Monday, November 16, 2009

November so far...

November is national write a novel in a month, month. I decided to take up the challenge this year (last year I started in December...too late) and I am not as far a long as I would have hoped. I am at 10,000 words and counting, but the book is coming together nicely. This is the second book I have started this month and I like the new direction. Once I have finished the month I will spill the beans about the topic.

In late October I attending a training on incorporating Opera music into your class. I am one of those individuals who sign up for everything I can get my hands on, and as it turned out, I was the only history teacher at the training. Mind you, there were only 4 other teachers present (they were all choir teachers). I thought the training was great and if you attended the training you were guaranteed free tickets to the MET performances that are broadcast nationwide at various Regal theaters. I have seen the commercials for these performances before, but I had never taken the time to see any of them.

I am a novice fan of opera music. I have only seen 3 opera performances in my life, but I thought they were spectacular.

November 7th I took 3 students (2 boys and 1 girl) to see the MET's performance of Turandot. They film the performance live and so the students were a little surprised to hear all the chatter of the opera attendees as they took their seats in New York as we were taking our seats in Vegas. I didn't know anything about this particular opera, but it was AMAZING. I was surprised to discover that my favorite aria was in the third act, Nessun Dorma. The tenor's performance literally brought tears to my eyes. All of the singers and performers were outstanding and now I can't wait to go see the rest of the performances this year. My students were riveted and even though the whole experience was 3 1/2 hours long they didn't seem to mind. Through this program I have three more operas this year that I can take students to see. They are all clamoring for tickets to see Carmen in January. Carmen is one of my favorites and I am super excited to see it as well.

After the performance we headed over to UNLV's library. My AP world history students had done a really bad job on a research assignment earlier in the year and as a result banned them from using the internet for research. I informed them that for the duration of the year, they had to use books. Due to this new initiative I scheduled a time for my students to come to the universities library so I could show them how to do research old school style. In the end most of them enjoyed the experience and even though I kept running up and down floors answering questions I was glad I had decided to do it. Ultimately I had 15 of my 48 students show up which was more than I was expecting.

Between the Opera and the library I was pretty tired when I returned home, but it was worth it. Now I am looking forward to Thanksgiving in Tucson this year with my brother Steve and his family.

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