Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I'll take Kansas City in Seven Days

Rarely do I ever find or make time to vacation or do the things that could result in me being a better person. That's either due to the hectic work life I have as a quasi-administrator/educator or my lack of knowledge to budget my finances well. I think that most people land into one of these categories. As I write this I find myself trying to pick one of the sides to defend, but if you can't manage your time or your money, I think you probably end up in a very stagnant place, and it also means that like you you struggle from time to time to take charge in certain parts of your life.  * Message #1: Get your life together so you won't miss out wonders and beauties that life can offer. 

While the title of this post sounds sports related, it isn't. The only reference to KC Sports I'll make is ROCK CHALK...... JAYHAWK... KU  

I learn that chant my first day in Kansas City, Missouri at a bar from this older couple I met.
My time in Kansas City centered around a  girl, a dog, a sporadic bartender, the differences that attract people, and all the stops along the way.

While there's nothing to the naked eye in Kansas City that you can't find in another city, there's definately a feel here that would lure me back for just another visit!



Oh the things that you say
Is it life or Just a play my worries away
You're all the things I've got to remember
You're shying away I'll be coming for you anyway
- A-Ha Take on Me

  So the semester has come to an end.  I made it through my two Stop Motion Animation Apprenticeship classes that I volunteered to teach.  For the students WOW! projects they created Stop Motion Animations. Check them out below:

Friday, October 21, 2011

The World of Stop Motion Animation

This fall, I have been giving the opportunity to teach a hobby and passion of mine, Film. For 10 weeks, I get an opportunity to work with students at Lowe's Grove Middle School, and Neal Middle School. I teach a Stop Motion Animation Apprenticeship twice a week.  It's been almost 5 years since I've been in the classroom and doing direct instruction. This give me an opportunity to shake off the cobwebs and practice the instructional tools and tips I've been giving out to staff members as an administrator and instructional leader. In this 10 week  crash course into Stop Motion Animation students are learning: 

  • Stop Motion Techniques 
  • How to use a Story Board 
  •  How to build a set
  •  How to operate a Digital Camera
  •  How to use Film editing Software
  • How to build consensus in Teams
  • How to articulate a Vision and bring it to Life 
At the end of the 10 weeks students will have procedure several Stop Motion Animation Shorts. I really enjoy this opportunity to work with students in this capacity. The students in this apprenticeship are really in engaged in the lessons and the activities we do. I think many of them are aspiring film makers (just like me)  and this gives them a way to use their creativity and bring many of their ideas to life. I cannot wait for their finished product at the end of the apprenticeship, I think they are going to exceed my expectations in-terms of what I thought they could do, which is always good for a teacher.  Below is a short compilation of clips from my apprenticeships.  Enjoy! 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

So sentimental.... not sentimental enough!!!

"Come gather around people wherever you roam 
and admit that the waters around you have grown
and expect that it soon you'll be drenched to the bone 
if your time to you is worth saving 
Well you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone 
For the times are changing!" 

Kaylor Garcia is John Hopkins Bound
        One by one they each removed their Citizen Schools office key off their lanyards and place them on my desk! After today the one place that had served as the glue that bounded us together would no longer do so!  It was really hard to watch them turn their keys in.  Four of my staff members will be moving on after today to pursue bigger and better endeavors. I don't really know how to handle folks leaving. I've been away from home for so long, I had longed for some sort of stability in my life.  I didn't have it in the form of a significant other, but I did have with in my professional life, which is why it became so hard to separate and differentiate work and life.  My family away from home were these guys who were now leaving. 

Sara Kelleher is working in Boston HQ.
Two years ago,  they stood in the office ready to take on the challenges that came with creating and sustaining a program that pushes change around it. I did the best I could to coach them and make them better and I truly hope that they were able to learn something or take something of high significance from our time together! 

I once read and heard the quote " People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime and you have to have the wisdom to understand this in life."

Phil is teaching Theater in Baltimore
I goofed around with my staff  and say that I am detached from my emotions, but as I wrote this blog post, and listened to Bob Dylan... I began to feel mixed bag of emotions engulf me!   

Kyle is getting married and moving to Thailand
Each of my Teaching Fellows that ended their tenure today, have the potential to do something amazing and I am truly blessed to have been in the trenches with them!  I wish you all the best! 

Citizen Schools staff place their keys on the director's desk.  He takes them and places them up on the board, in hope he may find a group of superheroes that are deemed worthy to carry these keys, wear the cowl, and accept all the responsibility that comes with being a RAM!  He turns the lights off and closes and locks the door. They walk down the hallway and down the stairs... and the scene fades out!! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Heymann..... She's a Jackson!!!

Footage and music from the Flip Cam from the Weekend in Boston... Congrats Jon & Liz

Untitled from Angelo Cross on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

An Haiku from the Artist known as simply ZALAPA

"You got no time for the messenger/got no regard for the thing that you don't understand
You got no fear for the underdog/ that's why you will not survive!" 

An old busy tree
Six apples stuck on the tree 
WOOSH! Now five apples!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Help Restore Funding for Citizen Schools in North Carolina

As of April 15th, 2011 the funding that was provided to Citizen Schools from the North Carolina General Assembly was cut entirely from the 2011 - 2012 budget.  This would significantly affect our ability to sustain program in North Carolina.
As our State Team Members Jerri Fatticci, Cassie McIntyre, and Jill Ullman descended upon the Capital (Raleigh) this week to lobby and push that they restore the $360,000 appropriation, we need YOU and your SUPPORT!
This is a call to all Citizen Teachers, Parents, and Educators who understand the positive effect that Citizen Schools can have in improving the education in America.
This program is more than just a job for me, its my life...   While some may argue that I must suffer from a mismanagement of work life balance... the life of Campus Director, is that of a lonely one.  For 5 years, I've worked to help set foundations, build culture, invest different constituents, and shape minds.   During this time I've traveled and lived in three different states, I've worked with Hundreds of kids, volunteers, and fellow educators.  If I've learned one thing from my tenure (if half a decade can be called that) is this... We cannot put all the work on our schools to produce positive, self sustaining, contributing members of society. We all have to play our parts in this equation.

If we lose programs like Citizen Schools, we take several steps back in the ground we've gained in creating opportunities for all to receive an equal education...

The work that I do is difficult, its exhausting, and frustrating at moments, but its the rarest purest form of public service that I know.  Call me crazy, but I love this work,  and I love those of you that are in the trenches with me everyday trying to make a difference with our youth!
Today I ask you to help me advocate for Citizen Schools, so that I along with other Citizen Schools' staff can continue to serve the children of North Carolina.  All you need to do is click this link
Write a North Carolina Representative

and follow the instructions of how to email a letter of support for Citizen Schools to a Representative in City where we have a Citizen Schools campus..

Every second is an opportunity to make a difference... Your time started 5 mins ago...  click the link and support!!!