Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Bluebird of Happiness

This morning while conducting a rehearsal with the Select Choir at my school, a pigeon flew in the window.

It buzzed barely over the screaming students' heads before slamming into the window on the door.

Then it turned and found another open window on the other side of the room and exited through it.

The whole incident took about 10 seconds, but it was about 10 minutes before anyone could calm down.

After hearing the screaming and slam of the bird hitting the door, teachers ran from all over thinking someone had been shot.

Nothing beats city life.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I've been reading the book "Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands" by Gavan Daws. I'm only halfway through it.

Micronesia has been mentioned two times in passing, and both times the facts are wrong!

On page xi of the prologue it says, "Early in the sixteenth century [Magellan] sailed from Cape Horn to the Philippines without encountering a single island on the way."


He encountered GUAM! Unless Guam is considered by Daws to be a mini-continent or something.

Then on page 172 he writes "Waddell came upon the Harvest at Ascension Island in the Marianas..."


Pohnpei (aka Ascension Island) is a part of the CAROLINE islands, not the Marianas! Unless the island quickly floated over to the Carolines after Magellan visited.

I probably shouldn't be so critical. I have written a book which is in the final stages of publication. At the rate things are moving, it should be available any decade now. It is bound to have its share of glaring errors.

This is my second bloggish book attack in the past several weeks. Sorry to act like such a know-it-all. I'm actually a know-a-little-bit-of-it-all.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Here Come the "Terrible Twos!"

My blog had its second birthday yesterday. Thanks to all of you who have looked at it. I am amazed at all that has happened in these two years: so many new friends and six different nations! Stay tuned for more adventures!

Sunrise over Johns Hopkins as seen from my classroom.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Getting Away from Atoll

It's about time I put up some photos of my two weeks on Ailuk Atoll in the Marshall Islands last August.

Here are some local children:

There are no motorboats on Ailuk. This is Rice, the owner of this sailboat. I paid him a pack of cigarettes to sail me to the northern-most island of the lagoon. On the way he did some fishing.

Taken from the northern-most island of the atoll, this photo looks south toward the rest of the atoll islands.

I stayed on the second floor veranda of a house overlooking the lagoon. Here is the view of a sunset from my veranda:
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tan Dun and I

Last night the symphony hosted a talk by the composer Tan Dun. Tan Dun has written a lot of stuff, but he is probably most famous for writing the score to the movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."

I volunteered to usher so I could get into his talk.

He spoke of his experience in a Maoist reeducation camp during the Chinese cultural revolution. He talked about how he considers himself a "spiritual mathmetician." And he discussed his use of non-traditional instruments in his work (he has written concertos for, among other things, water and paper).

Although his manner was quiet and unassuming, I found the evening amazingly inspirational. I was awed by his creativity and originality.

Afterwards I spoke to him briefly and even got my picture taken with him.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hola, nosotros estamos en la isla de Palau

Nothing beats the thrill of discovering a photo of yourself that someone else has put onto the web for the world to see.

Especially when you are on the island of Palau wearing an enormous sombrero and playing with salt and pepper shakers.

If you want to witness Rohaizad and I "livin' la vida loca" in Micronesia, go to http://www.bandidos-palau.com/photo_album/index.html. Under "albums" go to "December 2006." We are the 39th picture down.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

But How Many Inches?

No one can say that Baltimore is not detail oriented. This is a traffic sign on my street.

And on a more serious note, this is the part of the World War II Memorial in Washington DC that commemorates the war in Micronesia.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Day in DC

We had the day off of school yesterday, so I took the train down to Washington DC. I checked out the Edward Hopper and J.M.W. Turner exhibits at the National Gallery, ate lunch at the Malaysian Restaurant on M Street and visited the Smithsonian Museum of the Native Americans.

While walking around the mall I took photos of some of the buildings and monuments. Here is the Smithsonian Museum of American History:

The Washington Monument:

The brand-spankin'-new World War II Memorial:

The Capital Building:
Posted by Picasa