German Music Recital

 

On Thursday, February 18,  I attended the senior recital of mezzo-soprano singer Charity Barker at Oral Roberts University.  Usually, I am not one to pick out concerts for vocal qualities.  I tend to prefer the more instrumental performances.  However, I did attend Ms. Barker’s recital and feel it was a good experience for me.

Ms. Barker has a strong vibrant voice.  As vocal majors are required, Ms. Barker sang songs in Italian, German, French, and British and American English.  Since I do not understand most of those languages, I followed along in the little flier in the bulletin. I was surprised at the depressive lyrics to several of the songs.  The song Son tutta duolo especially was full of saddened lyrics.

The Italian piece, Orontea somehow reminded me of aristocratic gardens as one would watch out a large window pane.  It seemed to flow gently.  Even though I could not understand the lyrics, they held the quality which made me think of a lady missing her lad who was away.

As I listened to the music, I took notes so I could write some of the feelings I was having as I listened.  I described the German music as heavier and darker than the other pieces.  Of the German pieces I wrote, “Tries to be light and jovial but doesn’t quite make it.”  The German pieces somehow had a heavier sound.  Perhaps it was the guttural sound of the German tongue or just the style of those pieces.   The American pieces by Gershwin held a light sound with a hint of frivolity.

Overall, I think I gained a better understanding of what the different language styles and at least a little more appreciation of vocal music by itself.

Review: The Pacific Crest Trail

March 19, 1998

The Pacific Crest Trail

“Wherever we go in the mountains, we find more than we seek,” said John Muir, an avid naturalist who fought for the preservation of the western wilderness because of their beauty and the relaxation he found in them.  The Pacific Crest Trail was a delight to read as I followed the author from Southern California to Northern Washington.  It took me from the roadside view I have seen blur past my eyes into the wilds and rugged topographic beauty of the Sierra Nevada range across the Mojave desert, into the bowl of Crater Lake and the icy peaks of Mount Rainier to the Canadian border.

Author and adventurer, William R. Gray, wrote this book in such a way that I felt I was experiencing along with him the wet, boulder-strewn trails, the breathtaking uplifted peaks, and the flora of the trail.  Never before have I taken much interest in extensive backpacking/hiking but being able to see the rugged mountains and serene valleys while actually experiencing the world God created has grabbed my attention.  Perhaps I shall attempt the hike myself sometime.

Gray met 87-year-old geologist, Dr. Rene Engel, who described subterranean forces of mountain building and offered this advice, “Be alert as you walk through the mountains.  You will learn much more geology from them than you will from me.”

I think Dr. Engel said it well.  For myself it is one thing to read, study, or even see pictures of the structures of the earth.  But it is a whole new dimension to feel the rough ancient volcanic rock under my feet and understand the gigantic forces God used to make the beautiful ranges Gray described.

Through the variety of ecological environments he passed, Gray, brought the pages of this book to life with descriptions of the land, the creatures and the people who have made these areas their home.  The flora which struggles to survive in the scorching heat of the Mojave Desert draws life-giving water from the porous stone which seems to soak up any moister as quickly as it falls.  This book, with its photographs and descriptive phrases, has given me a guided tour through the deserts and mountains of the Pacific Coast.  Gray described the contrasts of nature as he saw them change with each mile he passed.  The heat of the desert gradually became the freezing wind at the cap of Mount Whitney at 14,494.164 feet.

Just as John Muir said, I found more than I expected in mountains and valleys described in this book.  Not only did I learn about the topography of the Pacific Crest Trail; I learned about the forces which made the numerous ridges and volcanic cones.  I learned to take a second look at the world around me and find the natural beauty of God’s creation.  Someday, perhaps, I will follow the Pacific Crest Trail, but for now I will let this remind me to take a closer look at nature around me and remember the natural geologic stories beneath my own feet.

Philbrook Museum

I visited the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  As I walked through the villa I couldn’t help but take note of the amazing architecture of the structure itself.  From the rotunda to the twisted columns and elaborate painted ceilings,  it was a pleasure to walk through the building itself.  And besides there is a lot of nice art work on display as well.

In the American Still-Life traveling exhibit I had little taste for the majority of the pieces because I personally don’t care for the modern style.  One smaller painting particularly caught my eye: Carpetbag Days by Priscilla Roberts was stunning.  Roberts’ oil on masonite is a dark painting with light coming from the right upper corner.  Roberts used a technique and style that created a lifelike representation of a scene from bygone days.  In the photographic like painting a clock, carpetbag, chest and a couple of other items can be seen.  I liked the simplistic yet pure style.

Another piece was Blue Blanket by a different artist.  Blue Blanket was striking in that it showed a (what else?) blue blanket on a lawn.  The artist’s shading and highlights gave the effect of a pool of refreshing water.  It was odd but I liked it.

Of the European art I like the portrait entitled “The Shepherdess”  it is simple in content but speaks loudly of  an era in Europe.

The Villa Philbrook building and grounds have an interesting history.  Designed by architects from Kansas City, Missouri; the structure and Italianate gardens were built in the 1920’s for Waite and Genevieve Phillips where the wealthy couple lived from 1927 – 1938.

Now the Philbrook is made open to the public for the enjoyment of the property and the wonderful works of art it contains.

The Story of Sadhu Sundar Singh

Story Of Sadhu Sundar Singh by Cyril J. Davey presents the story of the life of a young Indian mystic who rebelled against God.  After struggling with his life, he finally sought God and received an answer when the Lord Jesus appeared to him.  From that point on Sundar Singh lived the life of an Indian holy man who was totally committed to Christ.  His ministry stretched across India, into Tibet, and around the world.  All this took place during his 39 years of life.

Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), the son of a wealthy landowner in the Punjab plain of India, was a prime candidate for becoming another honored member of the “Singh” (lion) family.   God had other plans. Continue reading

Sociolinguistics studies affect on practical TESL

#3 Discuss how the topics in sociolinguistics will affect your practice in TESL and other relationships.

This Sociolinguistics class covered a variety of topics, and has proven very enlightening about communication styles and political attitudes in the United States concerning language education and very practical in how to deal with communications between cultures and genders. Continue reading

Communication Styles

Compare and contrast the communication style of American Indians, Israelis, and Black Americans based on readings, include why they choose to communicate in certain ways.

Being a part of community is vital to interaction between societies of every background.  In this essay we will consider some of the ways American Indians, Israelis, and Black Americans retain their sense of community between those who belong to those communities and exclude those who do not belong within their communities. Continue reading

Searching for Meaning in Life

The human race is continually searching, searching for the one thing which has eluded generations, but only because they are looking in all the wrong places.  It is as if they were to go to a grocery store knowing that they came for something but not remembering what it is.  With eyes drifting across the shelf, they glance at the top and at the bottom just in case that one item was tucked away in some recess.  Walking through the aisles their cart is filled with all sorts of products, but not one seems to be that for which they came.  Upon arriving home they unload their newly acquired goods and enjoy them for a while, but they eventually realize that that one product is still missing.

In John Updike’s Pigeon Feathers, young David is confronted with opposition to his faith in God.   Continue reading

Complex Simplicity

10 March, 2000

Humanity is searching for simplicity in the midst of this life so full of complexity.  In Henry David Thoreau’s “Where I Lived and What I Lived For” and Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “The Channelled Whelk” the reader is exposed to two authors’ desire for simplicity and how they seek this.  Although from different centuries, both authors have found similar sensations in nature to be calming and draw feelings of simplicity from it.  One attempts to absorb the basis of life by changing surroundings and absorbing the simple things of this world.  The other recognizes the way nature reminds humanity that the life within can retain lessons in simplicity and grace of the mind, heart, and environment. Continue reading

Purposeful Attitudes

23 February, 2000

Human attitudes toward each other reflect a deeper level of consciousness toward God.  In her short story, “The Displaced Person,” Flannery O’Connor shows how self-righteousness and prejudices are within the characters while subtly allowing the reader to recognize those same attitudes in himself.  The text has the feeling that there is great significance in the words that hold a sense of power.  Still, the story retains the smooth rhythm that keeps the attention of the reader with a natural ease.  O’Connor uses a limited omniscient point of view to give the reader a sense of being alongside the ever-observerant Mrs. Shortley in the fields, barns, and conversations as she sees, hears, and takes note of all that occurs until the author carries on the story without her.  The symbolism O’Connor creates in this story is beautifully mysterious, strangely prophetic, and subtly vibrant.  Despite the seriousness of the ending, the displacement of characters en masse keeps the reader acutely aware of the irony of misconceptions, biased attitudes and disregard for Christ. Continue reading

Defining Community Development

Michael P. Shead

Senior Paper

International Community Development

Oral Roberts University

Tulsa, Oklahoma

December 7, 1999

 

 Part I

Chapter 1: A definite purpose and plan

Defining Community Development

Community development is a process. Development is a long-term process of helping people to help themselves.  It is said, “Give a man a fish and you will have fed him for a day, but teach him how to fish and you will have fed him for a lifetime”.  This is the concept of community development–to empower people to care for and improve themselves.

In his book, Two Ears of Corn, Roland Bunch defined community development as “A process whereby people learn to take charge of their own lives and solve their own problems.” (1982).  It is a development of attitude as well as resources. Bunch noted that poverty is often linked directly to mental attitudes more than actual physical situations (1982).

Community development includes many different areas: agriculture, economics, literacy, hygiene, and others.  No matter what area in which the development is taking place it is important to remember that the purpose is to empower the people within their own society and culture so that changes are coming from within the culture and from the people, not merely because an outside influence is changing them.

In 1973 Dale Kietzman presented a definition of community development to the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL).  He said, “Community Development is the process of helping to strengthen a community (and its leadership) so that it can resolve, through its own initiative, the problems which face it” (Yost & Yost, 1999). Continue reading