Archive for December, 2011

Our World Boutique

My son, Miles, and I ended yesterday afternoon in Buffalo, NY yesterday driving around our beloved city taking photographs. These shots are of “Our World Boutique” on East Ferry street: What a beautiful building!

Out and About

Your Gentle Author in Seattle, WA

I’m spending the last week or so of 2011 in the nation in which I was raised, starting in Seattle, WA then moving on to New York City, Rochester, and then my old stomping ground of Buffalo, NY. This has been a lucky year for work and friendship, affection and surprise. I just want to count my blessings, and stay ready. (Photo by Karen Vogel, taken in Mercer Street underpass near the EMP museum.)

Buy Me

I’ve been having fun updating my Flickr gallery.

Fall 2011 Student Communications Blog

Fall 2011 Advanced Communications Class Blog

Many of my students are blogging energetically today to get their ten posts online before tonight’s deadline. There’s a lot of good stuff!

Patsy Dash Helps Students Dream out Loud

Patsy Dash, teacher and percussionist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Patsy [Patricia] Dash was  a drummer in my old high school who was so talented that she got into the jazz band even though we already had two magnificent drummers. Patsy seemed (only seemed) to be the most straight — that is, unhip — person in the band, befitting for a girl who’s father taught math and had a sharp and short crew cut. The band director told her we had a vibraphone nobody was using: “Take it home, and see if you can figure it out,” he said. Two weeks later she came back into the band room and showed our rhythm section  how to play the blues. I’ll never forget it.

Patsy became the first female percussionist to win a position at one of North America’s major symphonies (The Chicago Symphony Orchestra). She has become as brilliant a teacher as she is a musician. Here she talks about the Dream Out Loud music education advocacy campaign, a “unique set of resources to assist music educators in the important work that they do.”

Sharon, Gifted Singer from the Downtown Eastside


This video is inspiring and very moving. Sharon possesses a remarkable vocal gift. I hope she continues performing for audiences (paying and otherwise) and records some music as well.