First off, I love Oscar Wilde. I think he was a brilliant playwright who wrote phenomenal pieces of art. I think this stood out to me a lot because I have mixed feelings about it so I spent a lot of time thinking about it, especially in light of our studies of the Holocaust and our brief look at Milgram's experiment (we'll go further in depth into that next week). The questions that arise for me from this-- Is this true? Do we put on masks in order to "be ourselves"? I wonder what I would be like if I were placed in front of a shocking machine and told to shock another person. I want to think that I would be empathetic, that I would say, "No! That's a life! Someone is in pain! I can't do this." But I think most people want to think that. I think, psychologically, it would be interesting to talk to those who participated in Milgram's experiment AFTER the fact--it seems to be that these are the structures that allow for evil to occur--this kind of displacing of responsibility. I wonder if there have been times in my life where I have displaced responsibility.
"He was playing a fragment of a Beethoven concerto. Never before had I heard such a beautiful sound. In such silence...
The darkness enveloped us. All I could hear was the violin, and it was as if Juliek's soul had become his bow. He was playing his life. His whole being was gliding over the strings. His unfulfilled hopes. His charred past, his extinguished future. He played that which he would never play again. I shall never forget Juliek. How could I forget this concert given before an audience of the dead and dying?"
This section of Night made me cry the first time I read it. Even today, when I read it out loud in class (twice, for that matter), I teared up a little. A few of my students caught my voice cracking and turned to look at me so I managed to hold it in. I think the juxtaposition of ugliness and beauty in this passage is so moving and incredible--how people could find and create beauty and wonder in such incredibly dark circumstances moves me to really remember what I have, and how lucky I am to have been born into such a privileged life--I have food to eat, I have water to drink, I have people in my life who care about me and love me. Juliek is so worried about his violin because it is the only thing that he has left in the world--I have so much in comparison. Sometimes, because I'm inside my own life, it's easy to see its flaws instead of its wonders. Reading helps remind me.
"Who knew that a facebook page could get millions of followers on a daily basis?"
We had a guest speaker, Kristen Paruginog, come visit our classroom and talk about unhealthy relationships and ways that we can see warning signs in them. On a more hopeful note, she talked about healthy relationships and how each and every person deserves a healthy relationship. Each person deserves the best in their partner.
Kristen and I have been friends for as long as I can remember. We went to kindergarten together and stayed in touch throughout our entire lives. I am so lucky to have a friend
I had a little lunch with a handful of students who will be traveling to Paris and Rome with me this summer. I am so excited to visit Paris and Rome and wander through the streets and see the beautiful architecture. I have studied in Rome in the past, and I've visited Paris very briefly. I'll be traveling to Paris in February to get prepared to lead students around! I want to be able to show the students these beautiful countries in the best possible way!
This is the amazing Selah Sue. My roommates and I went and watched her live at the House of Blues a few weeks ago. The reason why she pops up in my compass this week is because of how she has enhanced my relationship with my baby sister, Amy. My little sister is 16 years old, a junior at Mater Dei Catholic High School in Chula Vista, California--a student now at the same school from where I graduated years ago. My sister and I share very similar tastes in music and recently, her facebook has been popping up with her spotify app: Amy Cabrera has just listened to Selah Sue. I'm listening too, baby sister.
This Sunday, I attended the Adams Avenue Street Festival to listen to some live music and make a couple cute jewelry purchases. I did well on both aspects, thoroughly enjoying all of the music and making a couple more purchases than I should have made!
A band that really stood out to me was a band called Saint Rich. You can access some of their stuff here: http://www.saintrich.com/
I think that the melodic sounds of their singer's voice paired with the simple rock nature of their instruments was a really wonderful pairing. They reminded me a lot of Augustana, a band I took a great liking to when I was in college.
Music has always been important to me. It played a huge part in my college life--my best friends were my band mates. I have great memories of playing different stages all over San Diego--of being in the limelight in the Gaslamp, and of playing music I loved with people I loved. I like going to live music events because it brings me back to those times on a really visceral level. I can feel it all over again. It was also cool that my former bass player was the one who took me! Way to
"An artist is the magician put among men to gratify--capriciously--their urge for immortality."
- Travesties by Tom Stoppard
This weekend I went and worked at Cygnet Theatre in Old Town, San Diego. I worked as a ticket checker and did a lot of smiling and saying, "Enjoy the show!" In return, I got a front row seat to their opening night. The play had some beautiful imagery. There were gorgeous costumes, gorgeous scenery, beautiful props. There were amazing moments of real humanity, one of my favorites being a moment where the characters were talking about war, and how one can tell when a country is truly at peace based on the freedom of its artists. One character goes into detail and discusses his own wartime experience and they discuss the different reasons WHY one would choose to go to war. All of a sudden the lights and sounds changed, as did the facial expressions of the characters, and both characters started solemnly singing, "We're here because we're here because we're here because we're here. We're here because we're here."
The quotation I chose above really popped out at me. I've considered myself, for as long as I can remember, an artist. And maybe it is a desire for immortality--not maybe my own, but for others (and well, maybe for my own too). Stories live on... Art lives on... if these things are done well. The day to day often does not live on.