Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Time is My Friend

I first became acquainted with this song as a high school student. Our school was blessed with an outstanding choral department. When they sang "Time is My Friend" at graduation, there was not a dry eye to be found. I had not heard the song again until finding it on this YouTube video. It turns out to be the song Julie Andrews used to close her television program.

For a blog whose focus is on time, there is perhaps no better video to embed than this.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Review of 2009 as Depicted With Google Wave and Jib-Jab

Figuring out exactly how to use Google Wave is on my to-do list. This video replays the highlights of 2009 using Google Wave as the medium.

As I start to figure out this tool, I am sure I will be returning to this post to take a look at a sample end result.

And, of course, where would we be without Jib-Jab's comical look at the year:

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Monday, December 28, 2009

National Staff Development Council Conference

While in St. Louis, we stayed at the Union Station Marriott. Building in the 1800's, this magnificent building served as the train station. The lobby was truly breath-taking. The hotel was even attached to a mall.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

National Staff Development Council Conference

While in St. Louis, we attended a service at Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral. These two videos really do not do justice to the magnificent architecture of this building.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

National Staff Development Council Conference

Davonia and I enjoyed a wonderful trip to St. Louis earlier this month for the National Staff Development Council Conference. These three short videos were taken in Historic St. Charles.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Meaning of Christmas

The Linus monologue is has been one of the unforgettable moments of the Christmas season since my earliest elementary school days.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

O Magnum Mysterium

On this Christmas Eve, here is a rendition of one of the season's more beautiful works performed by a truly spectacular group. Enjoy the Nordic Chamber Choir.

Latin text

O magnum mysterium,
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in praesepio!
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
meruerunt portare
Dominum Christum.

English translation

O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear
Christ the Lord.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

O Come, All Ye Faithful

O Come, All Ye Faithful, sung by the King's College Choir.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Wexford Carol

"The Wexford Carol" played by James Galway, flute; Laurence Beaufils, harp

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Arrangements for Dr. Ted Galloway

Visitation will be at Christ Church UMC, 5191 Caldwell Mill Rd., Birmingham - Tuesday at 12:30pm, with the funeral to follow at 2:00pm. Interment will follow the funeral.

As per the wishes of the family all instrumentalists are invited to perform "Just A Closer Walk" at the beginning of the service. There will also be a trombone group performing "Amazing Grace" at the conclusion. Alan Brooks and I will attempt to send out music via email or post a link where you could download. We will have a short rehearsal/run-through in the choir room of Christ Church at 12 noon. Remember that Dr. Galloway never started rehearsal late!

If you are going to participate, please email Phil Min with your name and instrument so he can help Alan plan the logistics. Phil's e-mail is

Christmas at R. L. Young

There was a time in our history when schools felt it important to come together as a student body on a regular basis, and singing together was usually a part of the activity. We learned how to be a audience, how to be respectful and respective. We also took our turn at being part of the program, going through the process of preparation and practice, and then getting up and doing something in front of other people. We found out through the process we really could produce something of quality, and that we could get up before others, be interesting, and be respected.

Those days are still alive and well at many schools, and I had the pleasure of visiting one of them Friday. Click here or click here to learn more about the whole-school Christmas Sing-A-Long that has become a tradition for this school.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Fantasia on Greensleeves

Enjoy Fantasia on Greensleeves by Ralph Vaughn Williams

For the younger readers, here is an activity which will give you more information on the piece and the composer.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Motivational Quotes

Thanks to Phil Gerbyshak for this collection of motivational quotes.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Alternatives to YouTube

YouTube has great videos and lots of them. There are other alternatives that teachers may want to explore. This post from Free Technology for Teachers provides over 30 resources.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Upgrading to Windows 7

This past weekend, I upgraded from Vista to Windows 7. the purpose of this post is to give others thinking about going down the same past an idea of what the upgrade pocess is like.

To begin, here are my suggestions:
  1. Backup your data. We all should be doing this anyway.
  2. Find the "Product Key" on the sleeve which holds the upgrade CD. You be asked for it at the end of the process.
  3. Find your documentation related to your anti-virus program. If you have an account with Norton, McAfee, etc., be sure you know your login and password.
  4. Reserve half a day for the process. Go ahead and block out an afternoon when you can be without the use of your computer. Gather some other work you can be doing that which does not require a great deal of concentration. So, it you have a backlog of magazines, TV programs you had recorded, stuff to sort through and organize, etc., that would be a good opportunity to knock off several birds with one stone.
  5. Be sure you know how to remove a program by going to your Control Panels and choosing "Add/Remove Programs."
  6. If you are a little nervous about the process, invite a good friend over who is fairly tech savvy and feed him or her a good meal.

Here is my experience with the upgrade process:
  1. The printed directions which came with my upgrade were very minimal--front of back and one half-page. They basically directed me as to which of the two CD-ROMS to insert first and told me to follow the directions on screen.
  2. The software first scanned my computer to be sure my system met the requirements necessary to run Windows 7.
  3. Next, there were certain items that the software told me would need to be removed. The software automatically handled the removal of those programs for me. Don't worry--Office was not one of the things it needed to remove. I was a little concerned, because my anti-virus program was among those that needed to be removed.
  4. There were times when I thought the computer had locked up. The percentage of progress wasn't changing, but just when I was about to give up hope, the numbers would change.
  5. The computer will need to re-start a few times. Each time, you start from the beginning of the CD-ROM again, yet each time, it moves through the steps in the CD-ROM faster.
  6. For some reason, there was one program that was not identified as needeing to be removed, yet later in the installation, I received an error message that it would have to be removed manually before installation could proceed. I had to go to Control Panels and manually remove this program. After that, the upgrade disks was satisfied.
  7. Towards the end of the process, I was asked for the "Product Key." This number was on the sleeve that contained the upgrade CD.
  8. The software reinstalled the compatible versions of the software that it had removed except for the anti-virus program.
  9. When the installation finished and I was finally back up and running, there was one little alert i the lower right corner that wold be very easy to miss. When I clicked on the alert, I was told that an anti-virus program was not installed. What was extremely helpful was that I was shown a screen with icons of all of the major anti-virus manufacturers. There were even free options included in the list. When I clicked on the McAfee icon (which is the program I had been using), I was taken to the proper screen to download the antivirus program.
  10. The options I was given at that point were to download a 90-day trial or purchase the program. Since a subscription had come with the computer I had purchased a couple of months earlier, I was not real crazy about buying it again. The same screen gave me the option to log into my account. Since I had my user name and password handy, I was able to log in. I saw information for my current subscription and was able to download and install the program with no problems. I assume that this was all for no charge. I guess I will know for sure when my next credit card statement comes! Most importantly, I had my anti-virus program back.

I hope reading the details of what I experienced will help some other who are looking at installing this upgrade.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Congratulations to Mark Ingram

Congratulations to Mark Ingram for becoming the the first University of Alabama football player to win the Heisman Trophy. You can see his acceptance speech by clicking here.

I grew up only a few miles from the campus of the University of Alabama during the Bear Bryant years. Alabama is certainly one of the storied programs in America. Every program has its peaks and valleys, and it's good to see the great things which are happening for the Crimson Tide.

Davonia and spent the better part of the week in St. Louis at the National Staff Development Council Conference. Without exception, every person with whom we interacted made some reference to the University of Alabama football team.

Congratulations to Ingram and best wishes to this great team as they prepare to play the University of Texas for the BSC National Championship.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Time Management 101

On NAESP's Principals' Office blog, Principal Jessica Johnson is asking for help with a time management problem. For those principals reading this post, you are invited to hop over to this site and add your thoughts.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Merry Christmas Darling

I have always been a Karen Carpenter fan. As a band director, I closed my first Christmas concert with "Merry Christmas Darling." Little did any of us know that Karen Carpenter would pass away shortly thereafter. Throughout my career as a band director, closing the Christmas concert with this beautiful selection became a tradition.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Sleigh Ride

Enjoy this rendition of the Sleigh Ride performed by the Boston Pops.

Saturday, December 05, 2009


"What Child Is This" set to John Stainer's arrangement of the traditional tune "Greensleeves". Sung by The Choir of King's College, Cambridge, 1995.

Friday, December 04, 2009

A Short History of Google

This two-minute video provides a history of Google and its contributions to the way we wok and play.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

CLAS Secretaries Conference

If you are visiting for the first time as a result of attending the CLAS Secretaries Conference, welcome. I hope you will visit often. Please take times to look through past months and years. You will find a wealth of information, both technology-related and non-techie. Mixed in, you will find other posts that are simply important to me and the interests I have. Feel free to leave comments about things you have a question about, things you liked, or just comments in general.

Thanks to the principals reading this post who supported their school secretaries in the desire to attend. Money is tight, and I put a great deal of thought in preparing for this workshop. It was my hope that those who came would take with them tools and strategies that could be implemented immediately. Furthermore, it is my hope that the funds mustered for this conference will be seen not as an expense, but rather as an investment in helping good people become even a little better at their jobs and perform them with a little less stress.

Special thanks go to Earl Franks, Exective Director of CLAS and Linda Campanotta, Professional Development Coordinator for scheduling me for this conference.

Thanks for Mentioning This Blog

Thanks to Denise Williams for mentioning this blog in this post. Denise is a program specialist in Special Education for the Birmingham City Schools. Enjoy this blog she began in October located at this address.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Straight No Chaser 12 Days of Christmas

Newly reunited Straight No Chaser performs 'The 12 Days of Christmas' at their reunion show at Indiana University!