Gettin’ ready for State o’ the College Spring 2013

State o’ the college is days away. This post is goin’ up to ask y’all if y’all gots any questions for our President, Don.

It appears we get micro-phono-anxiety-inis when it comes to askin’ questions at this thingy. Last I checked, we all have questions (and concerns) about the state of our college.

Sure, there are a handful of folks that take their anxiety medication and are able to hold that mike in their hand and ask away. But what about you? Me thinks you sit there with a plethora of questions and curiosities but hesitate for one reason or an other to ask that all important question.

Sure, I understand that when Don says, “any questions?” we look at our watches and smart phones wondering if the questions and answers will be worth the time.
Hmmm, if we all stay silent a few moments, then we can leave real soon and I can get back to doin’ x or y… or maybe do z…

And for reasons beknownst and unbeknownst to me, we sometimes stay and sometimes go.

To resolve the dilemma (I use the word dilemma here to mean neither good n/or bad), here’s what I propose: Lay out the questions via a reply to this post ahead of time. Give Don some time to ponder the question(s) and then have him incorporate the answers into the speech/presentation.

Wouldn’t that be a more efficient use of our time?

I recommend asking questions anonymously. No micro-phono-anxiety-inis to worry about. Your identity remains protected AND you’ll never need medication! (This means you won’t get drowsy, won’t get nausea, and won’t experience sudden vision loss!)

This post is not endorsed by our President and there are no guarantees he will answer. However, you have nothing to lose and a bit to gain if you have a question or concern about your college. A good dose of Q&A can only help to strengthen our community. And get you back to doin’ x or y and maybe z…

12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas

The 12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas is a semester break special borrowing from the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (that occur after December 25th). The point is to get you into the spirit of the season by recommending one song per day leading up to Christmas. Members of Camp Realist couldn’t decide whether to go iconic, popular, memorable, or classic. So we narrowed the list down to a bit of each.
Comments are always welcomed.  If you have a better version of the song, let me know. Do enjoy and sing along if you’d like! Or if any special memory is associated with the song, feel free to leave a reply.

1 Day before Christmas:

11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”
16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.

-Luke 2

History of Silent Night

Local connection

Global connection

12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas

The 12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas is a semester break special borrowing from the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (that occur after December 25th). The point is to get you into the spirit of the season by recommending one song per day leading up to Christmas. Members of Camp Realist couldn’t decide whether to go iconic, popular, memorable, or classic. So we narrowed the list down to a bit of each.
Comments are always welcomed.  If you have a better version of the song, let me know. Do enjoy and sing along if you’d like! Or if any special memory is associated with the song, feel free to leave a reply.

2 Days before Christmas:

As Eloise said, “It’s Christmas Eve Eve!” With that I am reminded that growing up, due to cultural traditions, today was actually Christmas Eve in our house. See, we’d wake up on the 24th of December and the gifts would be under the tree. That meant one thing – we’d spend the rest of the entire day waiting for Midnight Mass to come. We’d attend, and then it was back home to our Christmas dinner followed by the moment all my brothers and sisters and I had waited for – the opening of gifts after a very long and exciting day of waiting.
Throughout the day, we’d test the patience of our parents. We’d huddle around the gifts, shake a few and ask how long it would be before we could open them; knowing full well that nothing was happening until my dad took the final bite of his Christmas dinner.
To make the length of the day more enjoyable, I had an older sibling that would go through the collection of Christmas albums and ask my mom if we could play them. I presume my mother said yes, and gave us free reign over the record player, because it gave us all a common distraction (she didn’t have to keep answering our questions and we stayed busy entertaining ourselves) to make the minutes go by faster.
We eventually narrowed down the albums to those we thought were the most Christmas-y. This song, by this artist was on one of the preferred albums. It doesn’t get played much over the air, but every time I do hear it (the album is still at my parent’s house and I don’t have a record player) when I’m out and about, it brings back warm memories. I could listen to nothing but Percy Faith and Paul Mauriat during these 12 days leading up to Christmas and reminisce. I’m in no rush for Christmas to be over.
Enjoy.

12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas

The 12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas is a semester break special borrowing from the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (that occur after December 25th). The point is to get you into the spirit of the season by recommending one song per day leading up to Christmas. Members of Camp Realist couldn’t decide whether to go iconic, popular, memorable, or classic. So we narrowed the list down to a bit of each.
Comments are always welcomed.  If you have a better version of the song, let me know. Do enjoy and sing along if you’d like! Or if any special memory is associated with the song, feel free to leave a reply.

3 Days before Christmas:

I’m not completely sure, but I think that at some point many, many years ago, my parents took  my siblings and I to see this group of young singers at some downtown venue. It was our first time going to see such a performance. We didn’t do this often and I’m pretty sure my parents forked over good cash for the seats. I’m always left wondering if it in fact was the Vienna Boys Choir or not. My dad had a way of going with an Option B when Option A was not cost effective. Still does to this day. As far as I know it was our last ’cause I ain’t got any memories of it happening again. Perhaps we exhausted the budget for the next few years. Regardless of the lack of facts, I still enjoy this tune and at this point in my life, it doesn’t really matter if it was or wasn’t this choir that day downtown. What matters now is that my parents went out of their way to give us a wonderful gift that keeps giving every time I hear this version of the song.

12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas

The 12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas is a semester break special borrowing from the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (that occur after December 25th). The point is to get you into the spirit of the season by recommending one song per day leading up to Christmas. Members of Camp Realist couldn’t decide whether to go iconic, popular, memorable, or classic. So we narrowed the list down to a bit of each.
Comments are always welcomed.  If you have a better version of the song, let me know. Do enjoy and sing along if you’d like! Or if any special memory is associated with the song, feel free to leave a reply.

4 Days before Christmas:

I thought this tune would be appropriate given that we’re ‘pose to have snow by today. (Last I checked when writing this post, it was still rain. We’ll see what gives by the time the post goes live.) Around Camp Realist, every time The Drifters’ version of the song is heard, at least one member needs to break out mouthing the words a-la-Kevin from Home Alone. Goofy and silly, but it puts a smile on all of our faces – and ain’t that what Christmas is all about?
Go ahead, sing along. Just be careful where you splash that aftershave. AAAAAAAAHHHHH!

Stocking stuffer: The Drifters first released their recording of the song in 1954. According to ASCAP, White Christmas is the most recorded holiday song with over 500 versions.

12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas

The 12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas is a semester break special borrowing from the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (that occur after December 25th). The point is to get you into the spirit of the season by recommending one song per day leading up to Christmas. Members of Camp Realist couldn’t decide whether to go iconic, popular, memorable, or classic. So we narrowed the list down to a bit of each.
Comments are always welcomed.  If you have a better version of the song, let me know. Do enjoy and sing along if you’d like! Or if any special memory is associated with the song, feel free to leave a reply.

5 Days before Christmas:

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m making changes to this list of 12 songs as each day goes by. This one was not on the original list but it has made its way in for a couple of reasons. One, a member of Camp Realist believes this to be one of the better recorded versions of the song s/he has heard in some time. Two, I thought it to be in keeping with the other tunes and befitting of the ‘popular’ category (not to mention that it is also a Church hymn like a previous and future selection).
So here you have it gentle women and gentle men. Rest well for Christmas is but a few days away. No, not the kind of rest where you kick back and do nothin’. It’s not about idleness. Not the kind of rest  where you crash from the exhaustion of shopping for gifts. No sir. The kind of rest that is implied can only be achieved by completing physical, mental, and spiritual activities in a state of peace. (Kinda hard to do during that last week of the semester, I know. Been there, done that.)

12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas

The 12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas is a semester break special borrowing from the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (that occur after December 25th). The point is to get you into the spirit of the season by recommending one song per day leading up to Christmas. Members of Camp Realist couldn’t decide whether to go iconic, popular, memorable, or classic. So we narrowed the list down to a bit of each.
Comments are always welcomed.  If you have a better version of the song, let me know. Do enjoy and sing along if you’d like! Or if any special memory is associated with the song, feel free to leave a reply.

6 Days before Christmas:

As a younger, less mature individual, I could care less for the melody and I didn’t give a hoot for the lyrics. Now, a bit older, not necessarily wiser, but certainly with more experiences in life, I’ve come to appreciate the simplicity of the lyrics. Where else would I want to be for Christmas if not home or with family? I am blessed to say that I’ve been home for every Christmas. For better or for worse. I pause to think of the many individuals that will not be home or don’t have a place to call home this holiday. Or any holiday. Or any day.

This semester, like others, I’ve had students share their personal stories of misery and success. All stories have a common theme: misery stems from these individuals feeling or being alone in the world and success stems from individuals feeling like or being a contributing member of a family.

If you could ask Perry Como, I’m pretty sure he’d agree.He came from a decent family and went on to have a good one himself. Almost 60 years after it was first recorded, the lyrics still hold true. “If you want to be happy in a million ways, For the holidays, You can’t beat home, sweet home.”

12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas

The 12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas is a semester break special borrowing from the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (that occur after December 25th). The point is to get you into the spirit of the season by recommending one song per day leading up to Christmas. Members of Camp Realist couldn’t decide whether to go iconic, popular, memorable, or classic. So we narrowed the list down to a bit of each.
Comments are always welcomed.  If you have a better version of the song, let me know. Do enjoy and sing along if you’d like! Or if any special memory is associated with the song, feel free to leave a reply.

7 Days before Christmas:

Here’s what y’all get instead of Pat Boone. A beautiful and simple rendition of this Christmas tune. The lyrics are by  Rev. Phillips Brooks.  His inspiration for the words came to him when he made a visit to Bethlehem during Christmas week in 1865. Some historians say it was exactly on Christmas Eve that the words were born. A few years later, the music was written for it by Mr. Lewis H. Redner and a Church hymn was born.

I’d probably be as equally moved to create a tangible record (as in historical record) of that intangible experience. Having the musical talents of Sarah McLachlan to pull it off wouldn’t hurt. Enjoy. One week to Christmas.

12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas

The 12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas is a semester break special borrowing from the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (that occur after December 25th). The point is to get you into the spirit of the season by recommending one song per day leading up to Christmas. Members of Camp Realist couldn’t decide whether to go iconic, popular, memorable, or classic. So we narrowed the list down to a bit of each.
Comments are always welcomed.  If you have a better version of the song, let me know. Do enjoy and sing along if you’d like! Or if any special memory is associated with the song, feel free to leave a reply.

8 Days before Christmas:

A rather quick tune you might say, but an appropriate one by a prolific artist from the past. Sure I coulda gone with another tune he sang, like Holly Jolly Christmas, but Camp Realist decided on this one. Hope your tree of life is decorated with of silver and gold this holiday season.
Burl Ives, or ‘Big Daddy‘, was all about folk songs. To learn more about him, go here and pick from any of the listed categories.

Bit o’ clarification on the tunes, per PhiloDave’s post:
– No need to apologize for the interruption, ’tis I who am interrupting your regular Lounge posts and ’tis I who am humbly thankful for the opportunity. Lookin’ forward to your posts, phD.
– This time around, it ain’t a top 12 list. These songs are in no particular order of least to most favorite. Perhaps, in order of most appropriate, in terms of lyrics, for  Christmas as we get closer to the date, but that’s all.

Don’t worry, you’ll see no Pat Boone, but can I ask why not? Could it be for similar reasons that Karen Carpenter will not be seen?

Not sayin’ I don’t like your recommendations, PhiloDave’s; or your request, hellokitty’s . Diggin’ em! Keep them coming.

12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas

The 12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas is a semester break special borrowing from the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (that occur after December 25th). The point is to get you into the spirit of the season by recommending one song per day leading up to Christmas. Members of Camp Realist couldn’t decide whether to go iconic, popular, memorable, or classic. So we narrowed the list down to a bit of each.
Comments are always welcomed.  If you have a better version of the song, let me know. Do enjoy and sing along if you’d like! Or if any special memory is associated with the song, feel free to leave a reply.

9 Days before Christmas:

Time to take it easy on this Sunday. I’ll give you a nice Christmas tune and you provide the fireplace. Deal?
Highly recommend the entire album – ‘specially if you want to kick back and start enjoying what will be week two of the semester break (um, you did get those grades in, right? :-)). BTW, I found this version of the tune with some photos. T’was easier on the eyes than the static image of the album cover.

BTW part II, here’s a link to Vince Guaraldi’s Offficial Website in case you’re looking for more of the same style of music for yourself or as a stocking-stuffer.
You’re welcome. Have a good day.

12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas

The 12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas is a semester break special borrowing from the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (that occur after December 25th). The point is to get you into the spirit of the season by recommending one song per day leading up to Christmas. Members of Camp Realist couldn’t decide whether to go iconic, popular, memorable, or classic. So we narrowed the list down to a bit of each.
Comments are always welcomed.  If you have a better version of the song, let me know. Do enjoy and sing along if you’d like! Or if any special memory is associated with the song, feel free to leave a reply.

10 Days before Christmas:

C’mon! Ya didn’t think these 12 days would be complete without a visit from Rudolph, did ya? And not just any version. It has to be the Gene Autry version. A couple of you local history peeps out there might be interested in knowing, or perhaps y’all ready know, this song started out as a story from the Montgomery Ward department store. Then it was adapted into a song and recorded by America’s favorite singing cowboy. Here’s a good version of the song sans video. The rest is history for the versions of Rudolph songs that would follow and for Gene Autry’s marketing ideas.

Speaking of marketing ideas, is it me, or does that Sunday paper have more ads than news? (I know it’s only Saturday, but y’all can go out and buy tomorrow’s news today. It’s a shame Montgomery Ward ain’t round no more. Their reindeer legend sure lives on.)

12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas

The 12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas is a semester break special borrowing from the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (that occur after December 25th). The point is to get you into the spirit of the season by recommending one song per day leading up to Christmas. Members of Camp Realist couldn’t decide whether to go iconic, popular, memorable, or classic. So we narrowed the list down to a bit of each.
Comments are always welcomed.  If you have a better version of the song, let me know. Do enjoy and sing along if you’d like! Or if any special memory is associated with the song, feel free to leave a reply.

11 Days before Christmas:

Remember when this song came out? We were 3 years into MTV, so you probably remember watching the video too. It went on to spawn other iterations of musicians coming together to raise money for one cause or another. If not for Band Aid, who knows if the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief is even thought of as a way to monetarily aid others.
Yes, you may tire of hearing this song EVERY SINGLE CHRISTMAS SEASON! Yes, it gets about as much airplay now as it did when it first came out in 1984. (For a while, between then and now, I didn’t hear it and then all of a sudden it was as popular as the other songs that will be on this series of posts.)
In any case, you may tire of the melody, but the lyrics, not necessarily the greatest but certainly thought-provoking for a Christmas tune, bear repeating on a daily basis. They are a humble reminder of how blessed I am to be here, in this land of plenty, and how it was due to nothing but geographic location and the free will of  past family members that allow me to be on the giving end rather than the receiving end of this humanitarian reality.
I ignorantly demoted the lyrics in my pre-philosophical days, to being irrelevant over the flashy melody. Now, post-philosophy 101, the words bellowing out of those music stars of the 80s make me pause every now and then to reflect on the  God-given gift of life.

12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas

The 12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas is a semester break special borrowing from the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (that occur after December 25th). The point is to get you into the spirit of the season by recommending one song per day leading up to Christmas. Members of Camp Realist couldn’t decide whether to go iconic, popular, memorable, or classic. So we narrowed the list down to a bit of each.
Comments are always welcomed.  If you have a better version of the song, let me know. Do enjoy and sing along if you’d like! Or if any special memory is associated with the song, feel free to leave a reply.

12 Days before Christmas:

Camp Realist couldn’t think of a better song to get the 12 days started. We couldn’t think of a better version either. It seems like every year we can’t start trimming the tree unless this tune is ready to go. Perhaps the CD version of this song is slightly better with the subtle humor you don’t get in this version (heck, all the songs on the CD are a must have for the holiday!), but only the Muppets can pull this one off with their wit.  More tunes to follow! 11 more to be exact.