Friday, July 26, 2019

My Literacy Narrative

A literacy narrative is a personal essay about one's reading and writing experience 

Literacy Narrative--- Tom Molinaro
On his last day, my father was in the middle of a book, a Western by Louis Lamour, his favorite author. He lived a long life, dying at ninety, and during those years, he spent countless hours reading. In fact, he had read at least two novels a week in the last 25 years of his life. Although he never advanced past the eighth grade—having to leave school to help work on the family farm in Canton, Ohio—that didn’t stop his thirst for knowledge and his voracious appetite for books. Fortunately, some of that rubbed off on me, though I’m a minor league reader compared to him.
Every night when he came home from work, I’d greet him at the door. He carried a slight scent of fuel oil, which he delivered to homes scattered across the five boroughs of New York City. After washing his hands, he would settle down in his favorite chair and open the Daily News. I sat on his lap and asked him to read some of the stories aloud, especially the ones about football. (My father followed the Cleveland Browns, much to the dismay of his New York Giants loving friends.) I can remember the smell of newspaper print, the aroma of meat being sautéed in garlic and oil, as my mother worked her magic by the stove, and hissing radiators which warmed us through the coldest winter days, by oil powered steam heat. My father wouldn’t have it any other way.
Though we were all delighted when he was home, there were times when he worked long hours, delivering fuel, when the cruel northeast winds brought blizzards and temperatures dipped into the twenties. He would try to compensate for his absence by bringing home treats and sometimes toys for me and my sisters. One of those toys created a direct link with my fascination for stories.
On a cold winter evening, well after we had all eaten our dinner and my mom had put aside a plate for Dad, we heard his footsteps in the hall. As he opened the door, shaking the snow from his boots, a chill swept through the house. Dad’s arms were laden with offerings which he placed on the dining room table: candy for mom, dolls for my sisters and a box for me, which I thought was filled with toy soldiers. They were soldiers of a sort, but not from any period with which I was familiar at the time. They were beautiful replicas of medieval knights in chainmail and armor, some on foot; others, mounted on steeds, all armed with swords and shields.
“Why don’t we call these the Knights of the Roundtable,” he said, sorting out ten or twelve plastic warriors.
“Which round table do you mean, Dad,” I asked, puzzled. I was then given a brief synopsis of the Arthurian legend: the king himself, Guinevere, Lancelot, the Holy Grail, and some other pertinent figures. I sat silently and motionless, drinking in every detail.
“Would you like me to read a book to you about these adventures?”
“Yes, yes, please,” I said. “When can we begin?”
“I’ll tell you what,” he said. “Tomorrow night, right after dinner, we’ll go to the library. They’re open late on Wednesdays,” he said.
I remember browsing the stacks of the children’s section of the library, holding his hand, my head barely reaching his waist. The cool, crisp glow of the fluorescent light shined off the hundreds of titles. As we continued our search, I ran my fingers, slightly, across the spine of every book I could reach. At that moment I hoped that someday I would be able to read these books for myself, and to read as well as Dad.
“Ah, here it is,” Dad said excitedly, “King Arthur and His Knights, by Howard Pyle.”

That night we read Howard Pyle’s classic till my bedtime. This was the first time he read a story to me that was not filled with pictures or intended for a young audience. Although he used to share what he was reading—Zane Grey westerns and magazines like Time and Popular Mechanics—I absorbed little as the words just skimmed over my head.
I just enjoyed being close to him, something which more than compensated for any boredom I had felt from the things he liked to read for himself. I was only six years old.
As he read the Arthurian tales, I could imagine the musty smell of the King’s castle, the landscape of Camelot, and the clothes the people wore, especially the armor encased Knights.
I learned new phrases, greetings, and customs like “a flagon of wine,” “by your liege,” and jousting tournaments in which brave fools would risk their lives for the honor and love of a fair maiden. 
As years passed, I began to read on my own and my interests became more diverse. My zeal for kings of ancient Britain had waned, but I had developed an insatiable thirst for story, a thirst I carry till this day, and which is only satisfied by a dive into the river of a delightful book.


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

School is over and I'm happy.

The summer semester at NCC ended this past Thursday, June 27, but I had to finish reading the last set of papers and enter the grades. However, as of four a.m. this morning, I'm free. I don't have to teach until August 20th, and I'v decided to make this week my vacation week. That is, I'm not going to think about the fall semester until Monday, July 8. Lots of time ahead with no strings attached, but I still will stay focused on my goals, especially my writing. 


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Everytime I think I've heard the stupidest thing that a majority of Americans believe, a new revelation surpasses it.

Now get this: A poll shows that 56 % of Americans don't want their children to be taught Arabic numerals in school. 
Guess what? We already use them. Our number system is based on Arabic numerals.  Read more about it in the article posted on the Daily Kos blog. Click the link below.

For examples of extensive ignorance of many Americans, you might want to read either or both of these books:

Just How Stupid Are We?  Rick Shenkman

Idiot America  Charles P. Pierce

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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Some Americans are ignorant and proud (S1E92) How many pounds are in a ton?

This is sad. It frightens me that some of these people probably vote.

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Monday, March 11, 2019

Featuring Annie: Disco Singer from Norway

                                    Euro Dance                                      

Put on your dancing shoes and groove to Annie (I Don't Like Your Band)


About Annie (Norwegian singer) | Biography | Singer
  1. Anne Lilia Berge Strand (born 21 November 1977), better known by her stage name Annie, is a Norwegian singer-songwriter. Annie began her recording career in 1999 with the underground hit single "The Greatest Hit" and gained international acclaim, particularly from music bloggers, for her debut album Anmimal (2004).


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Puro Instinct "Tell Me" (Official Video)

Puro Instinct is one my three favorite groups, along with Yumi Zouma, and Chad Valley. That may change down the road a piece, but for now, they're my go-to bands. 

The group was started by the fabulous Kaplan sisters, Piper and Skylar (featured in the video) Through the years, they've had various backup musicians (though Skylar plays Cello and Guitar.) who helped them create a truly unique sound. Their music has been described as Dream Pop, Synth Pop, Chillwave, and Hypnagogic pop* Call it whatever you want, I call it amazing. It takes me on an ethereal voyage to dreamscapes of the imagination. 

*More about Hypnagogic Pop in another post. 


Sunday, February 17, 2019

Let the Music Play


In too many towns, counties, or cities school districts are cutting music programs. In some cases they are eliminating them altogether. However, very often sports programs are given special consideration. If I had my way, both sports and music programs would have all the funding they needed, and would continue to prosper and grow. But I’m not responsible for making budgets, and I know the school chancellors or whomever is responsible for these decisions face very tough choices. One thing that the residences of the towns or counties etc. could do: stop crying the blues when the school taxes go up. 

In the words of Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Homes: "Taxes are what we pay to have civilized society." Music helps us in so many ways to be civilized. Go to a high school concert. Listen to the young people play and think of how much they worked, most of it after school, to achieve the level of achievement that have. 

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Third Rail Issues  

In politics, certain issues like abortion, the death penalty, gun control, and Social Security benefits have often been referred to as third rail issues. That is, most politicians try to stay clear of them, since they can pack the same 650 volt wallop (to their careers) as touching the third rail on a train track. My contention is that in most circles all political subjects are “third-rail” issues. Think about the old adage “Never discuss politics or religion in polite circles.” The assumption is that we can’t be civilized or polite when discussing these subjects, and most of the time that’s true. But does it have to be? People get very emotional and passionate about their religious and political beliefs, and they should. They are a reflection of our living philosophy. But does that mean that we can’t have a rational and polite discussion about politics or religion?

Some people claim that they are not political, but, as Aristotle says, “By his very nature, Man is a political animal.” (That includes women, too.) For more about Aristotle and philosophy, visit this web page: The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

When you meet a supposed a-political person, ask her whether or not we should continue tax-payer funded public schools, or should all schools be privatized, so that only those who could afford to attend would be educated? Anyone who has a brain has to have an opinion on this. I could name dozens of questions like this one, which can start a debate (I hope a civil one)