Gaga Knows Whats Up: Angel Down

Angel Down by Lady Gaga 
I confess I am lost
In the age of the social
On our knees, take a test
To be lovin’ and grateful
Shots were fired on the street
By the church where we used to meet
Angel down, angel down
But the people just stood around
I’m a believer, it’s a trial
Foolish and weaker, oh, oh, oh
I’d rather save an angel now
I’m a believer, it’s chaos
Where are our leaders?
Oh, oh, oh
I’d rather save an angel down
Doesn’t everyone belong
In the arms of the sacred
Why do we pretend we’re wrong?
Has our young courage faded?
Shots were fired on the street
By the church where we used to meet
Angel down, angel down
Why do people just stand around?
I’m a believer, it’s a trial
Foolish and weaker, oh, oh, oh
I’d rather save an angel down
I’m a believer, it’s chaos
Where are our leaders?
Oh, oh, oh
I’d rather save an angel down
I’m a believer, it’s a trial
Foolish and weaker, oh, oh, oh
I’d rather save an angel down
Oh, I’m a believer, it’s chaos
Where are our leaders?
Oh, oh, oh
I’d rather save an angel now

Dare, A Poem

You sit upon the highest of horses,
And judge those born with less than yourself.
You draw line, after line, after line.
Lines in the sand, and lines on paper;
Lines that become walls.
Lines that separate you from them,
Lines that cross out promises.
Promises that you never intended to keep.
Lies ooze from the house that you have shamed;
The House that once stood tall and proud,
Now stands stained a sickly shade of orange.
Money runs thicker than your blood.
You measure the world in money,
You measure the people around you in money.
You fill your life with money,
While many lose theirs, for a lack of the same.
Everyone has a right to learn.
Everyone has a right to be healthy.
No one has the right to take these away.
You seek power
You seek control
Control of yourself and control of others,
Control of time, control of news,
Control of the air we breathe.
Your birds fly around the world to betray you
What you think is intelligence
Is seen as idiocy
You dare to claim more than what has been given
You dare to bring hatred to this country;
You dare to divide your fellow man.
You dare to ask me to be something that I’m not.
I not quiet, or nasty or an object for your entertainment.
I am bold, I am daring;
I am a force to be reckoned with.
I am one of many.

Wear Red For Public Ed

Today is my 4th snow day in a row. The fact that I’m not at work will not stop me from wearing red. Please don’t let Betsy DeVos become our secretary of education. She has no experience in education and wants to privatize public education. My students are my life. Please help them succeed. Email, call, or write to your senators. It’s time for educators to make the decisions about education. Wear red for ed!!!!!!!

Sootie supports public education too!

Book Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I have only had two encounters with alchemy during my lifetime. One was during Harry Potter and The Sorcerers Stone. J.K. Rowling displays a very basic representation of alchemy, in that the final products are briefly mentioned but the actual process is not mentioned at all. My second encounter was on the show Full Metal Alchemist (yes I am an anime geek). On the show alchemy is displayed as a mixture of science and magic. Science is the basis of all alchemy, but the actual execution is very visually reliant (lots of lightning and wind). Coelho’s interpretation is very different in that alchemy is more of a spiritual journey than it is magic or science.

The first thing that surprised me is that the actual alchemist  has a short presence in the story. The main character is a shepherd who decides to leave everything he knows behind in search of a treasure. This journey is repeatedly referred to as his Personal Legend, and there are many important lessons to be gleaned from watching the shepherd boy attempt to achieve this.

The first lesson is to aim high and never give up. This may seem like a cliche but it is super apparent throughout the boys entire journey. As the boy embarks upon his personal legend, his “beginners luck” leads to some unfortunate encounters. The boy had every chance to give up and return to his comfortable life, but he continued on his journey and with the guidance of The Alchemist and others found his way to enlightenment.

The second major lesson that I found was that the journey is more important than the destination. Another cliche, but I have never seen this lesson more beautifully represented than by Coelho. Sometimes the destination is close to where you began, but if you don’t take the long way around, you won’t learn anything. The boy’s personal legend is about coming full circle, and becoming one with the world around him.

This book was a spiritual journey for me. I have never been a super religious person, but it has really opened my eyes to the power of belief. Several religions are displayed throughout the book and there is a sense of unity created by the interactions between Coelho’s characters. With the guidance of The Alchemist, the boy learns that everything in the world is connected. The desert, the wind, and the sun all take on their own personalities and become complex characters through interaction with the boy. Nature itself discovers it’s limitations and embraces mankind as partner in a journey for betterment.

This is a book that has forced me to take a step back in examination of my own life. I have spent much of my free time contemplating what my own personal legend might be. Though it is yet unclear to me, I now know that it is time for me to pay attention to the world around me so that nature itself can present omens to guide me to my own sense of enlightenment.



Book Review: The Spy by Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho is best known for his world renowned novel The Alchemist. I have unfortunately never read the internationally renowned masterpiece that is The Alchemist. Therefore my first experience with Coelho has been his latest novel The Spy. I first picked up this book because my mom purchased a copy during our recent trip to Victoria, BC. The ferry ride from the Canadian Coast to the American Coast is about an hour and a half. To pass the time I decided to dive into my mothers latest literary acquisition.

The Spy revolves around the infamous Mata Hari, who took Paris by storm at the turn of the century. Mata Hari was born Margaretha Zelle, in the Netherlands. After a painful school experience and a traumatizing marriage, Margaretha ran away to Paris, leaving her husband and daughter behind. Her journey to France helped teach her how much power she had over men, and upon her arrival she changed her name and began using lies to her advantage. Mata Hari quickly rose to the top of the French entertainment industry with her tasteful burlesque shows and her countless influential lovers (though love had nothing to do with it). As she began to age she became more and more desperate to remain renowned. She eventually found herself working as a double agent for the German and the French during World War I. Unfortunately, she showed herself to be a lousy spy by gathering no useful information. She was arrested and executed for espionage even though there was no concrete evidence against her.

Coelho proves to be a master of psychological examination. He has taken true events and reworked them into a novel that closely examines the reasons behind Mata Hari’s unique lifestyle and eventual demise. Trauma’s in her childhood taught her that distance is the same as safety. She decided that nudity and sex are the best ways to gain what she wanted. Even though her main source of income revolves around the most intimate acts of humanity, she manages to remain completely detached form her many partners. In Mata Hari’s eyes men are tools to be used for a greater purpose. She becomes high and mighty in her attempts to be an independent woman in an time that requires women to be obedient and dependent on men. She does everything she can to survive in a time of war.

Her independence eventually works against her when she is arrested. She knows that she is innocent and is convinced that she can stand alone and succeed. She continually repeated that she has powerful friends, though her cold attitude towards them has caused them to turn their backs on her. While other feminists of the time stood against men in a fight for equality, Mata Hari stood next to men and used them in a fight for independence. She used the tools available to her to stand on her own.

This is must read on my list. I have already purchased The Alchemist, to read next.

Quote Compilation

“Courage isn’t a matter of not being frightened, you know. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway” 3rd Doctor

“One good solid hope is worth a cartload of certainties” 4th Doctor

“You have your choices, and these are what make man great. His ladder to the stars” Mumford and Sons

“Find a place where there is joy, and the joy will burn out the pain” Joseph Campbell

“By the pricking of my thumbs/ Something wicked this way comes” William Shakespeare

“Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm” Winston Churchill

Happy New Year