Friday, November 20, 2009

Spirit of the season is what you make of it

By now I thought I'd be a seething mass of rage about public eduction.

I thought I'd be one of the parents beating down the door at Kindergarten demanding to know exactly what was behind the thought process of making kids color trees realistically instead of imaginatively.

I expected to roll my eyes every time some piece of paper made its way home that asked us to buy-bring-donate something toward the mission of establishing school spirit.

I didn't expect to find it all so charming. I didn't expect to love how the teachers talk to the kids, or get their attention, or encourage their participation.

I also didn't think I'd actually want my kid to wear pajamas to school when she would rather not.

But. Here were are. Spirit day.

pj day at school

Now ... back to a little eye-rolling.

All hale the spirit of the season: Profits

Bah humbug.
Before the last of the Halloween spiders were summarily swept from store shelves, shopkeepers dusted their stock with the downy flake of polystyrene snow. JCPenney trademarks "Joy of Giving," and economists are wringing their hands, predicting a sad year for retailers, as shoppers vow to live within their means.

Can anyone really blame us for wanting to rain a little on the retailers’ parade?
This Saturday why not help the Nimbostratus clouds open up by attending the Buy Local Bash from 5 to 9 p.m. at The Troy Atrium, 297 River St.

The bi-annual vendor fair features 50 businesses from Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties including food producers, potters, jewelers, clothiers, health services and more. North Country acoustic duo Eddy and Kim Lawrence will perform live music. A $10 donation is suggested.

Why not rewrap last year’s toys?

Take the kids to the Albany Institute of History and Art’s 100th Anniversary celebration of the Albany mummies, featuring a talk by Egyptogist Peter Lacovara this Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

In addition to new exhibits and lectures, there will be plenty of hands-on, art-making opportunities for the kids. Children are also encouraged to bring toys from home to recreate the mummification process in the museum studio.

Lacovara, senior curator at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emerson University, will speak at 2 p.m. He will lead a discussion about the mummy Ankenfenmut, his coffin and the connections the Capital Region has with ancient Egypt.

The event is included with paid admission, $10 for adults $8 students, seniors $6, children under 12 children younger than 6, free.


Thanksgiving weekend is being heralded by AIH&A with a series of free events beginning Friday, Nov. 27 and running through Sunday, Nov. 29.

Come see the new exhibits during this admission-free weekend. There will also be special events on each of the three days.

On Friday from noon to 4 p.m. drop in to the art studio and create a 12-inch texture tile there will be storytelling from 1 to 3 p.m. by museum educators and docents and a lecture at 2 p.m. by award-winning author James Bruchac, about Native American storytelling.

At 2 p.m. on Saturday there will be a musical performance and book signing with Hudson Talbott. Students from the region will perform selections of his book "River of Dreams," an adapted story of the Hudson River that tells its history through song.

From noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, learn about fresh water fish and create "gyotaku" – an 18th century Japanese art form that combines fish and printmaking. It appears the museum will be using three-dimensional models instead of fresh fish.

Don’t miss a special performance by fifth graders at Giffen Memorial Elementary School, who will perform a hip-hop composition under the direction of teacher Jeremy Dudley. Dudley (also known as Origin) has been teaching at Giffen for nine years, and is a three-time winner of the Best Hip-Hop Artist in the annual Metroland readers’ poll. The students' piece recognizes AIH&A’s exhibition: Hudson River Panorama, 400 Years of History, Art and Culture and the 400th anniversary of the river’s exploration.

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