Friday, April 22, 2011

RIP, Hazel Dickens

Hazel Dickens was an American bluegrass singer, songwriter, double bassist and guitarist. She was the eighth child of an eleven-child mining family in West Virginia. Her music is characterized not only by her high, lonesome singing style, but also by her provocative pro-union, feminist songs.

I'm going to go into the next room and tune up my Dobro, in Hazel's honor.

Monday, April 18, 2011



Selecting the Educational 'Tool' of the Month is always a difficult task here at Camp Nickleby because there is always a plethora of choices. This month we narrowed it down to James Carville's wife, right-wing pundit Mary Matalin!

We were sitting around Spellings Hall Friday night, listening to Left, Right and Center, streamed from KCRW in Santa Monica (the Home of the Homeless). The discussion of weekly news eventually entered the murky world of EDUCATION REFORM (turn up the screeching violins)! When it was Mrs. Carville's turn to chime in, we all waited with baited breath. And then, there it was. "The problem with our schools is that there are too many bad teachers who can't be fired because of TEACHER UNIONS (more screeching violins . . . Norman?)."

Thanks again Mrs. Carville for staying with the Republican script and reducing political discourse to meaningless, right-wing sound bites.

Friday, April 8, 2011


WHAT TIME IS IT? Well, I received quite a shock yesterday. One of the campers asked me what time it was. I politely pointed to the old-school, analog clock on the wall, prominently displaying the time as 1:43 p.m. My little 10th grader sheepishly told me she didn't know how to tell time on 'one of those kind of clocks'! I proceeded to ask the rest of class how many had trouble telling time on an analog clock. About 75% of the campers raised their hands, and one piped up and volunteered, "That what our cell phones are for!" OMG