Posted on June 22, 2009 at 9:39 am in

An important part of storytelling is to go with your strength. If you are good at movement, let it flow with your stories. If you can do voices, make them enhance the tales you tell. If you enjoy working with pre-schoolers, then focus your energy on working with them and learning stories in that age group. The same goes for those whose likes are with older children, teens, or adults. Go with your strength. One of my characteristics is the use of voice.
Continue reading Voices…

College grad

Posted on May 7, 2009 at 11:30 am in

What do you do with your life when you are trained to be a teacher, but no one wants to hire you? I was fortunate in undergraduate college to link up with Dr. Dennis Littky. He was and still is an energetic innovator in education. Rather than go through the normal series of methods courses that teachers in training went through I spent a full year prior to my student teaching working in schools 4-1/2 days a week. I got a chance to be an innovator myself in helping the Middle school that I was working in build a new reading program, based on literature from books not excerpts from Basal readers. Knowing Dennis had another benefit. The year I graduated from Stony Brook with my teaching degree he became principal of the newly built Shoreham-Wading River Middle School. I had the potential of getting a job.

Dennis was starting this school from its beginning and didn’t hire me right away, since he wanted more experienced teachers on his staff. Eventually I was hired mid-year as an administrative assistant. That lasted a month before I got a permanent substitute position in another district (Three Village). At the end of that year, I was offered two jobs, one in Three Village and one in SWR. I took the SWR position and never looked back.

So what did I do in the interim in order to make money to live on? Continue reading College grad…

Using Quotes

Posted on April 7, 2009 at 1:44 pm in

I was preparing to perform at an elementary school the other day when I noticed in my equipment bag an old blank journal that someone had given me on my retirement from teaching. Since the PTA organizer was there with me and was planning on staying through my performance I asked her if she wouldn’t mind writing in the book, her impressions of my performance. I also asked the Physical Education teacher who’s gym I was borrowing to do the same. Both gladly said that they would.

My performances (I did two) went well and afterwards both observers wrote in my book. The physical education teacher wrote: “ Pleasure. Enjoyed your show. It reminded me of Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger.”

The PTA coordinator wrote: “I loved your show! Your stories told great life lessons, and your songs gave our children a boost of self-respect and courage. Your fondness and ability to connect with children shined through. Thank you.”

I was touched by what both wrote and decided that if I could acquire quotes like those to add to my promotional material; it would help me a lot. The question was how to do it?
Continue reading Using Quotes…


Posted on February 26, 2009 at 8:01 pm in

A few weeks ago the subject of inventions came up in discussion by my family. The discussion didn’t revolve around things that have already been invented, but rather on things that should be invented. It began with a call from my sister who had decided that there needed to be a GPS system that you could personally carry that connected to your car. In that way you could never lose your car in a crowded parking lot. This is a very useful tool, especially as members of my family get older an tend to forget where we leave things more often than not. Of course I would need this GPS tracking device all over my house for all sorts of things I own. The car issue isn’t too much of an issue for me. Whenever I lose my car in a crowded parking lot, I tend to wander the lot in the general direction of where I think the car might be and hold down the panic button on my remote car opener. The panic button is actually the same as the locking button. I’m not sure if all remote car openers have this. If you hold it down longer than a few seconds it sets off the car alarm. Once I hear the alarm going off, I generally can figure out where the car is.
Continue reading Inventions…

More Lil

Posted on January 22, 2009 at 10:11 pm in

Great Aunt Lil never married. That is not to say that she didn’t have her beaus and crushes throughout her life. She never met that one person that epitomized the high ideals that she set for herself. Of all of the stories Aunt Lil shared, the ones about Jack were my favorites. Continue reading More Lil…



Posted on January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm in

How many things did we do/use growing up that are totally outdated and/or non-existent nowadays. The most obvious to me is phonograph records. When I was really young, my sisters had (and may still have) a number of 78 rpm records. I remember playing them on our record player at home. The record player had 4 speeds. 16, 33-1/3, 45 and 78 rpm (for those of you neophytes that would be revolutions per minute).  These 78s were about 12 inches in diameter, about an 1/8 of an inch thick and extremely breakable. You dropped them, they shattered. Because the rpms of the turntable were so fast, you could only get one song on a side of each 78 record before it ran out. By the time I was old enough to purchase my own records, 45s and 33-/13 long playing records were the style. 45s were for the single songs and 33-1/3s were for albums.  These were also volatile. They wouldn’t break as easy but were susceptible to warping and scratches.

Remember those? If you don’t it is because you are too young. In only 40 years, phonograph recordings became a historical artifact, giving way to cassette recordings (my first tape recorder was actually a mini reel to reel tape recorder; we won’t bring up 8-tracks), then to CDs, to our present .mp3 and i-Pod players and digital recordings. I now own a small digital recorder that I use to tape performances and concerts. I then upload the recordings to my computer where I store them on i-Tunes, cut them to a CD, or upload them to my website.
Continue reading Outdated…


Let it snow

Posted on January 8, 2009 at 7:54 pm in

I enjoy snow. I feel for all those people that live in the southern climes that don’t get the opportunity to see and play with snow. But then I assume that all those people feel for me not having the opportunity to enjoy warm weather all of the time and what that brings. When I was young we had our own built in snow slope right outside my apartment building. If you got a good dumping of snow there was a walkway between the hill next to our house and the little park that was there also that was perfect for sledding. Here’s a picture of my dad and me sledding down at the end of that runway. If you were really good and got up enough speed, you could make it all the way out to the street and hope no cars were coming. In this picture, we did make it to the street.

Sledding with my father by our apartment

Continue reading Let it snow…