World Music Festival: Ongoing

Just in case you didn’t see it kick off over the beautiful weekend, the cool September air means that it’s time for the  World Music Festival.

It’s running all over the city, all week and through next weekend no less, with great, free music playing at all times of day. You can check out the Reader’s Guide to the festival here. Lots of great stuff abounds. Get out and see some of it if you can!

What Up?

Fire up the grill and white belts and shoes–it’s the last weekend of summer people…what are you doing?

Headed to the Fringe Festival? Maybe the North Coast Festival (maybe to see some FatBoySlim? (he’s headlining Saturday night; so is Common)) Or will it be Jazz Fest? Or India Arie (or Mary Mary or Bootsy Collins!) at the African Festival of the Arts? Camping in the north woods? Something altogether different like Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival?

What Up?

Oh, sure, you’ll be spending your Friday at the college for the Address to Faculty (it’s NOT the State of the College, right? Do staff have to attend? I digress), but what else will you be doing?

I’ll be out at Arlington on Saturday to see them running for the Million (I hear they give away money out there), and my kids will be hounding us to take them to see the Wild Kratts on Sunday at the zoo, but I think with the race and everything that will be a….a……zoo.

Ahem. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

What are you doing this weekend to squeeze the last drops of fun out of summer?

Reading Aloud

One of the most effective new things I did in the last few years was the decision to have students listen to a reading of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essays in class, while reading along with it. Later in the year, I read those same classes most of Plato’s Apology, allowing students to hear it as a speech, read fluently and with vocal emphasis. The effects on student’s comprehension of those texts (as well as the subsequent texts by the same author) were pretty stunning.

The readings made the key ideas more readily accessible and decoded the author’s stylistic tendencies and patterns. Students weren’t fighting to read the words AND the sentences AND track the arguments. The first two were done for them, which allowed them to do the third, and that experience (I was told by many students in their exit interviews) opened up that text and the others. They found that the author/piece had value, and so they were more interested (and willing) to do the work on their own in the next one because A) they had a clue about the voice of the author; B) they had an expectation that they’d find ideas of interest in it; and C) they knew they could do it because they just had. It was really great, all around, and I’ll definitely do it again, maybe earlier, and possibly more often in future classes.

I say all of that not to break my arm patting my self on the back, but to share something that worked AND because, apparently, the idea (or an iteration of it) is something of a meme going around. I read it on Inside Higher Ed, so it must be true:

While the oral reading is as old as literature itself, it is not the norm on campuses. But faculty members and students who have participated in such readings say the events help convey messages, engage students, and foster community on their campuses in ways that reading alone cannot do. “Until you hear another student read it in his or her own voice, you don’t really understand the vast possibilities for interpretation,” said Dillon Jackson, one of Thickstun’s students.

So, if I threw a read aloud, would you come?

What Up?

I don’t know what it is, but I just heard about something called the Chirp Record Fair that sounded interesting, and I might have to check it out.

It’s movie festival season in the city by the lake–the Latino Film Festival is still going, Luna Fest starts early next week, and CIMM fest starts next week, too, but it’s supposed to be a pretty nice weekend. Plus the Derby Prep races are going full blast this weekend, too. Watching horses run…is there anything better?

So in addition to perusing next week’s festival schedules, and maybe having a cold beer in a warm, sunny spot and pretending that you don’t have any grading to do, what will you be doing this weekend?

What Up?

Of course, given the state of things over there, our first thoughts are, or should be, with the people of Japan living through a nightmarish scenario of natural and man-made disaster that must be fraying the nerves and testing the fortitude of everyone there. I truly cannot imagine what it must be like to live through their experiences over the last week or so. And, yet, here we are…

The last days of the Metoyer era are upon us (more on that over the weekend), today is a high holiday in the city by the lake (kiss me, I’m Irish!), the Good Food Festival (a.k.a. Family Farmed EXPO) is happening at UIC, hooping is happening, and spring seems to have just about full blown sprung! Oh, and don’t forget–Distinguished Professor Nominations are due TODAY at 5pm: honor a colleague! And George might even be kind enough to hand out extensions…