level of s k i l l o n classical a n d t h e n later o n j a z z guitar. M e e t i n g B r i a n was a n o p p o r t u n i t y to exchange ideas w i t h s o m e o n e w h o grew i n a very different context. T o g r o w u p u n d e r the s h a d o w of B e r k e l e y at a t i m e w h e n all types of n e w intellectual p a r a d i g m s were b e i n g constructed is a rare o p p o r t u n i t y . A n d , of course, the s u m m e r of love was 1967 a n d the center of the n e w universe was n e i g h b o r i n g S a n F r a n c i s c o . B r i a n p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the n e w m u s i c scene of that t i m e .  112  U n l i k e B r i a n ' s b a c k g r o u n d , m y b l u e - c o l l a r u p b r i n g i n g h a d absolutely no ties to A c a d e m e o r a great city l i k e S a n F r a n c i s c o . M y father w a s a s m a r t , creative a n d ruthless s u r v i v o r i n the w o r l d of business. M y m o t h e r w a s housewife. N e i t h e r h a d ever gone to u n i v e r s i t y . I h a d about a year's w o r t h of u n d e r g r a d arts courses that I h a d collected. B u t m y i n i t i a l d r e a m s of h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n e n d e d w h e n the U B C m u s i c d e p a r t m e n t i n f o r m e d m e that they c o u l d not accept m e for guitar studies as they d i d not c o n s i d e r classical guitar a serious i n s t r u m e n t — a p e r p l e x i n g n o t i o n , as A n d r e s Segovia, the i n t e r n a t i o n a l star of classical guitar, w a s already a n o l d m a n b y this t i m e . C o n s e q u e n t l y , w h e n I met B r i a n , I was extremely u n e d u c a t e d , naive f e l l o w w h o w a s l e a d i n g a very n a r r o w life. I l o v e d m y lessons w i t h B r i a n . A l t h o u g h , he f o c u s e d o n m u s i c , I l e a r n e d e q u a l l y as m u c h about life f r o m w a t c h i n g h i m a n d a s k i n g h i m q u e s t i o n s . T h a t is to say, the m u s i c lessons acted as a n entry p o i n t to see a bigger w o r l d — o n e t h a t k n e w little of. W h a t I d i d not realize at the t i m e w a s that the l e a r n i n g o f o t h e r styles of m u s i c necessitated the l e a r n i n g of n e w cultures a n d t h e i r v a l u e s , as m u s i c i s , i n general t e r m s , one of the m a i n voices of culture. (I l e a r n e d later that one u s u a l l y needed to e m b r a c e certain values of a c u l t u r e if one wishes to c r e d i b l y dialogue its music.) B r i a n , t h r o u g h h i s c o n n e c t i o n a n d heritage to the great h i s t o r y of W e s t e r n t h o u g h t a n d values, taught m e the i m p o r t a n c e a n d role of the intellect i n m u s i c that l e d to, a m o n g other things, a n a p p r o a c h of intellectual sensitivity a n d subtlety that I h a d p r e v i o u s l y b e e n u n a w a r e of. In fact, t h r o u g h m y "gypsy meets r o c k a n d b l u e s " context, I h a d never really reflected o n the intellectual a p p r o a c h to m u s i c . T o this p o i n t , m y m u s i c v a l u e d a n d accented the voice of e m o t i o n / h e a r t a n d spirit.  113  T o use a v i s u a l art analogy, I was p a i n t i n g s o n i c l a n d s c a p e s w i t h all t h e p r i m a r y c o l o r s - m a g n i f i c e n t reds, yellows a n d b l u e s . T h r o u g h B r i a n , I l e a r n e d about grays, p u r p l e s a n d shades between t h e o b v i o u s . In o u r conversations, I l e a r n e d that the w o r l d was a l o t m o r e c o m p l e x t h a n I was a c k n o w l e d g i n g . F o r e x a m p l e , as o u r conversations e v o l v e d , I b e c a m e aware o f m y t e n d e n c y t o generalize. B r i a n , however, was i n c r e d i b l y reticent about m a k i n g s w e e p i n g statements about any subject. I l e a r n e d that issues have m a n y sides a n d one m u s t carefully c o n s i d e r t h i s before d r a w i n g any c o n c l u s i o n s . B r i a n also m a d e m e c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h the n o t i o n that n o t everything c a n be o r needs t o b e explained. I owe m y p o s t - s e c o n d a r y e d u c a t i o n t o B r i a n ' s p r o d d i n g . I k n o w that I was i n u n d a t i n g B r i a n w i t h a l l m a n n e r o f m u s i c a l questions. H e felt t h a t I s h o u l d c o n s i d e r a t t e n d i n g V a n c o u v e r C o m m u n i t y College m u s i c s c h o o l as he e x p l a i n e d that he d i d n o t feel it was possible t o a n s w e r a l l m y questions i n the short t i m e afforded b y private lessons. B r i a n was t h e guitar teacher at the s c h o o l a n d , as s u c h , m y lessons w o u l d c o n t i n u e , b u t I c o u l d attend courses i n theory, history, a n d ear t r a i n i n g . I f o l l o w e d h i s r e c o m m e n d a t i o n a n d w a l k e d i n t o the w o r l d o f h i g h e r l e a r n i n g a n d eventually i n t o t e a c h i n g .  The Impact of my Heroes on my Teaching A s I have l e a r n e d so m u c h about t e a c h i n g f r o m so m a n y people, I f i n d it h a r d t o l i m i t the d i s c u s s i o n t o j u s t the influence o f C h a r l i e a n d B r i a n . W i t h o u t h a v i n g m e t B r i a n , however, I realize that I p r o b a b l y w o u l d n o t have b e c o m e a teacher, as I w o u l d n o t have the e d u c a t i o n a l credentials that I n o w possess. B r i a n  114  i n s p i r e d m e a n d s u p p o r t e d m y endeavors to g a i n a degree t h r o u g h a d u a l t r a c k s c h o o l . I e n d e d u p e m e r g i n g as a b a n d i n s t r u c t o r that felt equally c o m f o r t a b l e teaching classical, j a z z , o r p o p m u s i c . T h i s strength of diversity has f o r m e d the b u i l d i n g b l o c k s of m y p r o g r a m at Sea V i e w w h e r e i n students have the choice to f o l l o w a classical, j a z z o r R & B p a t h . B r i a n also n u r t u r e d the d e v e l o p m e n t of m y o w n abilities o n m y guitar. I s t u d i e d classical guitar a n d f l o u r i s h e d i n the j a z z i d i o m . T h i s has a l l o w e d m e to i n s p i r e m y students t h r o u g h m y o w n p l a y i n g . I sense that the c h i l d r e n k n o w t h a t I a m a "real p l a y e r " as w e l l as a teacher a n d t h i s gives m e a lot of c r e d i b i l i t y . C r e d i b i l i t y translates i n t o respect a n d respect that is e a r n e d is a k e y i n g r e d i e n t to successful teaching. I a m sure that it is i n part t h r o u g h B r i a n ' s e x a m p l e t h a t I have m o v i n g i n t o graduate w o r k . A n u m b e r of years ago, B r i a n r e t u r n e d to s c h o o l a n d e a r n e d h i s P h D . H e n o w teaches at U B C i n the classics d e p a r t m e n t . It s e e m e d to be a n a t u r a l e v o l u t i o n . I p h o n e d h i m w h e n I e n r o l l e d . H e was very h a p p y for m e . C h a r l i e was a h i g h s c h o o l teacher for 2 7 years. H e was a n o u t s t a n d i n g example f o r m e . H e even c o n v i n c e d the W e s t V a n c o u v e r s c h o o l b o a r d to take a chance o n m e as a m u s i c teacher at Sea V i e w secondary w h e r e he was t e a c h i n g . W h e n he m o v e d out of geography a n d started t e a c h i n g d r a m a , we co-wrote a n d p r o d u c e d f o u r o r i g i n a l m u s i c a l s for the s c h o o l . (See " T h e B l u e s B r o t h e r s - a M u s i c a l . " ) I t r i e d a n d still c o n t i n u e to try to i n c o r p o r a t e his level of C o m m i t m e n t , v i s i o n , a n d energy to m y pedagogy. A n d l i k e h i m , I w o r k h a r d to m a k e the c h i l d r e n feel special a n d e m p o w e r e d .  115  On Becoming (My Own Hero?) C h a r l i e a n d B r i a n represented t w o of m y biggest m e n t o r s . B u t , l i k e every other h u m a n , I a m constantly b e i n g exposed to n e w ideas a n d ways of b e i n g a n d I still a b s o r b a n d i n c o r p o r a t e ideas a n d b e h a v i o r s that c o u l d potentially w o r k for m e . C o m i n g b a c k to s c h o o l is assisting this process. I have m e t a n d b e e n c h a l l e n g e d b y a w o n d e r f u l c o m p l e m e n t of professors a n d students. I t h r i v e o n t h i s . B u t as a n adult m a l e w i t h a f a m i l y , e d u c a t i o n , a n d seventeen years of t e a c h i n g experience, I r e s p o n d differently t h a n I d i d as a y o u n g m a n . I k n o w that these real t i m e heroes p r o v i d e d m e w i t h l e a r n i n g that I was not able to g l e a m f r o m m y father o r m y h o m e . I s o m e t i m e s v i e w these real t i m e heroes as surrogate fathers. T h e r e r e a c h e d a p o i n t , h o w e v e r , w h e n I r e a l i z e d t h a t I h a d to b e c o m e m y o w n m a n . I h a d b e e n v e r y o p e n to these m e n , b u t it was t i m e f o r m e to b e c o m e m y o w n h e r o . It w o u l d r e q u i r e t w o i m p o r t a n t psychological steps: first, I w o u l d have to l e a r n to l i s t e n a n d t r u s t m y o w n heart a n d senses. S e c o n d l y , I needed to participate m o r e actively i n the real w o r l d . A n d so I consciously d e c i d e d to start s t a n d i n g o n m y o w n a n d d e v e l o p i n g m y o w n sense o f self. T o a n extent, I have integrated a n d g r o w n - u p . A l t h o u g h I don't see m y s e l f as a " H e r o , " per se, I l i s t e n to m y o w n voice a n d constantly w o r k o n b e i n g t r u e to w h o e v e r I a m at any g i v e n t i m e . I perceive m y M a s t e r ' s p r o g r a m as a n i m p o r t a n t t r a n s f o r m a t i o n a l act. I have a life goal a n d c o m m i t m e n t to u n f o l d m y p o t e n t i a l p h y s i c a l l y , e m o t i o n a l l y , m e n t a l l y , artistically, a n d s p i r i t u a l l y . B y d e v e l o p i n g m y s e l f t h r o u g h the challenges of a graduate degree, I a m s t r i k i n g out o n one of the last neglected frontiers. I love  116  it. I w i l l s a v o u r it. I w i l l bite the experience to the b o n e . I n d o i n g so, I w i l l release the h e r o i n m e . P e o p l e say that w h a t we're all seeking is a m e a n i n g f o r life. I d o n ' t t h i n k this is w h a t we're really seeking. I t h i n k that w h a t we're seeking is a n experience of b e i n g alive, so that o u r life experiences o n the p u r e l y p h y s i c a l p l a n e w i l l have resonances w i t h i n o u r o w n i n n e r m o s t b e i n g a n d reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of b e i n g alive ( C a m p b e l l , 1988, p.5.)  117  Section III An Analysis of the Renderings  Reflections on the A/r/tographic Process A l t h o u g h it evolved o r g a n i c a l l y , t h e process i n w r i t i n g m y thesis s u r p r i s e d m e i n its consistent, r i t u a l i z e d a p p r o a c h . T h e poetry a n d narratives always c a m e out first. I n part, this was a c o n s c i o u s d e c i s i o n t o free t h e poetry f r o m t h e artistic shackles that are i m p o s e d o n s o n g l y r i c s . H a v i n g w r i t t e n n u m e r o u s songs over t h e years, I w a s c o n c e r n e d that poetry w o u l d b e subjugated t o t h e l i m i t s o f the m u s i c a l phrases. I also feared that I m i g h t w o r r y m o r e about issues o f r h y m e a n d s u c h , rather t h a n d i g i n a n d w r i t e m y best poetry. I n short, I w a n t e d poetic content t o t r i u m p h over issues o f f o r m . A l t h o u g h colleagues i n the language arts m a y disagree, I f i n d t h e c r e a t i o n o f m u s i c t o b e m o r e s u p p l e a n d adaptable t h a n poetry. F r o m m y perspective, t h e poetry d i d n o t i n h i b i t the m u s i c as m u c h as it acted as a catalyst f o r s o n i c e x p r e s s i o n . M u s i c a l e x p r e s s i o n — u n l i k e poetry, a h i g h l y c o n c e n t r a t e d a n d , therefore, fragile art f o r m — s e e m s t o be able t o effortlessly w r a p a r o u n d a variety o f poetic f o r m s a n d intensify the poetic content i n s u b l i m e ways. I n t e r m s o f r i t u a l i z e d process, I w r o t e a l l the poetry i n o u r h o m e study space. P r i o r t o w r i t i n g the poetry, I w o u l d attempt t o reach t h e site o f the a r a t i o n a l t h r o u g h m e d i t a t i o n . A t best, t h e m e d i t a t i v e process w o u l d t h r o w m e i n t o a state o f p r o f o u n d clarity o r , at w o r s e , c a l m d o w n s o m e o f the n o i s y chatter i n m y b r a i n . O n e m a y refer t o t h e p o e m , The Goddess of Innovation,  f o r m e t a p h o r i c insights  i n t o that process. T h i s place o f p r o f o u n d s i l e n c e / i n t u i t i v e k n o w i n g w o u l d u s u a l l y  118  predicate the emergence o f a t o p i c o r a l i n e o r a h o o k i n t o a p o e m . A t that p o i n t , I w o u l d t r y / n o t t r y t o u n w r i t e / w r i t e a p o e m b y a l l o w i n g as m a n y ideas as p o s s i b l e t o surface before m y analytical b r a i n b e c a m e activated. M y r a t i o n a l intelligence w o u l d be very i m p o r t a n t for the f i n e - t u n i n g after the s o u l of the p o e m was released. T o quote m y s e l f f r o m the Fable of the Sculptor,"...  the p a t h is n o w clear-release the  deep i n t u i t i v e feeling first a n d t h e n reflect a n d r e s p o n d t h r o u g h intelligence a n d observer aesthetics." F o r m e , there was a n e e d f o r a r a t i o n a l a n d r a t i o n a l creativity t o emerge f r o m this process. M y efforts were d i r e c t e d at t a p p i n g i n t o the i n t u i t i v e / a r a t i o n a l space first, i n o r d e r t o release deeper issues a n d all of t h e i r requisite p a s s i o n a n d feelings. M y r a t i o n a l m i n d t h e n r e v i e w e d , f o c u s e d , a n d c l a r i f i e d these d i r e c t e d feelings. T h e r a t i o n a l r e v i e w a n d e d i t i n g process w o u l d c a r r y o n f o r a p e r i o d of t i m e . C o m i n g b a c k t o a p o e m at a later date often a l l o w e d m e t o see the p o e m f r o m a n e w perspective. T h e r e w o u l d reach a p o i n t , however, where the p o e m was f a i r l y f i n i s h e d . T h a t s a i d , I don't t h i n k it ever ends, b u t I w o u l d t h e n start t o c o m p o s e the music. C o m p o s i n g m u s i c is a process that I love. F i n d i n g the " r i g h t " notes t o express m y feelings has consistently b e e n a f u l f i l l i n g process. I h a d a m a k e s h i f t studio i n a d o w n s t a i r s r o o m o f o u r h o u s e where I h a d access t o m y guitars, k e y b o a r d s , a n d a Gs/Pro T o o l s system t o facilitate the c o m p o s i t i o n a n d r e c o r d i n g of the m u s i c . T h e c o m p o s i t i o n a l process parallels the w r i t i n g process i n that I w o u l d u s u a l l y meditate, read the p o e m , a n d t h e n a l l o w the m u s i c t o rise u p t h r o u g h the a r a t i o n a l . O n e of the first d e t e r m i n a n t s o r u n c o n s c i o u s d e c i s i o n s I w o u l d m a k e was  119  to address the m o o d a n d p i c k a n a p p r o p r i a t e t e m p o . O f t e n , I w o u l d not be aware of t h i s step, h a v i n g already m a d e it at s o m e i n t u i t i v e level. Instead, m u s i c w o u l d c o m e out of m y fingers a n d heart. W h e n the process is g o i n g w e l l , it feels l i k e the fingers are p l a y i n g t h e m s e l v e s — i n d e e d , I feel m o r e l i k e a n observer t h a n a w i l l f u l creator. A s w i t h the w r i t i n g process, m y r a t i o n a l m i n d w o u l d be u s e d to reflect u p o n , clarify, a n d focus the m u s i c ideas, once the i n i t i a l i n t u i t i v e i m p u l s e h a d b e e n expressed. T h e change f r o m a r a t i o n a l / i n t u i t i v e process to r a t i o n a l / c o n t e x t u a l centered t h i n k i n g process is best t h o u g h t of t h r o u g h the a n a l o g o u s m o d e l of a c o n t i n u u m , w i t h these t w o processes at either e n d . It is certainly not a n " e i t h e r / o r " p r o p o s i t i o n . A t any given t i m e , I sense that I a m located i n a d r i f t b e t w e e n these t w o extremes. M y m u s i c a l e x p r e s s i o n was also subject to n u m e r o u s reviews a n d edits. A s I w a s the o n l y player i n v o l v e d , I h a d to layer o n i n s t r u m e n t a l a n d v o c a l tracks one at a t i m e . A g a i n , each track r e q u i r e d b o t h i n s p i r a t i o n a n d reflection. In g e n e r a l , m y r e c o r d i n g of s p o k e n p e r f o r m a n c e s of poetry a n d stories w a s a difficult process. P r o f e s s o r Leggo's p u b l i c readings of h i s poetry have b e e n a constant source of i n s p i r a t i o n . Poets e m b r a c e the n o t i o n of p e r f o r m a n c e poetry as a m e a n s to f u r t h e r release m e a n i n g f r o m poetry. I f o u n d , to m y d i s m a y , that I have neither the requisite s k i l l set, n o r the t i m b r e of voice to deliver m y poetry to the level of satisfaction that I realize f r o m m y m u s i c a l p e r f o r m a n c e s . I was t e m p t e d to ask s o m e o n e else to p e r f o r m a r e a d i n g of m y poetry, b u t I k n o w that it is m y p o e t r y a n d that I m u s t l e a r n to present it.  120  The Opening of the Golden Flower— the Mirage of Epiphany E a s t e r n m e t a p h y s i c s refers to the n o t i o n of o p e n i n g the g o l d e n flower. T h i s concept is a m e t a p h o r f o r yet a n o t h e r m e t a p h o r about the a w a k e n i n g of the t h i r d eye o r the a w a k e n i n g o f e n l i g h t e n m e n t i n oneself. T h e adventure o f a w a k e n i n g t h r o u g h the j o u r n e y of m y master's degree has b e e n i n v i g o r a t i n g yet d i s c o u r a g i n g , expansive yet e m b a r r a s s i n g , f u l f i l l i n g yet e m p t y w i t h u n a n s w e r e d q u e s t i o n s . P e r h a p s , questions never really change. P e r h a p s , it is j u s t the shift i n p e r c e p t u a l a n d intellectual context that creates a m i r a g e of e p i p h a n y . I n a house of perceptual m i r r o r s , I have m o v e d f o r w a r d , b a c k w a r d , o r stayed i n the same place. A r g u m e n t s can be m a d e for any of these p o s i t i o n s . A n u m b e r of r e c u r r i n g themes have s u r f a c e d i n m y a r a t i o n a l w r i t i n g s . T h e s e t h e m e s were c h o s e n f o r their frequency w i t h i n v a r i o u s w r i t i n g s a n d were d u e to the e m o t i o n a l weight they c a r r y for m e . T h e content o f the themes range w i d e l y as artificial l i n e s b l u r b e t w e e n m y roles as artist, teacher, researcher. I have selected seven m a j o r t h e m e s to reflect u p o n . P e r s o n a l context a n d context f o r m a t i o n •  H e r o e s (creation, d e m i s e , a n d p r o b l e m s w i t h ) a n d aspirations  •  Regrets  •  A n g e r w i t h the p r e v a i l i n g culture  •  N e w beginnings  •  T h e i m p o r t a n c e of A r t i s t i c / T r a n s c e n d e n t / A r a t i o n a l spaces  •  Reflections a n d i n t i m a t e l o o k s i n t o the f o r m a n d f u n c t i o n of e d u c a t i o n a l landscape  121  Personal context and contextual formation A s e e m i n g l y d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e a m o u n t of m y w r i t i n g seems l i n k e d to a n awareness of p e r s o n a l context, its c r e a t i o n , a n d r a m i f i c a t i o n s (i.e., The Frame,  The Unnatural  (Em)braced,  Act, The Hi-fi, I am Guitar, I am Starting  a n d The Story of Finding  Master  (to Lose),  I've  My Path). B y p e r s o n a l context, I refer to a  n o t i o n of w h o I t h i n k I a m a n d the values, beliefs, ethics, a n d p r i o r i t i e s — c o n s c i o u s or otherwise—that I h o l d w i t h i n m e that direct h o w I interpret p h e n o m e n a i n m y life. T h e t o p i c of p e r s o n a l context a n d c r e a t i o n of a f r a m e o r l e n s of reference is directly a d d r e s s e d i n The Master  Frame.  T h e a r r i v a l of o u r daughter, E m i l y , gave  m e great cause to reflect u p o n m y i m p a c t o n the f o r m a t i o n of h e r values a n d beliefs. A n d l i k e m a n y first t i m e fathers, I w a n t to d o a g o o d j o b , b u t it is s o m e t h i n g n e w to m e .  A n d b e i n g very k e e n , yet a l l the s a m e L a c k i n g real experience, we f o l l o w the p l a n s V e r y s l o w l y a n d carefully, c h e c k i n g the l a y of the l a n d  I a m very c o n s c i o u s that h e r c o l l e c t i o n a n d re-collection of o u r activities w i l l shape her. A n d I a m also aware of the textual s u b - p l o t I c a n r u n d u r i n g these activities w h e r e I c a n discuss issues of i m p o r t a n c e .  She passes me the w o o d a n d the s i d i n g A n d w i t h the greatest p a i n s , h o l d s the b e a m s steady for T h e M a s t e r F r a m e as I m e a s u r e a n d p e n c i l a n d P o u n d the n a i l s i n t o the w a l l b o a r d s as w e l l as I n t o the story b o a r d of h e r m y t h f o r we talk Incessantly a n d w o r k co-operatively to raise a structure a n d A cohesive e n v i r o n m e n t not o n l y out of W o o d a n d paper a n d nails b u t of d r e a m s a n d schemes a n d  122  V a l u e s that often p r e v a i l i n m y o w n M a s t e r F r a m e  M y p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h h o w one l o o k s a n d agendizes o r c o l o u r s p h e n o m e n a b e c o m e s stirred w h e n I a m w i t h E m i l y because it m a k e s m e t h i n k a b o u t h o w little m y father was i n v o l v e d i n m y life. I n d e e d , t h i s a / r / t o g r a p h i c process has m a d e m e realize that I still carry f r u s t r a t i o n due to the lack of p a r t i c i p a t i o n f r o m m y father w i t h m y development. In m a n y ways, the T V was m y first surrogate father a n d p u r v e y o r o f m y t h , r i t u a l , t r a d i t i o n , a n d values. I f i n d it s t u n n i n g l y i r o n i c that I was b e i n g s h a p e d b y the values a n d agenda of corporate U n i t e d States of A m e r i c a w h i l e m y real D a d sat a n d w a t c h e d beside m e i n a n e a r - c o m a t o s e state of n o n - r e a c t i o n . L a t e r , as a n a d u l t I w o u l d have to deal w i t h a l l t h i s c o m m e r c i a l p r o g r a m m i n g of m y taste a n d priorities. It s e e m e d h a r m l e s s at the t i m e , b u t u l t i m a t e l y the act of d a i l y T V v i e w i n g r o o t e d w i t h i n m e a core set of beliefs a n d a p p r o a c h to life that I have h a d to s p e n d years w r e s t l i n g out o f m y consciousness.  H o w m u c h d i d I l a u g h ? H o w m u c h d o I hate H o w deep these m y t h s d i d s i n k a n d f o r m u l a t e M y b r a i n a n d assist i n the c o n s t r u c t i o n of b l a c k a n d w h i t e r e d u c t i o n i s m T h a t drove m e a n d a y o u n g n a t i o n of over s t i m u l a t e d r o m a n t i c s to R e b e l at the antics of a w o r l d that we really d i d n ' t k n o w , T u n e out a n d o n w i t h the s h o w ! ( f r o m The Unnatural Act)  U n k n o w i n g l y , m y father a l l o w e d television to develop a significant part of m y nascent contextual f r a m e . H e also p u r c h a s e d , for his e n t e r t a i n m e n t , a w o n d e r f u l h i - f i d e l i t y r e c o r d player. B u t his m u s i c of choice, the w i l d E a s t e r n  123  E u r o p e a n gypsy a n d other e t h n i c m u s i c f o r m s , h o o k e d m e o n the t r e m e n d o u s m a g i c a l effect that m u s i c c a n have o n m e .  M y e m o t i o n s a n d b o d y were k i d n a p p e d a n d f o r c e d to ride t h i s s o n i c r o l l e r coaster. It w a s as if the m u s i c c o u l d s o m e h o w charge u p m y w h o l e s y s t e m . P e r h a p s we c o u l d b l a m e it o n m y genetics, b u t , f o r w h a t e v e r r e a s o n , t h i s m u s i c f o u n d its w a y to the very core of m y b e i n g . It j u s t a b o u t drove m e crazy. I w o u l d s l o w l y sway to the m o u r n f u l o p e n i n g t h e m e , (there is always s o r r o w i n any gypsy piece of m e r i t ) , a n d t h e n , u n c o n t r o l l a b l y , I w o u l d have to dance as the t e m p o accelerated. I was t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a m a r i o n e t t e a n d the m u s i c was the m a s t e r puppeteer. A s the b a n d w o u l d rocket to a " P r e s t o " t e m p o I w o u l d be forced to r u n , n o n - s t o p , i n circles t h r o u g h the r o o m s of the h o u s e . T h i s crazy p u p p e t dance w o u l d c o n t i n u e u n t i l the t r i u m p h a n t f i n i s h h a d m e c o l l a p s i n g i n t o a c h a i r , breathless a n d s w e a t i n g profusely, ( f r o m The Hi-Fi)  I am Guitar is a p o e m c o n c e r n e d w i t h the i m p o r t a n c e of m u s i c a l selfe x p r e s s i o n at the other e n d of m y life c o n t i n u u m . It c o m e s out of a defensive p o s t u r e a b o u t m y n e e d / w a n t to have s o m e d a i l y practice t i m e , h e n c e , the m a n t r a - l i k e r e f r a i n that keeps b u i l d i n g :  I a m guitar It w i l l n o t go away And.. I a m guitar It w i l l not go away, It w i l l n o t go away... And finally... I a m guitar It w i l l not go away It w i l l not go away U n t i l I do T h e p e r s o n a l benefits are huge.  124  T h e guitar has s o o t h e d m e , c h a l l e n g e d m e , Delighted me and grounded me T h r o u g h o u t a l l the m a n y challenges T h a t I have e n d u r e d i n t h i s s o m e t i m e s L u m p y , sad c l o w n P l a n e of existence. It has s u p p o r t e d m e t h r o u g h v a r i o u s j o b s , B o r i n g r o u t i n e s , m i n d - d e a d e n i n g situations, O v e r - w o r k , a n d negative people. It has l i s t e n e d to m e t a l k t h r o u g h T h e acceleration of E v e r - c h a n g i n g experiences, Relentless challenges, T h e c o m i n g a n d g o i n g of r e l a t i o n s h i p s , A n d of b a l a n c e w i t h i n m y s e l f S o m e h o w it has always h e l p e d keep m e i n check, T h e m a g n i t u d e of its experience, Its potential a n d intellectual a n d e m o t i o n a l palette h a v i n g n o w U n d e r p i n n e d m y w h o l e p o i n t of v i e w , M y entire value s y s t e m . A n d so the l i n e s b e t w e e n " g u i t a r " a n d "I" have b l u r r e d  T h e p o e m closes w i t h the n o t i o n of r e - c o m m i t m e n t .  A n d if the archetype of tragedy R o l l s over m e a n d D e c i m a t e s a l l that I have w o r k e d So h a r d for a n d Destroys m y f a m i l y , M y core, A n d b r i n g s m e to m y knees, b l i n d a n d c r i p p l e d In a pathetic h e a p of c r u s h e d h u m a n i t y I w i l l c r a w l o n h a n d s a n d knees T o f i n d m y guitar to cry t h r o u g h A n d t h o u g h it w i l l not offer s o l u t i o n , It w i l l give s o m e solace a n d self-reflection because I a m guitar It w i l l not go away It w i l l not go away  125  Until I do  T h u s this p o e m enables m e t o reveal a n d evaluate the i m p a c t o f guitar i n m y life w i t h t h e hopes o f c o n f e r r i n g that a l l b o u n d a r i e s between m y s e l f a n d the i n s t r u m e n t have vaporized—we have entangled t o the p o i n t o f oneness. Iam Starting (to Lose) was w r i t t e n a r o u n d the m i d - p o i n t o f m y M a s t e r ' s j o u r n e y . W i t h i n t h e p o e m are the seeds o f change a n d p o t e n t i a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n a n d the c o n s c i o u s realization that these changes were i m m i n e n t . It is i n t e n d e d that t h e title be r e a d twice, as i n J am Starting, a n d I am Starting to Lose i n o r d e r t o convey closure as w e l l as n e w b e g i n n i n g s . I start b y q u e s t i o n i n g w h y I d i d t h i n g s i n the past a n d i n this sense, c a n b e c o n s i d e r e d a p r e c u r s o r t o the p o e m s o f regret (i.e., The Fable of Regret a n d  Driving with no Hands). I am starting to lose J u s t w h y I d i d a l l those t h i n g s ; W h y i n y o u t h I r a i l e d a n d c l a m o r e d so passionately F o r freedoms that were already s a i d t o be a n d W h y I coveted a n d c o n s p i r e d , a d o r n e d a n d d i s p l a y e d a n d D a n c e d t o a m u s i c that s o m e t i m e s o n l y existed i n m y h e a d .  I also e x a m i n e the n e e d t o m o v e away f r o m m y heroes a n d m o v e i n t o a state o f a c c e p t i n g myself.  J am starting to lose A l l m y heroes A s a tide o f d e m o c r a t i z a t i o n rolls i n A n d levels the p l a y i n g f i e l d Into a l i q u i d f l o w i n g mass W a s h i n g m e clean a n d F r e e i n g m e f r o m the v i c t i m i z a t i o n o f N e e d s t o prove a n d  126  N e e d s to be accepted..  A n d as a result of this n a t u r a l letting-go, I f i n d m y s e l f m o v i n g i n t o a n e w state of becoming. I s t a n d n a k e d a n d not c a r i n g D i s i n t e r e s t e d a n d d i s c o n n e c t e d , yet Passionately i n v o l v e d . . . H o w c a n t h i s be? Change is i n the air...  I am becoming T h e f o o l o n the h i l l T h e i n v i s i b l e o n e , the crazy m a n , T a l k i n g to h i m s e l f - •. Reveling i n his o w n jokes Y e t , at the same t i m e , I a m h e a r i n g N e w s y m p h o n i e s of l i v i n g A n d concertos i n the once c a c o p h o n o u s t u m b l e Of confusion A n d I am preparing T o be myself...  '  I've (Em)braced is b o t h m y o p e n i n g a n d c l o s i n g piece, a n d i s , essentially, a n artistic abstract of the research i n t h i s thesis. It c a n be v i e w e d as a t i g h t l y c o m p r e s s e d p e r s o n a l i n v e n t o r y set of contextual shifts—a p a r a d o x i c a l a n d difficult assessment of a l l the roles a n d attitudes a n d t h e m a t i c obsessions t h a t I have a s s u m e d a n d c o n s u m e d . It is b o t h confessional a n d cathartic i n is n a t u r e . It is one of the latest p o e m s that I have w r i t t e n a n d its significance lays i n its h o n e s t y a n d c o m p r e h e n s i v e nature. F o r so m a n y years, I have w r a p p e d m y s e l f i n the b e l i e f that I essentially a " g o o d " m a n , a n d p e r h a p s I a m , b u t t h r o u g h this p o e m I a m a t t e m p t i n g to e m b r a c e , o r at least acknowledge all of myself, b o t h g o o d a n d b a d . T h e first verse lists a series of p s y c h o l o g i c a l m a s k s that I've w o r n . T h e t e r m (Em)braced i m p l i e s that I l o v e d s o m e of these roles a n d h o w , i n retrospect, I've h a d to brace m y s e l f i n o r d e r to a d m i t to other roles. T h e m a s k s t w i s t themselves  127  i n t o s e l f - c r i t i c i z i n g a n d j u d g i n g m y s o m e t i m e s a n n o y i n g p r o p e n s i t y to j u d g e others as w e l l as myself. I've ( E m ) b r a c e d Prankster, C o n M a n , Liar, Lover, Husband, Father, T(h)inker(er), Imposter, Preposterous Lying in judgment! T h e p o e m also contains a t h e m a t i c o v e r v i e w of a l l the w o r k that has surfaced i n the last couple years, d u r i n g m y r e t u r n to university. I n the s e c o n d verse, I t o u c h o n three r e c u r r i n g t h e m e s : the i m p o r t a n c e of the a r a t i o n a l , m y p e r s o n a l struggles w i t h W e s t e r n c u l t u r e , c o l o n i a l i s m , a n d the n o t i o n of regret.  Yet S o m e t i m e s N o t of this W o r l d A s m y eyes r o l l b a c k w a r d a n d the j a w drops... M y s t i c systemic, pathetic a n d regretful Keeper of c a r t o o n c o n s c i o u s n e s s , M y feet b l i s t e r o n the h y p e r - h e a t e d asphalt O f W e s t e r n reality, I never l e a r n Still M y s t i f i e d b y the r a r i f i e d M i r a c l e o f hope(lessness)  T h e t h i r d part of the p o e m sets u p a series of dialectical b i n a r i e s to d e m o n s t r a t e the w i d t h , b r e a d t h , d e p t h a n d p a r a d o x i c a l m u l t i - d i m e n s i o n a l i t y of m y character.  Frightened child and old man I a m P e n i s c r o s s e d w i t h penance S o n of Z o r r o a n d N o s f e r a t u ,  128  (Anti)... C h r i s t , I w i s h I k n e w ! T h e f o u r t h part of the p o e m critically reviews the t h e m e of m y role as a researcher a n d educator a n d the m i r a g e of k n o w l e d g e / e p i p h a n y .  Saint o r s i n n e r , Certainly F o o l o n the h i l l of the A c a d e m y of P o w e r , politics a n d lost s o u l s , L i m i n a l T r a n s g r e s s o r i n the a p o r i a of F o u n d a n d lost (again) I see T h e oasis o r j u s t a n o t h e r mirage?...  T h e p o e m closes o n a n upbeat note that s o m e t i m e s I c a n t r a n s c e n d m y o w n m u d d l e a n d w o r k i n service f o r others.  M e a n w h i l e the B u d d h a of C o m p a s s i o n p o u r s R i v e r s of tears t h r o u g h m e as I l o o k at p i c t u r e s of M y daughter Because Sometimes I know T o l o o k above m y s e l f  Heroes A n o t h e r prevalent t h e m e i n m y w r i t i n g has b e e n the concept of heroes— t h e i r c r e a t i o n , t h e i r d e m i s e , a n d the p r o b l e m s associated w i t h the cult of personality. T h e creation a n d e u l o g i z i n g of b o t h genders of heroes c a n be f o u n d i n the p o e m , The Unnatural  Act.  A s a c h i l d , i m m e r s e d i n a m i l i e u of b l a c k a n d w h i t e r e d u c t i o n i s m , a l l screen starlets b e c a m e goddesses o r archetypes of beauty a n d c h a r i s m a .  129  I l o v e d their p e r f e c t i o n , t h e i r u l t r a m y t h i c f e m i n i n e L o o k s w i t h doe eyes a n d cheek b o n e s C h i s e l e d out of granite a n d s m i l e s T h a t w o u l d take y o u m i l e s t o a distant planet of s i r e n What possible chance did I have...  I s a w the male images as direct e x a m p l e s of p e r f e c t i o n — i n d e e d , w h a t I n e e d e d to g r o w to b e c o m e . T o be a m a n , a P a l a d i n , Real Rifleman wanted Dead or Alive, A C h u c k o r a Steve, C l i n t o r G a r y Tallness a n d silence b r i m m i n g w i t h v i o l e n c e a n d f u r y M u c h too s o o n t o define the A m e r i c a n M a l e O n the b l a c k a n d w h i t e pages of h i g h n o o n .  M o s t of m y life I have t e n d e d to e m b r a c e v a r i o u s h e r o i c figures. E v e n w h e n I r e t u r n e d to s c h o o l f o r m y graduate w o r k , I e m b r a c e d a n e w type of hero—the a c a d e m i c h e r o . T h e p o e m Big People was w r i t t e n after I h a d b e e n i n v i t e d t o attend a m e e t i n g w i t h the a / r / t o g r a p h y g r o u p . I was very i m p r e s s e d w i t h the p o w e r a n d intensity of the intellectual energy that surfaced at this m e e t i n g . T h i s p o e m directly talks about these n e w m e n t o r s , albeit i n a p l a y f u l setting, that m a k e s use of the layers of m e a n i n g a n d d o u b l e entendres t h a t poetically exist w i t h i n language.  B i g people often r u n T h r o u g h the cracks f o r the b o r d e r s a n d Stay u p all night to seize the day because B i g people have great v i s i o n E v e n i f they leave t h e i r glasses at h o m e F o r they peer t h r o u g h a l e n s T h a t has b e e n g r o u n d a n d p o l i s h e d B y years of e p i s o d i c narratives A n d reflective calls a n d responses That turns outward i n A n d i n so out  130  A s to the diversity of the professors at the a / r / t o g r a p h y m e a n i n g , I w r i t e :  B i g people cannot be b o t t l e d o r L a b e l e d , categorized o r d e n i e d Dismissed, re-miffed or qualified E x c e p t b y those w h o m i s s the boat A s it leaves f o r adventure i s l a n d s r e m o t e O h h o w I love b i g p e o p l e !  A l t h o u g h m y first heroes were T V screen actors a n d m y present heroes are m o r e l i k e l y to be f o u n d w i t h i n the a c a d e m y , b y far, m y m u s i c a l h e r o - g u i t a r i s t s have m a d e the m o s t significant i m p r e s s i o n to date. A part of m e has always w a n t e d to b e l i e f i n m a g i c a n d I have always s a v o u r e d the i n - d w e l l i n g of the spirit. I n the r e a l m of m u s i c , I have never b e e n able to clearly differentiate between a few b r e a t h - t a k i n g , t r a n s c e n d e n t a l m u s i c a l p e r f o r m a n c e s that I have w i t n e s s e d a n d the n o t i o n of m a g i c . A n d , as I have t r o u b l e separating m a g i c f r o m spirit, these h i g h l y i n f r e q u e n t artistic p e r f o r m a n c e s resonate at s u c h a s u b l i m e level, that its effect o n m e is the p r o d u c t i o n of a n altered experience. A l l paths l e a d to G o d b u t s o m e paths are a little q u i c k e r . I n the sixties, a lot of m u s i c c a m e out of the b l u e s . It was m o r p h e d i n t o a n e w h y b r i d f o r m w h e n it's basic f o r m a n d v o c a b u l a r y w a s m u s i c a l l y m e l d e d w i t h h i g h - p o w e r e d r o c k a n d r o l l a n d over-the-top e m o t i o n s . W h e n J i m i H e n d r i x p o u r e d h i s heart out t h r o u g h t h i s context, the result w a s m u s i c / m a g i c that t o u c h e d sacred places a n d t o o k audiences to t r a n s c e n d e n t a l heights.  131  T o s o m e extant, this p s y c h e d e l i c s a c r a m e n t has b e e n lost as p o p u l a r c u l t u r e has m o v e d onto other topics l i k e p o w e r , m a t e r i a l a c q u i s i t i o n , a n d so o n . A n d , w i t h aging, m y o w n context has c h a n g e d . I'm n o t as easily i m p r e s s e d as I was w h e n I was y o u n g e r as I a m m u c h better at d i s c e r n i n g between a slight o f h a n d a n d p r o f o u n d experience. I n Magician/Musician,  I t a l k about the real t h i n g . I m e n t i o n that even t h e  m o o d a n d feeling w a s different. S o m e t i m e s , one c a n sense a special e v e n i n g .  It w a s i n t h e a i r A s s o o n as they c o u n t e d o u t A n d freed t h e first s o u n d s Y o u knew, but couldn't explain T h e feeling That wrapped around you like A w a r m blanket and convinced y o u T h a t the c o n v e r s a t i o n between t h e i n s t r u m e n t s W o u l d s p i n a m a r v e l o u s story Filled w i t h passion, intrigue, Caring and humour  E a c h p l a y e r w o u l d contribute to t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f this a u r a l edifice o f the gods: with E a c h soloist b r i n g i n g H i s s p e c i a l t w i s t to t h e epic B y t a k i n g h i s o w n poetry A n d w e a v i n g it i n t o the s o n i c f a b r i c O f the w h o l e W h i c h through tonal alchemy W o u l d convert s i m p l e s o u n d s Into a narrative so intense A n d b u r s t i n g w i t h resonance T h a t the story w o u l d A c t u a l l y g r i n d t o a place So deep, yet c l e a n s i n g That the audience would Be left i n silence at the e n d a n d F o r c e d again to wrestle w i t h E n o r m o u s questions d f p u r p o s e  132  B u t one player rose above the others to take the a u d i e n c e over the edge.  O n e o f the players H a d special gifts, A n original and stunning C o m b i n a t i o n of years o f t e c h n i q u e W i t h serious r e a d i n g a n d c r i t i q u e O f authors of m u s i c past A n d this m e l d e d w i t h f r a m e s O f h e r o i c v i s i o n a n d tenacity that R i p p e d f o r t h f r o m h i s b e i n g as A torrential outpouring T h a t started slowly, C r e e p i n g i n the b a c k p o r c h A n d edging ever so closely A n d he c a p t u r e d the s m e l l O f the r a i n j u s t before the b r e a k A n d he m a d e m e shiver I n a n t i c i p a t i o n of the first Tenuous drops and I was sure that I c o u l d See the t h u n d e r gray a n d B l a c k c l o u d s c i r c l i n g above H i s h e a d as the i n t e n s i t y O f his playing heralded an Explosion of torrent a n d current  A n d I was not alone i n r e c o g n i z i n g this m o m e n t .  A n d the a u d i e n c e s c r e a m e d F r o m the resonance of t h i s tale O f epic r o m a n t i c i s m A n d j u s t w h e n we t h o u g h t T h a t the j o u r n e y was c o m p l e t e T h e soloist t o o k us T o a n e w level of fresh t e r r a i n a n d T o n e w w o r l d s of u n d e r s t a n d i n g A n d the audience e x p l o d e d A n d rose to t h e i r feet as they  133  A s they s t r a i n e d t o see h i m P u s h h i s h e a d above t h e t h u n d e r c l o u d s T o the deafening silence above the w h i t e noise W h e r e h e w a s h e d us c l e a n A n d graced u s w i t h a chance To try again.  N a t u r a l l y , as a m u s i c i a n , I a m a w o u l d - b e - m a g i c i a n as I aspire t o p l a y at a level that s u p p o r t s a n audience t o t r a n s c e n d o u r s e e m i n g l y p h y s i c a l reality. W h i l e Magician/Musician  is a p o e m f r o m t h e audience's v i e w p o i n t , High Wire Guitar is  a v i e w f r o m the other side—the feelings a n d process that a m u s i c i a n m i g h t take t o m o v e t o t h e next level. It starts w i t h a m u s i c i a n t a k i n g a n i m p r o v i s e d s o l o . T h e difficulty, poise, a n d attitude n e e d e d t o i m p r o v i s e d r a w s a n analogy t o w a l k i n g a tightrope.  P u t t i n g y o u r foot o u t y o u feel t h e w i r e Before y o u w a l k o n water A n d t h o u g h y o u are very h i g h I n the stratosphere, there is n o N e t a n d certainly n o t u r n i n g back, O n l y t u r n i n g i n w a r d as y o u C o m p l e t e l y relax, O h m M a n i P a d m e H u m , A n d u n c o n s c i o u s l y a l i g n a n d poise Your m i n d , body and soul I n absolute c o n c e n t r a t i o n T o let o u t y o u r voice f r o m T h e deepest p i t o f y o u r s p i r i t A s o n l y the w a y y o u c a n W h i l e t h e rest o f the u n i v e r s e L o o k s over y o u r s h o u l d e r s A n d floats y o u u p i n a Sea o f teardrops f r o m The Buddha of compassion  I n a great solo there is always a loss o f self i n t o the t o t a l c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f the n o w . A n d i n the b l i s t e r i n g w h i r l i n g o f the spheres  134  Y o u t u n e i n t o its tautness, Its f r e q u e n c y a n d t h i c k n e s s U n t i l there is n o s e p a r a t i o n T h r o u g h s t o r m a n d still  You are Y o u r extension O course, there c a n be external o r u n c o n s c i o u s factors that c a n l i m i t Or a l l o w the successful c r o s s i n g i n t o the i n f i n i t e n o w . If a l l m a n n e r of t h i n g s have L o c k e d themselves i n t o The most sacred pattern W h e n the s u n m a k e s love to the m o o n A n d the tides r o l l b a c k w a r d to reveal A n c i e n t s h i p w r e c k s a n d cities O f so l o n g ago, yet y o u k n o w A n d the h o w l of the w o l f B e c o m e s a n a r i a of u n s p e a k a b l e beauty... T h e n y o u are ready  Regrets A r i s i n g t h e m e i n m y later years has b e e n the r e g u l a r l y o c c u r r i n g issue of regret. A s is the nature w i t h regrets, these regrets f r e q u e n t l y center o n choices that I m a d e years ago that are n o w i m p a c t i n g o r restricting m y present set of o p t i o n s . T h e y certainly s e e m to fall out of a m i n d set that for years e m b r a c e d overt h e r o i s m a n d r o m a n t i c i s m . T h e p a s s i n g of m y father i n A u g u s t of 2 0 0 5 i n t e n s i f i e d t h i s type of t h i n k i n g . H i s death clearly d e l i n e a t e d the passage of t i m e a n d r e m i n d e d m e of m y l i m i t e d t i m e i n this m a t e r i a l reality. In the p o e m The Fable of Regret, I t r y to subvert that type of t h i n k i n g to enable m e to m o v e o n a n d live i n the present. T h e m e t a p h o r of a s n a k e , a c o l d - b l o o d e d reptile w i t h a f o r k e d - t o n g u e , addresses m e i n t h i s fable.  135  Y e s , I have o b s e r v e d that A s y o u have g r o w n o l d e r A n d deeper i n the seat O f y o u r true self Y o u have also c o g n i z e d T h a t y o u r d e m i s e is R a c i n g to catch y o u A n d y o u r o w n story Is b e i n g etched i n stone F o r t i m e eternal A n d y o u are fast l o s i n g C o n t r o l of y o u r destiny A n d especially any r e s o l u t i o n O f y o u r messy stories O f u n r e a l i z e d glory I a m the Snake of Regret W h o lives a n d thrives O n your frustration W i t h the finite aspect O f your short visitation  Into this earthly vessel A n d with your misunderstandings O f the very n a t u r e Of h u m a n learning's. I battle the snake t h r o u g h e m b r a c i n g regret as a m e a s u r e m e n t o f m y progress i n t h i s a d v e n t u r o u s life. I e x p l a i n it t h u s :  Regret t h e n , for m e , Is a n a f f i r m a t i o n A n d a measure That indeed, I have succeeded In m o v i n g m y s e l f f o r w a r d A n d truly grown T h r o u g h the years. A n d so, rather t h a n fear, I choose to feast o n regret A s the o n l y t r u e test O f m y g r o w t h as a h u m a n .  136  Driving  with No Hands was w r i t t e n after a real a n d v i v i d l y intense  experience—a f l a s h b a c k of feelings f r o m m y y o u t h that I e n c o u n t e r e d one d a y as I drove t h e l o n g c o m m u t e f r o m w o r k t o h o m e .  And for some reason on this special day T h e s u n c o n n e c t e d w i t h m e so strongly That I longed to pull out a chain saw A n d cut off the entire r o o f o f m y o l d h o u n d d o g c a r A n d , l i k e B r o t h e r J a k e , w h e n he s a w the L i g h t , J too wanted to jump cartwheels And drive again with no hands F o r it gave m e a feeling that I h a d forgottenA feeling so s p e c i a l , so sacred, so life a f f i r m i n g T h a t I w a n t e d to weep at h o w Empty I Had Become...  Driving  with No Hands is a celebration o f life, y o u t h , a n d n a i v e honesty. It is a  c o m m e n t a r y o n h o w , to s o m e extent w e a l l get d e r a i l e d a n d dance w i t h regret as w e age w i t h i n t h e p a r a d i g m o f society.  T e n years later W h e n the adventure C a m e t o its e n d A n d I became " n o r m a l " again, It took m e years to c o m e off The adrenaline-it was like heroin A n d f o r lifetimes after I w a l k e d the streets Like a prisoner O f the setting s u n C r a v i n g the r u s h a n d the release A n d the r e c o g n i t i o n A n d never s e e m i n g t o score E n o u g h to appease m y m i n d . . .  137  A n d it never r e c o n c i l e d It j u s t f a d e d i n t i m e W i t h the avalanche of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y T h a t f o l l o w s f i t t i n g into society U n t i l this moment when In the b l i n k o f a n d eye I was taken right back T o the t i m e w h e n I c o u l d fly A n d drive w i t h n o h a n d s .  Anger/alienation with the prevailing culture Driving  with No Hands touches o n m y anger a n d a l i e n a t i o n w i t h the  p r e v a i l i n g culture. I n this p o e m , I refer t o the m i n d - n u m b i n g experience of the evening c o m m u t e h o m e . Ironically, o u r h o m e is situated i n a s u b u r b a n n e i g h b o r h o o d that is c o m p o s e d of people w i t h w h o s e values I have n o c o m m o n a l i t y . It is a p s e u d o - s a n c t u a r y , as m y f a m i l y lives there, b u t we struggle w i t h any sense of integrating w i t h the c o m m u n i t y .  F o r as I drove h o m e today, Deep i n the g r i d a n d l o c k o f 9 t o 5 E a t i n g the f u m e s a n d c u r s i n g b u f f o o n s In a p a n i c t o get off the tar F o r d o m e s t i c abyss i n m y little h o u s e i n the s u b W i t h its 70's b i g engine t i m e w a r p a n d N e i g h b o r s w h o are w h i t e - r i g h t of A r n o l d , I was a m a z e d t o see the s u n b u r s t t h r o u g h T h e heavens a n d bless all the p r i s o n e r s O f the c o m m u t e  A l t h o u g h there is a clear d i s t a i n f o r m y present life i n t h i s p o e m , m y o w n sense o f a l i e n a t i o n a n d p e r s o n a l rejection certainly h a u n t e d m e d u r i n g the first h a l f of m y life. It seems directly t i e d t o a search f o r p u r p o s e a n d m e a n i n g a n d u l t i m a t e l y to the revelation of d r e a m s a n d values t h r o u g h artistic self-expression. I have often w o n d e r e d w h y I b e l i e v e d that life s h o u l d offer m o r e . R e c i p r o c a l l y , I  138  w o n d e r e d w h y I s h o u l d offer s o m e t h i n g special b a c k t o life t h r o u g h s o m e h e r o i c a c c o m p l i s h m e n t . A n d so, a l a c k o f acceptance o f life, as it is i n t h i s t i m e a n d place, a n d a l a c k o f accepting m y o w n n o r m a l i t y has b e e n a n o n g o i n g issue. I r e m i n d m y s e l f o f the w o m a n I d e p i c t e d i n the Master  Frame.  I h e a r d about a w o m a n w h o grew u p i n a h o u s e o f riches f r a m e d w i t h beliefs O f s u p e r i o r i t y o n l y t o f i n d that a t u r n o f events p u s h e d h e r i n t o a life o f C o n s t a n t struggle i n s i d e a n e w d r e a m w i t h a m a n o f m o d e s t m e a n s A n d there she r a i s e d a f a m i l y b u t was never able f o r e t u r n T o h e r o r i g i n a l H o m e F r a m e w i t h its A f f l u e n c e a n d C o n n e c t i o n s a n d as a result she d i v o r c e d h e r s e l f F r o m h e r very o w n life f o r she s a w h e r life A s a failure as she c o u l d n o t re-conceive Her Master Frame to accommodate A different context a n d So she i n v a l i d a t e d  Everything...  P e r h a p s m y " h o u s e o f riches f r a m e d w i t h beliefs o f s u p e r i o r i t y , " was t h e m e t a p h o r i c context o f t e l e v i s i o n w h i c h r e p l a c e d the v a c u u m o f late 'so's s u b u r b a n life w i t h stories o f adventure a n d h e r o i c a c c o m p l i s h m e n t . P e r h a p s m y n e e d f o r a special life is a s y m p t o m o f the damage i n c u r r e d b y w a t c h i n g t o o m u c h television at a very i m p r e s s i o n a b l e age. A l l those c o w b o y s h o w s o f the late 50's cut deeply i n t o m y psyche.  T o be a m a n , a P a l a d i n , Real R i f l e m a n w a n t e d D e a d o r A l i v e , A C h u c k o r a Steve, C l i n t o r G a r y Tallness a n d silence b r i m m i n g w i t h v i o l e n c e a n d f u r y M u c h too s o o n t o define the A m e r i c a n M a l e O n the b l a c k a n d w h i t e pages o f h i g h n o o n .  A m I, as a guitarist, a m e t a p h o r i c g u n s l i n g e r ? D o I seek adventures a n d p e r f o r m a n c e challenges o n t h e m u s i c a l f r o n t i e r ?  139  I n the last t e n years, I have w o r k e d h a r d at i n t e g r a t i n g m y s e l f w i t h the v a r i o u s c o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h w h i c h I c o m e i n contact. I have e n j o y e d s o m e success i n c o n n e c t i n g w i t h m y peers, the t e a c h i n g staff at w o r k . T w e n t y - o d d years ago, as a n e w teacher, I h a d t r o u b l e relating to other teachers. I h a d b e c o m e a teacher at s u c h a late age (36), a n d I c a r r i e d s u c h a u n i q u e p e r s o n a l a g e n d a f r o m years o f n o n - t e a c h i n g adventures. C o n s e q u e n t l y , I felt different a n d i n d e e d , I was very different f r o m m o s t of m y colleagues at that t i m e . O n e clear t u r n i n g p o i n t that assisted i n m y i n t e g r a t i n g i n t o the t e a c h i n g c o m m u n i t y a n d the w o r l d at large has been the a r r i v a l of o u r daughter, E m i l y , i n M a y of 1 9 9 8 .  New Beginnings T h e n o t i o n of n e w b e g i n n i n g s is o n l y t o u c h e d u p o n i n t h i s series of p o e m s . These p o e m s s y m b o l i z e the actual process of m o v i n g to a p o s i t i o n of acceptance a n d courage to r e c l a i m m y o w n , a u t h e n t i c voice. A s I wrote t h r o u g h these p o e m s a n d as I w r o t e m u s i c to enhance t h e m , m y voice started to r e - m a n i f e s t itself. B u t t h i s w o r k a n d t h i s d o c u m e n t are m o r e clearly about the process as o p p o s e d to the results. I h i n t at the future a n d w h a t I a m to b e c o m e i n the p o e m , / am (To  Starting  Lose). I am becoming T h e f o o l o n the h i l l T h e i n v i s i b l e one, the crazy m a n , T a l k i n g to h i m s e l f Reveling in his own jokes Y e t , at the s a m e t i m e , I a m h e a r i n g N e w s y m p h o n i e s of l i v i n g A n d concertos i n the once c a c o p h o n o u s t u m b l e Of confusion A n d I am preparing T o be myself...  140  (The Importance of) Artistic/Transcendent/Arational spaces M y c o n d u i t to m y s e l f a n d t o n e w b e g i n n i n g s has always b e e n t h r o u g h A r t i s t i c / T r a n s c e n d e n t / A r a t i o n a l spaces. O n e of m y first p o e m s , How Old? alludes to the timeless q u a l i t y o f this site o f k n o w l e d g e . S u d d e n , u n e x p e c t e d t r a n s c e n d e n c e can be v e r y d r a m a t i c . B y u n e x p e c t e d , I d o n o t m e a n t h e type o f actions o r rituals, l i k e m e d i t a t i o n , that are specifically p r a c t i c e d f o r t h i s experience. I a m t a l k i n g about t i m e s w h e n w e are all j u s t l i v i n g o u r lives a n d w e m o m e n t a r i l y step o u t of ourselves. F o r e x a m p l e , I have sat o n a b e a c h at sunset a n d the sheer beauty o f t h e experience has catapulted m e i n t o a rapture that m a d e m e feel that t i m e h a d c o m p l e t e l y s t o p p e d , o r that I was i n a context b e y o n d t i m e . T h i s p o e m i s p r o p e l l e d b y a series o f questions that l e a d t o ever-increasingly o b v i o u s c o n n e c t i o n s t o the site of a r a t i o n a l i t y — m o m e n t s i n everyday life that m a y go as u n r e c o g n i z e d as t i m e s w h e n w e d i p o u r toes i n the i n f i n i t e waters o f the t r a n s c e n d e n t . C o m m e n c i n g w i t h the i n n o c u o u s , yet strange q u e s t i o n of h o w o l d are y o u w h e n y o u l a u g h , the p o e m asks t h e same q u e s t i o n about o t h e r c o m m o n experiences l i k e t h e c o n s u m p t i o n of f o o d a n d d r i n k , as w e l l as m u s i c a n d nature, a n d t h e i n t i m a c y o f love a n d integrity. T h e goal is t o m a k e people sensitive t o these special m o m e n t s i n t h e i r o w n w a y as transcendence is always j u s t a step away.  W e u n l o c k t h e f o u n t a i n of y o u t h T h r o u g h o u r choice of f r a m e s to v i e w A l l m a n n e r o f l i v i n g , b o t h past a n d new.  141  I n The Goddess of Innovation,  I personify a n d deify a n d t h e n h o p e t o evoke the  t r a n s c e n d e n t state o f arationality.  A n d i f she does arrive It's u s u a l l y a s u r p r i s e a n d I don't always sense h e r presence J u s t that colors seem b r i g h t A n d the f l o w is totally right A n d new ideas p o p f o r t h f r o m m y essence  F r o m years o f w o r k i n g w i t h i n the site o f the a r a t i o n a l , I k n o w that the p e r s o n a l contextual f r a m e n e e d e d t o enter the site c a n be c h a l l e n g i n g t o s u s t a i n . A n d as I relax, I k n o w she i s r i g h t I j u s t get i n m y o w n w a y F o r the t r i c k is t o o p e n the d o o r A n d a l l o w her t o explore w i t h o u t B l o c k i n g o r c o n t r o l l i n g her stay A n d that's easier s a i d t h a n d o n e F o r the m i n d ' s rascal m o n k e y f o r one Is always t a l k i n g a n d t a k i n g c o n t r o l B u t the goddess needs plenty o f r o o m T o create s u c h a t u n e That's original and full of soul A n d the m o n k e y w i l l p r e t e n d t o Be asleep i n o r d e r t o sneak a peek A t the a w e - i n s p i r i n g beauty o f the goddess B u t she c a n sense h i m t h r o u g h his process A n d she w i l l fade away g l o w i n g  A n o t h e r p o e m that deals w i t h t h i s zone o f i n n o v a t i o n is the p o e m entitled High Wire Guitar. T h e circus m e t a p h o r d r a w s i n all types o f s e c o n d a r y associations w i t h danger a n d d a r i n g a n d h i g h d r a m a . B u t this p o e m is also f i l l e d w i t h m i x e d i m a g e r y o f s p i r i t u a l i s m . I n i t i a l l y , I refer t o guitar p l a y i n g as w a l k i n g o n water. I refer t o the m a n t r a Om Mani Padme Hum t o evoke the n o t i o n o f c o m p l e t e  142  c o n c e n t r a t i o n , the B u d d h a of C o m p a s s i o n , a n d the w h i r l i n g o f the spheres. T h e p i n n a c l e , o r g o l d e n m e a n , arrives w i t h the t w o w o r d s , " Y o u a r e . "  You are Y o u r extension a n d If a l l m a n n e r of things have L o c k e d themselves i n t o T h e m o s t sacred p a t t e r n W h e n the s u n m a k e s love to the m o o n A n d the tides r o l l b a c k w a r d to reveal A n c i e n t s h i p w r e c k s a n d cities O f so l o n g ago, yet y o u k n o w A n d the h o w l of the w o l f B e c o m e s a n a r i a of u n s p e a k a b l e beauty... T h e n y o u are ready  F r o m these w o r d s I construct a t r i u m v i r a t e of associations t h a t l i n k s guitar s o l o i n g w i t h the c i r c u s as w e l l as w i t h deep s p i r i t u a l i s m . I n so d o i n g , I h o p e to s i m u l a t e s o m e of m y p s y c h o l o g i c a l experiences of creating m u s i c o n stage f o r the reader. W i t h the d e c l i n e of the i n f l u e n c e of the c h u r c h i n the 1 9 6 0 ' s , m a n y y o u n g people t u r n e d to a n i n f o r m a l s p i r i t u a l i t y a n d i d o l a t r y t h r o u g h the p o p i c o n s . People w o u l d carefully l i s t e n to l y r i c s as i f there were m o d e r n s c r i p t u r e s . G u i t a r w i z a r d s l i k e E r i c C l a p t o n a n d J i m i H e n d r i x b e c a m e the h i g h priests of the m o v e m e n t . T h e r e i n , extended b l u e s b a s e d solos g u i d e d us to n e w levels of transcendence. A n d so, t h i s p o e m stems f r o m that attitude, w h e r e the actions of the i m p r o v i s e r m o d e l a sacred r i t u a l w h e r e i n the p a s s i o n a n d the life force o f the player t u r n the solo i n t o a h y m n of t r a n s c e n d e n c e .  143  Reflections and Intimate Looks into the Form and Function of the Educational Landscape T h e r e are a n u m b e r o f p o e m s a n d narratives that were c o m p o s e d d u r i n g m y graduate w o r k that address e d u c a t i o n a l issues. These i n c l u d e the f o l l o w i n g p o e m s :  On Music Class after a Sleepless Night, a n d How Do You Determine, as w e l l as the narratives, The Hustler, a n d This Day in a Life. On Music Class after a Sleepless Night invites the reader t o i m a g i n e s o m e o f the feeling a n d a t m o s p h e r e o f a m o d e r n j u n i o r h i g h m u s i c class w i t h the a d d i t i o n a l b o n u s o f seeing it f r o m the teacher's perspective. M a n y people have t a k e n b a n d classes w h e n they were i n s c h o o l , b u t f e w k n o w w h a t the experience is l i k e o n t h e Other side o f the b a t o n . I i n c o r p o r a t e d real s o u n d s f r o m one o f m y j u n i o r concert b a n d s t o intensify a n d validate the m o o d o f the o p e n i n g l i n e s . L a z y s o u n d s , crazy s o u n d s , Deep f r o m a b e d o f m o r n i n g silence They bloom I n all shapes a n d sizes S o u n d s o f brass, s o u n d s electric, s o u n d s pathetic F r o m o l d reeds a n d m o l d y reeds a n d Misreads of music with Cases b a n g i n g a n d m u s i c stands c l a n g i n g  I t a l k about h o w the m u s i c grows i n intensity u n t i l there is a p o i n t w h e r e t h e o v e r l a p p i n g o f s o u n d is so frequent that the s o u n d s congeal one e n o r m o u s s t o r m that seems t o have g a i n e d a life o f its o w n .  The growling, howling, crashing, and clashing O f these fragments o f frequency a n d e m o t i o n In t h i s l u m p y s o n i c m a s s hits Its critical p o i n t o f n o r e t u r n a n d m o r p h s Into one h i d e o u s m u l t i - t e n d r i l l e d entity That continues to expand and  144  F e e d off b l a c k hole recesses A n d s u d d e n l y lashes out at m e , K n o c k i n g m e senseless w i t h U n b e a r a b l e d i s s o n a n c e a n d decibels T h a t m o v e s to destabilize m y very f r a m e O f c a l m a n d d e t a c h e d p r o f e s s i o n a l i s m (?)  T r y i n g to start a class requires p u l l i n g the c h i l d r e n out of t h e i r o w n explorations a n d b a c k to silence. T h i s is c a n be a challenge. S o m e b a n d teachers resort to a m i l i t a r y - l i k e a t m o s p h e r e where c h i l d r e n fear t h e i r teacher e n o u g h to q u i c k l y shut d o w n w h e n a s k e d . I aspire to have, h o w e v e r , a c a l m e r style, w h e r e i n I foster a m o r e relaxed e n v i r o n m e n t — o n e that c a n s o m e t i m e s l e a d to e x p l o r a t i o n o r too m u c h s o c i a l i z i n g . So i n m y c l a s s r o o m , b r i n g i n g the c h i l d r e n b a c k to m y m u s i c agenda c a n be c h a l l e n g i n g . I s c r a m b l e to p a d m y ears a n d Grab my baton while I C a l l f o r the F o r c e a n d the G o d s o f R e a s o n . W a l k i n g out of m y office I tap twice o n the m u s i c s t a n d , r a i s i n g m y h a n d w h i l e P r a y i n g that the a l i e n i n m y r o o m W i l l hear m y call a n d sense m y i n t e n t i o n a n d W i l l f a i l to detect m y b l u f f A n d that m y sheer m a g n i t u d e of c o n v i c t i o n W i l l dissipate this entity b a c k to A b e d of silence so that the seeds of F o c u s , c o h e s i o n , grace, a n d beauty M a y take root a n d once again R e t u r n us to a garden of s y m p h o n y .  T h e narratives The Hustler  a n d This Day In a Life d i g m u c h deeper i n t o the  politics a n d issues that I have dealt w i t h i n m y tenure as a m u s i c teacher. T h e l i g h t tone p e r m e a t i n g the m u s i c a l s o u n d s c a p e of The Hustler  softens the h a r s h e r  realities of politics a n d p o w e r i n the p u b l i c s y s t e m . T h e d o m i n a n t q u e s t i o n that is p o s e d is w h e t h e r I acted w i t h integrity w h e n I m a n i p u l a t e d m y p r i n c i p a l i n t o  145  v a l u i n g t h e m u s i c p r o g r a m . I n reflection, I p r o b a b l y w o u l d d o the s a m e t h i n g i f the s i t u a t i o n called f o r it b u t after w r i t i n g t h i s piece, I believe that I w o u l d a p p r o a c h the issue m o r e carefully a n d slowly. This Day in a Life c h r o n i c l e s a fictitious d a y i n m y p r o f e s s i o n a l life. A day at s c h o o l serves as a scaffold t o foist a p l e t h o r a o f issues a n d p o i n t s o f v i e w I have about m y j o b a n d p r o f e s s i o n . It is a / r / t o g r a p h i c b y default as it interweaves m y roles as artist, teacher a n d researcher. I n r e v i e w i n g t h i s narrative I t h i n k that it serves the p u r p o s e o f p r i m i n g readers t o t h e t y p i c a l a g e n d a a n d d e m a n d s p l a c e d o n m u s i c teachers. It raises questions about ethics, a n d the p u r p o s e o f t e a c h i n g as w e l l as i n v i t i n g t h o u g h t o n h o w m u s i c classes s h o u l d be s t r u c t u r e d a n d h o w student needs c o u l d be met. It also acts as a s p r i n g b o a r d f o r m a n y other t o p i c s .  The Intuitive Process and Empathy without Experience Reflections on the collaborative process of the Poet and the Piper. H o w is it that one is able t o successfully construct m u s i c t o either a p o e m , narrative, o r l i b r e t t o that contains subjects a n d feelings that are f o r e i g n t o t h e c o m p o s e r ? O r , t o rephrase, what m e c h a n i s m s are o p e r a t i n g w h e n a w r i t e r / p o e t feels that c o l l a b o r a t i o n w i t h a c o m p o s e r strongly conveys t h e experiential essence of the text even t h o u g h the c o m p o s e r has never b e e n t h r o u g h a n y o f the poet's experiences other t h a n r e a d i n g o r h e a r i n g t h e text? C e r t a i n l y , it is a n a c k n o w l e d g e m e n t o f the strength o f the narrative t o convey t h e i n t e n t i o n a n d affective a t m o s p h e r e o f the subject at h a n d . H a v i n g s a i d that, w h e n I reflect o n t h e life o f C a r l Leggo, I m u s t certainly a c k n o w l e d g e that I c o m e f r o m a n o t h e r w o r l d o f experience. Regrettably, I have never been east o f Quebec C i t y . I have never  146  b r e a t h e d the salt air of the east coast—never met its w o n d e r f u l , c o l o u r f u l i n h a b i t a n t s . Y e t , there was s o m e i n e x p l i c a b l e l i n k i n g between C a r l a n d myself. C a r l , a n d h i s wife L a n a , were b o t h very p l e a s e d w i t h o u r a / r / t o g r a p h i c c o l l a b o r a t i o n . L a n a felt that I really u n d e r s t o o d the m o o d s , ideas a n d feelings C a r l t r i e d to convey. T h e f o l l o w i n g d i s c o u r s e is a reflection o n the event, i n hopes o f g l e a n i n g s o m e i n s i g h t i n t o the q u e s t i o n of intuitive e m p a t h e t i c c o n n e c t i o n s a n d r e n d e r i n g s albeit w i t h o u t real t i m e experience. T h e seven p o e m s that C a r l s h a r e d w i t h m e were treated i n d i v i d u a l l y . N o conscious l i n k i n g t h r o u g h m o t i f o r style was u s e d . H a v i n g s a i d that, a n u m b e r of p o e m s were f r o m a p e r i o d w h e n C a r l w a s reflecting o n h i s east coast c h i l d h o o d experiences i n N e w f o u n d l a n d , C a n a d a . M a n y of these artistic reflections, w i t h the exception of L y n c h ' s L a n e , s e e m e d to c a l l for a casual style of w r i t i n g . T h e S a m e N o s e c a l l e d to m e for a f o l k - l i k e a c c o m p a n i m e n t i n a t w o - p a r t structure. C a r l t o l d m e that h i s d a d l i k e d c o u n t r y m u s i c . I t h i n k of Scottish jigs a n d reels as b e i n g part of the east coast s u b c o n s c i o u s m u s i c a l / c u l t u r a l m o s a i c . S o , I d e c i d e d to s p i n a n east coast reel w i t h a t w i s t of c o u n t r y . I started w i t h a h o o k f o r acoustic guitar. F r o m there, it is c o n t i n u o u s l y repeated w i t h v a r i o u s i n s t r u m e n t s j o i n i n g i n to e x p a n d , countrify, a n d variate the s p i r i t of the hook. T h e S k i p p e r ( A . K . A . , C a r l ' s father) has clearly d e f i n e d views o n any n u m b e r of t o p i c s , b u t one v i e w t h a t stands out is h i s d i s t a i n for s n o b s . W h e n C a r l refers to other t o p i c s of rant, the m u s i c m o v e s into a m i n o r setting. A f t e r eight b a r s , it returns to the h a p p y , danceable first t h e m e i n an A / B / A structure. T h e w h o l e piece, b e i n g i n part, a m i r r o r of C a r l ' s father, assumes a s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d quality—one that is decorated w i t h the m u s i c a l equivalents of b l u e - c o l l a r c u l t u r e a n d values.  147  I n retrospect, it w o u l d have h e l p e d to have m e t S k i p p e r before w r i t i n g t h i s piece. W r i t i n g m u s i c f o r p o e m s that address i n n e r feelings o r abstract ideas a l l o w s f o r m o r e f r e e d o m t h a n w r i t i n g m u s i c f o r a p e r s o n that is s t i l l alive. I believe that the latter d e m a n d s a c c u r a c y — m u c h l i k e the accuracy sought b y a h i s t o r i a n . P e r h a p s , i n part due to this, I feel the least satisfied w i t h this piece No Locks v i v i d l y takes one b a c k to the h o u s e w h e r e C a r l grew u p . U s u a l l y , C a r l reads t h i s p o e m w i t h a lot of frenetic energy. T h i s h o u s e w a s a v e r y b u s y place. I t r i e d to capture s o m e of the energy a n d d r a m a . M y first step w a s to create a m o v i n g , t u m b l i n g d r u m pattern that l o c k s i n w i t h a f u r i o u s l y frantic bass part. If y o u l i s t e n , y o u w i l l hear the s o u n d of C a r l ' s m o t h e r s w e e p i n g w i t h a b r o o m w h i c h b e c a m e a m e t a p h o r i c a l c l e a r i n g of the h o u s e f o r the next activity i n t h e i r t h r e e - r i n g c i r c u s of d o m e s t i c i t y . A t r a d i t i o n a l j a z z guitar is u s e d to f u r t h e r h i g h l i g h t the s w i r l i n g energy. I p u r p o s e f u l l y created a very a b r u p t e n d i n g to contrast w i t h the silence f o l l o w i n g the track. I w a n t e d the listener to feel a b i t of relief w h e n it was over. O v e r a l l , I felt fairly pleased w i t h this s o u n d s c a p e as it s e e m e d to s u p p o r t C a r l ' s feverish r e a d i n g of the p o e m . T h i s piece f u r t h e r c o n v i n c e d m e of the v a l u e of h e a r i n g poets r e a d t h e i r o w n w r i t i n g s . I n d e e d , the act of p e r f o r m a n c e poetry seems i n itself a m u l t i - l a y e r e d a n d essentially a / r / t o g r a p h i c process. Text is c o m b i n e d w i t h oratory. So s t r o n g is this a l c h e m y that I f o u n d m y s e l f s e l d o m r e f e r r i n g to a h a r d c o p y o f C a r l ' s p o e m s . W h e n I w a n t e d to experience h i s poetry, m y r e c o r d i n g s of C a r l were far m o r e satiating t h a n the o n e - d i m e n s i o n a l f o r m o n paper. C a r l ' s readings m o v e i n real t i m e . H i s s u b c o n s c i o u s use of meter, p h r a s i n g , d y n a m i c s , t e n u t o , accelerando, r i t a r d a n d o a n d a r t i c u l a t i o n u n f o l d l i k e a s y m p h o n i c d r a m a .  148  L i s t e n i n g to these m u s i c a l elements o f C a r l ' s p e r f o r m a n c e i n t u r n s h a p e d t h e m u s i c a l " n e s t " t h a t I c o n s t r u c t e d f o r t h e p o e m . K n o w i n g t h e w a y that C a r l writes, I w o u l d argue that h i s p o e t r y i n p a r t i c u l a r s h o u l d b e h e a r d ( t h r o u g h p e r f o r m a n c e ) , rather t h a n b e i n g r e a d . If I h a d i n i t i a l l y e x p e r i e n c e d this p o e m t h r o u g h m y o w n r e a d i n g o f it, I d o u b t that I w o u l d have a u t o m a t i c a l l y i n t e r p r e t e d t h e p o e m w i t h s u c h vigor. Picnics  called f o r a b r o a d e r , introspective, a n d m o r e m e l a n c h o l y a p p r o a c h .  O u r awareness o f l i m i t e d t i m e o n earth is arguably a m o s t d i f f i c u l t t o p i c . W i t h t h i s p o e m , I felt that Carl's u n i q u e f r a m i n g was p o i g n a n t a n d c o m p e l l i n g . I w a n t e d t h i s piece t o have a n i n s t r u m e n t a l o p e n i n g that p r e p a r e d the listener f o r t h e m e l a n c h o l y a n d c o m p l e x m o o d t h e p o e m generated. I u s e d a j a z z - l i k e genre instead of a p u r e classical piece because C a r l lightens u p t h e p o e m t o w a r d t h e e n d . I p l a c e d a n i n s t r u m e n t a l solo i n t h e center o f the p o e m f o r reasons that w e r e t w o f o l d . F i r s t , to reinforce t h e m o o d a n d m o v e m e n t o f the p o e m . S e c o n d , t o a l l o w the listener t o reflect o n the w o r d s s p o k e n t h u s far. L i k e the p o e m , t h e m u s i c has a n inevitable s w i n g to it a n d eventually w i n d s d o w n l i k e a clock. C a r l a n d I are b o t h close to the same age a n d t h o u g h h e was clearly c o g n i z a n t a n d c o n c e r n e d about the finality o f the earthly h u m a n experience at a n early age, I, as a 5 2 - y e a r - o l d m a n , e m p a t h i z e d o n a level that p r e v i o u s l y w o u l d n o t be possible forme. My Mother's  House demonstrates a p e r n i c i o u s t h e m e i n C a r l ' s poetry: t h e  c o l l i d i n g o f contextual f r a m e s a n d past recollections w i t h n e w c o n t e x t u a l awareness of the present. T h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g a n d feelings o f c h i l d h o o d experiences can change so d r a m a t i c a l l y as w e go t h r o u g h o u r lives, g a i n i n g n e w experiences,  149  n e w u n d e r s t a n d i n g s , a n d , p e r h a p s , n e w levels o f e m p a t h y a n d c o m p a s s i o n for others as w e l l as ourselves. W i t h this process, I see C a r l Leggo, the poet, as m e t a p h o r i c a l l y sitting i n the m i d d l e of a r o o m of m i r r o r s that reflect b a c k differing angles of u n d e r s t a n d i n g . Physicists theorize that, if one c o u l d accelerate fast e n o u g h , one c o u l d b e n d back t h r o u g h t i m e a n d r e t u r n to the past. I n t h i s p o e m , C a r l returns to h i s m o t h e r ' s h o m e a n d discovers that it is v e r i t a b l y u n c h a n g e d since C a r l grew u p i n it. C a r l e x a m i n e s it as a t i m e - t r a v e l e r m i g h t , w h e r e i n h i s past archetypical m e m o r i e s of his h o m e p a r a d o x i c a l l y c o n f i r m a n d c o l l i d e w i t h h i s c u r r e n t adult experiences of the h o u s e . T h e past l o o k s the s a m e , yet different, as it is m i r r o r e d t h r o u g h the n e w lens of a m a t u r e m a n , poet, a c a d e m i c , father, h u s b a n d a n d w o r l d traveler. I n this r o o m of m i r r o r s , the past l o o k s n e w , the past l o o k s o l d , the past i n f o r m s the present, a n d the present i n f o r m s the past. T o a c c o m p a n y t h i s m i x of feelings, I wrote a s o u n d s c a p e that is very c i r c u l a r , one that j u s t keeps g o i n g , not u n l i k e the reflections i n a r o o m of m i r r o r s . It also r e m i n d s m e o f the l o n g car rides that I t o o k as a b o y each s u m m e r to the same place. M u s i c a l events h a p p e n i n this piece j u s t l i k e the c o m i n g a n d g o i n g of scenery a l o n g the way. W e W o u l d never stop—Carrie's (Carl's mother's) place never changes—and so there is a b e n i g n , o b s e r v a t i o n a l feeling to the w h o l e event. W h a t changes is really i n t e r n a l . A n d so the s o u n d s c a p e s l o w i n g v a n i s h e s , its f o l k s y style e m p h a s i z i n g the contents of the house a n d its o w n e r . The Diver is a p o w e r f u l piece of poetry. E v e r y t i m e I hear it, C a r l ' s w r i t i n g forces m e to experience a c o m p l e t e v i s i o n of the story i n m y m i n d ' s eye. I n the b e g i n n i n g , I w a n t e d to create a c a l m , watery feeling -the feeling that one has w h e n y o u are s w i m m i n g u n d e r the water a n d r i s i n g u p to the surface f o r air. T h e n  150  intuitively, I d e c i d e d that t h i s p o e m w i t h its d r a m a t i c story, stops, starts, a n d t r u n c a t i o n of present w i t h past, r e q u i r e d a looser, a n d m o r e flexible m u s i c a l s u p p o r t . U s i n g d r u m s o r strict t i m e j u s t d i d not seem a p p r o p r i a t e . A single g u i t a r seemed the best choice. A s I l i s t e n e d to the p o e m , I s i m p l y i m p r o v i s e d m u s i c a l m o o d s a n d t e m p o s . O u t of the seven p o e m s , t h i s piece s e e m e d to rely the m o s t o n i m m e d i a t e i n t u i t i v e responses. T h e r e was little r e v i s i o n - o n l y the o v e r d u b of w i n d c h i m e s at a few c h o s e n spots. I n d e e d , due to s p o n t a n e o u s c r e a t i o n , I d o n ' t recognize m y p l a y i n g at certain p o i n t s . I don't k n o w w h a t I p l a y e d a n d I c o u l d n ' t d u p l i c a t e it accurately w i t h o u t t r a n s c r i b i n g parts of it. I c o n t i n u e to enjoy the p o e m a n d the s o u n d s c a p e a n d often t h i n k about y o u t h , d a r i n g a n d f o o l i s h n e s s , a n d t h e i r need f o r acts of f u n d a m e n t a l i s t r e d u c t i o n i s m i n h e r o i s m . T h e p o e m e n t i t l e d O w a s a j o y to w o r k w i t h . A l t h o u g h C a r l spoke very l i t t l e about w h a t he h e a r d m u s i c a l l y for these soundscapes, I d o r e c a l l h i m m e n t i o n i n g the i d e a of s u r f m u s i c . B u t w h e n I started w o r k i n g o n the piece, h i s a l l u d i n g to a b r o n c o b u s t e r p u s h e d m e i n t o m o r p h i n g the s u r f m u s i c i n t o a h o m o g e n e o u s b l e n d of s u r f a n d c o u n t r y m u s i c w h i c h was a sort of L o n e Star Surf. T h e n , I p u l l e d out m y telecaster guitar a n d m y slide a n d t r i e d to m u s i c a l l y e m u l a t e the ride w i t h its slope a n d b u m p s a n d eventual crash. T h i s s o u n d s c a p e is v e r y l i g h t - h e a r t e d a n d w o r k s w e l l for m e i n the context of the six other p o e m s . I d o not k n o w h o w c o m f o r t a b l e I w o u l d be i f it were p l a y e d out of the context of the C D . T h e r e a d i n g ofLynch's Lane was a p a r t i c u l a r l y p o w e r f u l experience f o r m e . C a r l has a n e x t r a o r d i n a r y gift of r e c a l l i n g the past a n d p u t t i n g the reader i n t o the centre of the experience. T h i s is achieved i n part t h r o u g h h i s ability to t u n e i n t o s m a l l details w h i c h for m o s t of us, are l o n g forgotten. T h e taste of the first popsicle  151  i n s u m m e r , the p i n k flesh o f f r i e d t r o u t d r a w s o u r attention t o the things that s t o o d out w h e n we were y o u n g a n d the w o r l d was new. T h e p o e m i s once b o t h o r d i n a r y and sublimely extra-ordinary. D u r i n g the A u g u s t ( 2 0 0 5 ) that I w r o t e the m u s i c f o r C a r l ' s p o e m s , I w a s lost i n m y o w n w o r l d o f r e c o l l e c t i o n . M y father was very sick w i t h l u n g cancer. I n d e e d , he w o u l d die j u s t a week after the c o m p l e t i o n o f m y c o l l a b o r a t i o n w i t h C a r l . A s I wrote the m u s i c for Lynch's Lane, C a r l ' s o p e n i n g a n d c l o s i n g l i n e s that signify b o t h the p e r m a n e n c e a n d i m p o r t a n c e o f c h i l d h o o d m e m o r i e s reverberated w i t h the i n t e n s i f y i n g prospect that m y r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h m y father w o u l d s o o n collapse i n t o a series o f special m e m o r i e s . A s s u c h , I w a s u n a b l e t o w o r k o n C a r l ' s p o e m w i t h o u t thinking of m y D a d a n d his immanent passing into this field of memories. The sanctity of these thoughts a n d C a r l ' s m e m o r i e s f o r c e d m e t o w r i t e m u s i c f r o m the p i a n o . I a m not a p i a n i s t , a n d so I w a s f o r c e d t o l o o p together s m a l l phrases. T h e t h e m e that enters at the e n d of the p o e m i s a m o t i f i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the spirit o f m y father as w e l l as the spirit o f a l l the i m p o r t a n t m e m o r i e s o f g r o w i n g u p . I w o u l d l i k e t o have orchestrated this section as I e n v i s i o n e d a cello p l a y i n g o r at least d o u b l i n g t h i s t h e m e . J u s t before the piece e n d s , the t h e m e dissolves i n t o a peaceful c o n s o n a n c e - m e t a p h o r i c a l l y e c h o i n g the e n d o f m y father's t r o u b l e s w i t h the f i n a l passage.  152  Section IV What have I learned/unlearned? To Believe in Myself and Value of My Unique Artistic Voice T h r o u g h t h i s j o u r n e y o f g r a d studies, I have b e e n l e d m y s e l f t o resurrect m y o w n voice. T h a t i s , h o w e v e r , p r e c i p i t a t e d o n a n u m b e r o f other factors, t h e least o f w h i c h b e i n g that I believe i n m y s e l f a n d i n m y o w n i n t r i n s i c v a l u e as a h u m a n . A s I was g r o w i n g u p , heroes a n d h e r o i c artists s e e m e d t o b e very s e l f - a s s u r e d a n d generally right about m a n y issues. T e l e v i s i o n heroes w e r e always b l a c k a n d w h i t e right. Later, m y m u s i c a l heroes s e e m e d t o b e very confident. E v e n as a y o u n g , u n k n o w n m u s i c i a n a r r i v i n g i n N e w Y o r k , B o b D y l a n ( 2 0 0 4 ) was v e r y c o n f i d e n t a b o u t h i m s e l f : "...I h a d a h e i g h t e n e d sense o f awareness, was set i n m y w a y s , i m p r a c t i c a l a n d a v i s i o n a r y t o boot. M y m i n d w a s s t r o n g l i k e a t r a p a n d I d i d n ' t n e e d any guarantee of v a l i d i t y . " (p. 9 ) . S o m e h o w , a l o n g t h e w a y , as a s m a l l b o y , I m i x e d u p the n o t i o n o f h e r o w i t h b e i n g a n adult. I n fact, I felt that i n o r d e r t o b e g r o w n u p , y o u h a d t o be a h e r o o n s o m e level. W h e n I reflected o n myself, a n d c o m p a r e d m y s e l f against these heroes, I always felt I h a d a l o n g w a y t o go. T h e w o r l d was a m y s t e r i o u s a n d c o m p l e x place. M y T V heroes a n d even m y D a d s e e m e d very clear a n d c o n t r o l l e d , decisive a n d resolute. T V heroes u n d e r s t o o d the w o r l d a n d always m a d e the right choices. A s I t h o u g h t about myself, I c o u l d see h o w u n d e v e l o p e d I w a s ; I c o u l d see that I d i d n ' t k n o w a l o t about t h e w o r l d , m u c h less l e a d i n any way. A s I always felt u n s u r e , I t e n d e d t o m o v e c a u t i o u s l y t h r o u g h life. I failed as a b o y t o acknowledge that w h e n I l o o k e d at myself, I j u d g e d m y identity a n d b e h a v i o r s f r o m a p o s i t i o n o f privilege, i n the sense that I c o u l d clearly see all m y failings a n d a l l m y e x p e r i e n t i a l inadequacies. W i t h o u t t h e c r i t i c a l ability t o see  153  that m y heroes suffered f r o m t h e i r o w n set o f failings, I felt generally inferior. T h r o u g h t h i s process, I u n k n o w i n g l y c o n s t r u c t e d p s y c h o l o g i c a l b l o c k s against m y o w n success. I h a d f a i l e d t o realize that heroes, as I p e r c e i v e d t h e m , d o not exist- humans  exist, a n d  s o m e h u m a n s act i n h e r o i c ways. T h e h u m a n c o n d i t i o n is one o f f a l l i b i l i t y a n d l e a r n i n g a n d k n o w l e d g e a c q u i s i t i o n often occurs t h r o u g h a n d i n spite o f mistakes. Y e t s o m e h o w , I c o n v i n c e d m y s e l f that b u r d e n e d w i t h m y o w n fallibility, I h a d less o f value to c o n t r i b u t e t h a n others. T h i s may, i n part, have also been a result o f m y adolescent i n a b i l i t y to connect w i t h m y c u l t u r e . So m a n y aspects o f m y culture d i d n o t appeal to m e . T h e b l u e - c o l l a r culture o f the ' 5 0 ' s seemed n a r r o w a n d j u d g m e n t a l a n d t r y i n g t o fit i n s e e m e d t o k i l l m y life force. A s I m o v e d i n t o adolescence, t h e s u b u r b a n lifestyle that was e m b r a c e d b y so m a n y C a n a d i a n s , s e e m e d l i k e a n i m p o s s i b l y s m a l l repository f o r m y restless nature. B u t m y M o m a n d D a d d i d seem t o fit i n , as d i d so m a n y others, t o t h e p o i n t that I felt o b l i g e d to a s s u m e that the p r o b l e m l a y w i t h i n m e . T h i s catapulted m e i n t o a decades l o n g j o u r n e y to change m y s e l f i n o r d e r t o fit i n .  To Work on Releasing Comparisons and Cultural Norms and Measurements of Value W h y I c o u l d not believe that I c o u l d b e right—that t h e culture c o u l d b e p r o b l e m a t i c , i f not lethal f o r s o m e o f its m e m b e r s — s t i l l eludes m e . I n fact, as I grew u p , it was o b v i o u s that s o m e o f m y n e w m u s i c a l heroes suffered b a d l y a n d went generally u n r e c o g n i z e d f o r t h e i r c o n t r i b u t i o n s . S a x o p h o n i s t C h a r l i e P a r k e r a n d guitarist L e n n y B r e a u b o t h l e d artistic lives o f a m a z i n g o r i g i n a l i t y a n d artistic a c h i e v e m e n t yet b o t h struggled to survive a n d b o t h received little r e c o g n i t i o n  154  relative to the m a g n i t u d e of t h e i r artistic genius. I d o n o t k n o w h o w m u c h t h i s l a c k of r e c o g n i t i o n b o t h e r e d P a r k e r o r B r e a u , b u t I a m sure that, at least f i n a n c i a l l y , it m u s t have b e e n a very f r u s t r a t i n g experience. These great artists u n c o v e r e d n e w artistic frontiers t h r o u g h t h e i r d e d i c a t i o n a n d o b s e s s i o n w i t h t h e i r art f o r m a n d n o t t h r o u g h a n attempt to b e c o m e f a m o u s o r f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n . It seems t h a t a p e r s o n a l context of artistic achievement b a s e d o n the results of the r e c o g n i t i o n of the c u l t u r e , represents a dangerous m i n d - s e t . O n e m u s t f o l l o w one's voice f o r its o w n i n t r i n s i c a n d s p i r i t u a l rewards. If one is r e c o g n i z e d p u b l i c l y , so be it, but that cannot be the d r i v i n g force of any artistic endeavors. L e o n a r d C o h e n d i s m i s s e s the relevance of the culture's failure to recognize L e n n y B r e a u ' s genius. I n the E m i l y H u g h e s ' f i l m , The Genius of Lenny Breau,  ( 1 9 9 9 ) , C o h e n states t h a t B r e a u w a s  " b u r n i n g i n the f u r n a c e of c r e a t i o n , " a n d that alone w a s n o u r i s h i n g . H e c o n t i n u e d b y s a y i n g that f o r s o m e people t h i s n o u r i s h m e n t is e n o u g h a n d t h a t f o r others, "it doesn't m e a n a t h i n g " ( H u g h e s , 1 9 9 9 ) .  Contextual Shifting and Re-building: Letting go of heroes: To be my own hero/no one is a hero/everyone is a hero A s I witnessed this personal psychodrama unfold, and I became more i n f o r m e d as to m y o w n i n t r i n s i c w o r t h , I f o u n d m y s e l f m o v i n g a w a y f r o m the concept of heroes. In everyday activities, I n o t e d that I was not r e a d i n g about t h e m as m u c h or g i v i n g t h e m as m u c h thought. L i v i n g i n this n e w l y " r e n o v a t e d " c o n c e p t u a l space, I s e e m e d to have little energy for the process of m y t h o l o g i z i n g others. I felt ready to m o v e o n w a r d to n e w , o r i g i n a l adventures i n o r d e r u n f o l d as I should.  155  B u t the concept of h e r o kept h a u n t i n g m y psyche. A n d s o , as I i n f o r m e d m y s e l f of m y s e l f t h r o u g h w r i t i n g , p e r f o r m i n g m u s i c , t e a c h i n g , a n d a / r / t o g r a p h i c process, I d e c i d e d that perhaps the a n s w e r f o r m e l a y i n m e b e c o m i n g m y o w n hero. T h i s n o t i o n Was very h e l p f u l at shifting m y context away f r o m zealous a d m i r a t i o n of the lives of others to a p o s i t i o n of o r i g i n a l t h i n k i n g . I n d e e d , the i d e a that I w o u l d b e c o m e m y o w n h e r o w o r k e d l i k e a c o m m e r c i a l s l o g a n - s o m e t h i n g fast a n d easy that I c o u l d glean onto i n o r d e r to prevent the n e w w a y s of t h i n k i n g f r o m s l i p p i n g away. A n d t h i s catch-phrase d i d i n d e e d i n i t i a l l y h e l p m e h o l d o n to the n e w ways of seeing myself. U p o n deeper reflection, I t h i n k that the w h o l e n o t i o n of h e r o i s m is so l i n k e d w i t h r e c o g n i t i o n that it becomes i n a p p r o p r i a t e as a c o n c e p t u a l a i d f o r artists. A f t e r a l l , is the n o t i o n of h e r o i s m not really part o f the scaffolding of o u r culture? O n e c o u l d enter a r g u m e n t s that a h e r o m a y not even exist u n t i l the society at large recognizes o n e . T h u s , I f i n d that the concept of h e r o i s m is m i r e d i n the n o t i o n o f r e c o g n i t i o n . A n d I have l e a r n e d that t h i s h o o k of r e c o g n i t i o n is a very dangerous one f o r m e to entertain. W h e n e m b r a c i n g the n o t i o n of h e r o i s m , I i n t e r n a l l y validate the n o t i o n of r e c o g n i t i o n , I f i n d that I take m y self w o r t h a n d h a n d it over to the culture. T h u s , m y o r i g i n a l t h i n k i n g b e c o m e s s u b v e r t e d w i t h a n agenda, h o w e v e r subtle, that I create a n d express myself, b a s e d o n w h a t m y culture approves. A n d so, the avoidance of seeking r e c o g n i t i o n is a n i m p o r t a n t idea to m a i n t a i n i f I w i s h to keep o n m y artistic p a t h . H o w e v e r , t h i s i d e a of k e e p i n g the desire for r e c o g n i t i o n at a distance is very difficult to i m p l e m e n t because I a m b o m b a r d e d w i t h the culture constantly a n d to a great degree I a m a p r o d u c t of t h i s  156  culture. I need to f u n c t i o n w i t h a Z e n - l i k e d e t a c h m e n t , w h e r e i n I observe a n d evaluate i n c o m i n g s t i m u l i , b u t keep the l o c u s of c o n t r o l w i t h i n myself. I have c l a r i f i e d a n d d e v e l o p e d n e w ways of t h i n k i n g a n d feeling, I f i n d m y s e l f m o v e t o w a r d a b a n d o n i n g the h e r o i c n o t i o n . Y e t , I struggle w i t h t h i s i d e a as w e l l . H e r o i s m , t h o u g h it is h o o k e d w i t h r e c o g n i t i o n , is also c o n n e c t e d w i t h o t h e r positive n o t i o n s , s u c h as n o t i o n s of hope a n d a l t r u i s m , a n d the n o t i o n of r e a c h i n g past n o r m a l b e h a v i o r s a n d c u l t u r a l patterns to create n e w p a r a d i g m s of b e h a v i o r . C o n s e q u e n t l y , at t h i s j u n c t u r e of m y t h i n k i n g / w r i t i n g , I a m c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g that "everyone is a h e r o . " A g a i n , I a m u s i n g a n arguably false g e n e r a l i z a t i o n , b u t it seems to feel m o r e c o m f o r t a b l e t h a n the n o t i o n that there are no heroes. P e r h a p s t h i s is i n t e r m e d i a r y step that w i l l eventually l e a d m e to the n o t i o n t h a t there are n o heroes. B u t for n o w , a r t o g r a p h y has t r a n s f o r m e d m e i n t o the n o t i o n t h a t "everyone is a h e r o . " T h i s context certainly allows m e to tap i n t o h e r o i c energy a n d p a s s i o n for future artistic e x p r e s s i o n . It also s u p p o r t s m y t e a c h i n g as this c o n c e p t u a l f r a m e shines a positive light a n d potential o n all h u m a n s . I w i l l c a u t i o u s l y c o n t i n u e m y m e d i t a t i o n o n the role of h e r o w h i c h is a role fraught w i t h pitfalls a n d e q u a l l y a b u n d a n t w i t h e n o r m o u s t r a n s f o r m a t i v e p o w e r s . C a m p b e l l ( 1 9 8 8 ) states, " T h e images of m y t h are reflections of the s p i r i t u a l potentialities of every one of us. T h r o u g h c o n t e m p l a t i n g these, we evoke t h e i r p o w e r s i n o u r o w n l i v e s " (p. 2 0 7 ) . T o r e - c l a i m m y voice also m e a n s that I n e e d to validate m y o w n process a n d rituals. T h i s for m e is less of a p r o b l e m t h a n really accepting w h a t I f i n d w i t h i n myself. C e r t a i n l y t h r o u g h m y course w o r k o n narrative i n q u i r y , I have once again w a l k e d the path of a r a t i o n a l k n o w l e d g e . A / r / t o g r a p h i c m e t h o d o l o g y has s h o w n m e  157  that i n t u i t i o n a n d i n s p i r a t i o n , f o l l o w e d b y r e v i e w t h r o u g h logic a n d reflection, is t r u l y m y m o d u s o p e r a n d i . W h a t I n e e d t o d o is attend t o t h e m u s e m o r e often a n d a v o i d cognitive t r a p s that sabotage m y u n f o l d i n g  The Snake of Regret Keeps Attacking R e - c l a i m i n g m y o r i g i n a l voice has i n v o l v e d m u c h p e r s o n a l a n d p r o f e s s i o n a l g r o w t h . It is m y intent t o c o n t i n u e t o use a / r / t o g r a p h i c f o r m s t o r e c l a i m m y voice i n o r d e r to a v o i d the pitfalls o f e x p e r i e n c i n g regret. A s a n a / r / t o g r a p h e r , I have l e a r n e d that m y o w n authentic voice c a n h i g h l i g h t a n d i n f o r m m y future. It seems so easy to write a d e c l a r a t i o n o f i n t e n t i o n l i k e t h e last p a r a g r a p h , b u t it is h a r d e r t o enact. W h e n I a m h a v i n g a b a d day, it i s very easy, even after a l l this w o r k , to fall into a n oft-repeated cycle o f regret that has b e e n w i t h m e since I t u r n e d 5 0 . 1 feel, however, that I have m o v e d f a r e n o u g h f o r w a r d t h r o u g h t h i s process to s t y m i e future cycles.  Reflections on the Effect of the A/r/tographic Experience on my Classroom Teaching W h e n e v e r a p e r s o n adds a n experience o f l e a r n i n g that encompasses t h e m a g n i t u d e o f a master's degree, there m u s t s u r e l y be r a m i f i c a t i o n s t h r o u g h o u t m a n y levels o f t h e i r lives. Changes a n d g r o w t h b e c o m e f u r t h e r e n h a n c e d w h e n the p u r p o s e o f the research takes o n a n introspective a n d a u t o b i o g r a p h i c element. P e r s o n a l l y , I have always felt that I have m o v e d f o r w a r d f o l l o w i n g a n a c a d e m i c experience. B u t this a c a d e m i c experience feels l i k e t h e biggest step yet i n m y o w n p e r s o n a l d e v e l o p m e n t . I sense that m y t h i n k i n g is m o r e l u c i d a n d f u n c t i o n s at deeper levels o f s o p h i s t i c a t i o n .  158  F r o m m y courses, I have g a i n e d m o r e clarity o n the c o m p l e x i t y of life a n d h o w people d o see things differently. T h i s is f o r c i n g m e to be m o r e accepting of others as w e l l as myself. T h e r a m i f i c a t i o n s of the experience have affected m y d a i l y c l a s s r o o m a s s i g n m e n t . T h e r e is a n overall feeling of i n v i g o r a t i o n that I b r i n g to the c l a s s r o o m . M y d e e p e n i n g e m p a t h y w i t h the v a r i a n c e o f h u m a n c o n d i t i o n increases m y a b i l i t y to keep c a l m a n d w o r k t h r o u g h issues w i t h students. A s I b e c o m e m o r e c o n n e c t e d a n d clear t h r o u g h the a / r / t o g r a p h i c process, I b r i n g m o r e p a s s i o n about m u s i c a n d art to m y j o b . A n d I have always f o u n d that p a s s i o n , to s o m e extent, r u b s off o n students. I n d e e d , students often w i l l o p e n u p a n d w i d e n t h e i r o w n experience, i f a n i n s t r u c t o r is m o t i v a t e d a b o u t the subject matter. I n d e e d , I sense that c l a s s r o o m e n v i r o n m e n t a n d student interest a n d achievement c a n be s o m e w h a t v i e w e d as a m i r r o r of the p a s s i o n , subject s k i l l s , i n t e r p e r s o n a l s k i l l s , a n d the o v e r a l l experience of the teacher. U l t i m a t e l y , as I l e a r n a n d grow, m y success as a teacher w i l l m o v e to deeper levels of g r o w t h . In l i g h t of m y g r o w t h as a / r / t o g r a p h e r , I p l a n to create a n e w s c h o o l course that w i l l i n s p i r e songwriters, c o m p o s e r s , a n d i m p r o v i s e r s . T h e p u r p o s e of t h i s course w i l l be to encourage a n d d o c u m e n t student creativity. T h e w o r k i n g course title w i l l be " s o n g - w r i t i n g a n d technology." U s i n g C a r l Leggo's N a r r a t i v e I n q u i r y class as a m o d e l , I w i s h to create a safe a n d i n s p i r i n g e n v i r o n m e n t f o r students to w r i t e / c o m p o s e a n d share t h e i r creations w i t h the others i n class. A s w e l l , the students w o u l d l e a r n about the r e c o r d i n g process a n d develop the requisite s k i l l s to m a k e t h e i r o w n recordings. C l a s s r o o m t o p i c s m a y i n c l u d e discourse o n the artistic process, the nature a n d f u n c t i o n of poetry, as w e l l as t a l k s o n c o m p o s i t i o n a n d m o r e t e c h n i c a l lecture o n the o p e r a t i o n of the r e c o r d i n g e q u i p m e n t . W h e n we reach a degree of safety a n d c o m f o r t , we w i l l share a n d celebrate o u r i n d i v i d u a l artistic creations. I e n v i s i o n a C D / D V D of student s u b m i s s i o n s at the e n d of the year to  159  celebrate t h e i r l e a r n i n g . In a sense, I see t h i s course as a n e x t e n s i o n of m y research as students b e c o m e engaged i n the a / r / t o g r a p h i c process.  Where to Now? I a m reveling i n a n t i c i p a t i o n of f i n i s h i n g t h i s phase o f reflection so that I m a y r e t u r n w i t h r e n e w e d vitality to n e w m u s i c a l , poetic, a n d a / r / t o g r a p h i c o u t p o u r i n g s . A s to m y o n - g o i n g d e v e l o p m e n t as a j a z z guitarist, I a m f l u s h w i t h o r i g i n a l ideas to the p o i n t that I b a c k l o g g e d i n m y a b s o r b i n g these m o t i f s i n t o m y i n v e n t o r y of i m p r o v i s a t i o n a l motifs. I a m w i s h i n g to c o m p o s e a C D of o r i g i n a l j a z z i n s p i r e d m u s i c . It w i l l be the first s a m p l e r of m y w o r k i n m a n y years. I h o p e to c o n t i n u e w r i t i n g poetry as t h i s is one of the greatest p e r s o n a l benefits that I d e r i v e d f r o m the M a s t e r ' s experience. I never wrote p o e t r y p r i o r to m y r e t u r n t o s c h o o l . N o w , I a m t a k e n b y a b r a n d n e w art f o r m that is r i c h i n potential f o r l e a r n i n g . I m u s t c o n t i n u e to be v i g i l a n t of m y p s y c h o l o g i c a l cycles if I w i s h to keep t h i s artistic t h r u s t g o i n g . F a l l i n g i n t o a vortex of regret creates i n e r t i a . I m u s t carefully m o n i t o r m y t h i n k i n g patterns a n d c o m p i l e a m o r e c o m p r e h e n s i v e list of psycho-triggers a n d cognitive errors that p r o m o t e m y descent i n t o inactivity o r unoriginality. F i n a l l y , I m u s t c o n t i n u e to deflate a n d resolve m y issues w i t h m y D a d , w h o passed away i n the m i d d l e of t h i s project. W h e n I f i n d m y s e l f m i r e d i n f r u s t r a t i o n about o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p , I m u s t r e m i n d m y s e l f of w h a t I k n o w to be t r u e : that m y D a d l o v e d m e a n d was very p r o u d of all m y a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s . P e r h a p s , w r i t i n g s o m e m u s i c , poetry, a n d narrative m i g h t h e l p resolve this t e n s i o n .  160  I a m starting anew. Ideas surface that are totally o r i g i n a l as I have r e c l a i m e d m y o w n v o i c e . I m u s t c o n t i n u e to l e a r n about m y s e l f a n d strive to engage i n the a / r / t o g r a p h i c process i n o r d e r e m b r a c e m y o w n u n i q u e n e s s as a h u m a n f o r it is clear that a / r / t o g r a p h y enables m e to g a i n deeper u n d e r s t a n d i n g s about issues that have s h a p e d m y v i e w of the w o r l d . I n d e e d , f r o m m y r e s e a r c h , I have g a i n e d i n v a l u a b l e i n s i g h t s about the real m e . F r o m all m y m u s i c , poetic a n d narrative renderings i n a / r / t o g r a p h i c f o r m s , I have d i s c o v e r e d a deeper m u l t i l a y e r e d i n d i v i d u a l i n s i d e w h o b e c a m e reenergized a n d r e v i t a l i z e d about f i n d i n g a n d releasing a n a u t h e n t i c i n n e r voice. I resolved issues a n d f o u n d n e w questions about myself. I e x p l o r e d i n t u i t i o n , a n d b r o k e b o u n d a r i e s . I have s c u l p t e d a n d e m b r a c e d stories b e h i n d the stories about myself. H e r o e s surface w h i l e regrets b r i n g n e w narratives. W h o a m I? I a m artist, teacher, guitar player, a n d a / r / t o g r a p h e r . T h u s , t h r o u g h a / r / t o g r a p h i c process, I a m t r u l y starting a n e w .  161  References B a i , H . (2001). B e y o n d the educated m i n d : T o w a r d s a pedagogy o f m i n d f u l n e s s . I n B. H o c k i n g , J . H a s k e l l & W . L i n d s ( E d s . ) , Unfolding Exploring possibility  bodymind:  through education (pp. 86-99). B u r l i n g t o n , V T : F o u n d a t i o n  for E d u c a t i o n a l R e n e w a l . B i c k e l , B. (2004). From Artist toA/r/tpgrapher:  An  Autoethnographic  Ritual Inquiry into Writing on the Body. M a s t e r ' s T h e s i s , U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia. http://members.shaw.ca/radicaltrusti/index.html B i c k e l , B. (2005). Embracing Body. 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