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Day 5 – The First Weekend of Summer

May 29, 2010

A brief entry today as the usual festivities give way to unstructured time.  So in that spirit…

CD#5: Grateful Dead – To Terrapin: Hartford ’77 (G Dead / Rhino)

Well I was going to have to write about the Dead sooner or later since I’ve listened to them way too much in the past year, and I must admit it’s odd to start with a show from ’77, but it’s what was in the car last night, and is a truly lovely show, especially the run on disc 3 to end the show.  The spring of ’77 is of legendary status, but for me ’71 – ’74 are still king (for various reasons I’m sure I will get into as the summer goes on).  But I don’t want to take anything away from the outstanding music on this set.  The jams are long and fascinating as they wander from one tune to the next, and the run of Estimated Prophet>Playin’>Terrapin Station>Drums>Not Fade Away>Wharf Rat>Playin’ includes great moments from Phil and Bobby, superb work from Jerry, and some fantastic Keith moments too.  Great music to open a summer weekend with, especially with these early versions of Terrapin.  Lovely.

Book #5: J.D. Salinger – The Catcher in the Rye

Catcher?  Really?  Yes, absolutely.  My love for this book is renewed each spring with the opportunity to introduce a new set of students to Holden and his thoughts of a 17-year-old coming of age.  I can’t stand it when teachers give this to 8th graders – of course they can’t get it and end up gravitating towards a lesser reading of Salinger’s masterpiece.  For me, I have my students read it in its entrirety, without introduction, and our fist conversations about it take place not with an analytic eye alone, but with a questioning approach embracing their own adolescence and uncertainty.  The set of essays I just collected would bring tears to your eyes – students writing about what it means to exist with the pressures of being a high school junior, having to deal with school and friends and expectations and challenges and family at every moment, and with discovering who they are.  I wrote about Salinger earlier this year when he passed and I’m freshly feeling that loss now, but know that this book will always be a part of who I am as a teacher and the lives of my students.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 29, 2010 4:56 pm

    love hartford ’77 if only because its the closest remastered and released to cornell ’77 which is of course, legendary.

    keep blogging – its great to see

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