Thursday, March 11, 2010

I Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans:

An Ode to Team 2010

Melissa, you're the truth with your words and design,
But no folk song is finer than those of the fiiiiine Evan Fein.
Pippa Soo, Pippa Soo, a real queen in her own right,
And Robyn, whose violin makes us all take flight.
Yvonne, as classy as the music she plays,
How we all could hear Bro-hoss Rosas sing for days.
Oh, the slip-sliding wonder that is Haylee Nichelle,
And the wit and the charm from our girl Rachelle.
Samora and Kris, the big pianists of our team,
Tickled them ivories like you never seen,
With a little help from the horns (Jeremy, Mel, Mike Cottone)
And your jazz certainly shook us all to the bone:
I thought ya'll blew my mind doin', "St. James Infirmary",
but then came that back-flip from that god David Norsworthy!
Sweet Julia, who learned from her peers how to dance on the fly,
Frankie and Jeremy, took that Rocket-ship to the sky!
Awww! Everyone adores our own Spieth the clown
And smiles abound, when sweet Gillian's around.
Clinty, our star, the teacher who didn't know he had it in him,
And the infectious laughter from our trickster, Kahyun Kim.
Noah Witke, your warm spirit, you always say "yes!",
As reliably cool as LeBaron's a hot mess!
Bree, the Amazon who's a whiz with a buzz-saw,
And Mitch the Mayor, who plays cello like it's the Law.
Danny, your openness in our group was a real light for the kids,
So was that rainbow of a voice on our heavenly Meredith!
Hey Tim? How u doin'? Good day? How's your faith?
Probably as strong as the heart on that lil' Macy-mace!
A shout out to Team Lightning, who always strike twice,
And our injured ol' friend, the lovely Jeff Sykes!
Oh Ginny, we missed thee, you would've been proud,
we missed you as much as Ryan was loud!
Andrew and Candace, always there to help us out,
and Sabrina, year 4, still cryin' her heart out!
Chelsea and Alli, we couldn't have been here without you,
our pillars who challenged us to think, feel, and do.
NOLA 2010, this team really can't be beat,
to share this with y'all was a delicious treat.
So "On To The Next One", 'cuz this trip was heaven!
I can't wait to hear about NOLA 2011!


Love to all!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

1630 Painters Street

Tuesday, March 3 - Despite the cold, cold wind and lower than expected temperature, we worked on a house for Habitat for Humanity. We were blessed to be building with the future homeowner, Miss Ivette. She was a sweet woman who is going to paint her house pink and purple (which I love!) The team sheeted the exterior of the house and I got to use a reciprocating saw. Imagine me with a power tool! The team had fun and got a lot of work done.

After building, the team worked with the Dryades YMCA again. Today went really well and the children are excited and happy to be learning about the arts and even about being tutored for their upcoming state exams.

It was another great day and another day that I am proud of this beautiful group of students.

Day #3 - YMCA

Day #1 at the Dryads YMCA: We are working with over 100 4th-12th graders.

Day #3 - NOCCA

Day #3 - HABITAT

Yvette, the future owner of the house we are helping to build, was on site to meet us all and supervise our work.

Spring Break!!! Wait, why are we wearing parkas? Fortunately, nothing warms you up like hammering nails.

Bree looks concerned, as she should be. Power tools = Not on Juilliard entrance exams.

When we arrived on site, only the house frame was up. When we left, it looked like this on all sides, with one wall covered completely in Tyvex. Go team!

Dance Magic Dance

The extremely early morning start of today was surprisingly easy with the energy of such a wonderful mass of people. Although the weather did its' best to discourage such spirit, I think it is safe to say it was quite unsuccessful. With bone chilling cold and dampness accompanied by wind that literally enjoyed tearing Tyvek off the side of the house, we managed to shock the supervisors with our hard-work and patience! The day of construction proved enjoyable as we worked together to show nails and wood who we thought was boss. Remarkably, we had the opportunity to work alongside the future home-owner! Getting to hear about her hard work, plans for the future and appreciation only motivated us further in accomplishing our many varied tasks.

But the day did not end there... mais non non non... we were just getting started!

The next stop was Dryades YMCA. As students filled our gathering room we engaged them in games galore! The willingness and excitement was amazing as it fueled our engines to teach. Students of every age were dancing, playing their instruments, and exploring clowning! The immediate collaboration that happened between teachers and students as well as divisions was remarkable and yet done with total ease.

This proved to be an ideal intro. before breaking off into our smaller teaching groups. After roughly 1.5 hours many of us left our classrooms with stories of success and amazement. We found a unique beauty in each student and were able to speak with them about their artistic interests and tastes from only an hour and a half session! I was quite frankly giddy with excitement after experiencing such openness, curiosity and respect in both the students and the teachers.

At the end of the day, I am proud to say I cried. Not out of exhaustion or trauma, but because of the sheer joy and comfort I felt with the students and the indescribable support from every member of our team.

You are all rock-stars! (David Bowie style)

Day #3 - NOCCA

*The team on a tour of NOCCA with Mr. Hammel the director of the school*
We spent the entire day teaching at The New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, the only arts magnet school in all of Louisiana. The faculty, staff, and especially students welcomed us with open arms and incredibly open hearts, and allowed for an incredible exchange in dialogue.

Day #2 - Sunday

Our day started in the morning with breakfast at Camp Hope the volunteer housing organization we are staying with....

....and continued with a performance at the First Street United Methodist Church - The facility that housed Juilliard Volunteers four years ago....

....after we ate our lunch on the Mississippi River and spent a few hours exploring the French Quarter....

......finally we visited the Lower Ninth Ward to pay respect to the community and everything it represents.....

Monday, March 1, 2010

I'm Always Around!!!

At 9AM Sunday morning, we stepped into the phone booth and put on our green, high-powered superman NOLA 2010 T-shirts. Despite the kryptonite mother nature planted in our travel arrangements, we used our super powers and morphed into speeding bullets and made it to our destination.

First stop: Church!

We heard that church services are enhanced by the presence of high-powered supermen and women from The Juilliard School, so we knew that's where we needed to be. Although we were tired, the lingering effects of kryptonite couldn't stop us from sharing our gifts with the church community. We came together, in the way that only superheroes can, and came up with an inspired performance of shakespeare, improvisational and choreographed dance, and of course, stellar singing and musicianship. It seems like the super hero spirits of the past were with us and pumped our veins with looney love and funky fun! As all great superheroes come to expect, things did not go according to plan; they went better then planned!!!!!!!!!! But we're super heroes........ soooo...........duhhhh!!!!

So far we're having a great time soaring through the NOLA sky's and we're actually about to take off now, so we'll get back to you soon. With the blessings of all the superheroes of the past:
To Infinity and Beyond!!!!!

Superman or Woman C
Superman or Woman H