1980 – the Dadaism of music history

As I began thinking about my work and passion for music I wanted to identify the perfect year to explain how I feel about and think about music. And the year I came up with was 1980. It is to music what dadaism is to art. Hits by Blondie and Pink Floyd, Gary Newman and Prince. This was a year of tremendous change. Think about how strange the world was at that time. We were emerging from the 1970s and looking at the 1980s as literally the future. It was the end of Carter and the rise of Reagan and that was just the beginning. 1980 was a time of many sonic changes. Punk rock, disco, and arena rock were dying off and new wave, pop music, and post-punk were the new music styles. A lot was changing . Continue reading

Introducing . . . . the #Preston3000

Growing up music was part of my life. My father used to brag about how my first concert was David Bowie in November of 1972. The concert was in Charlotte and I was not going to be delivered until January of 1973. My mother would tell stories about while other parents were playing lullabies she was putting me to sleep in my crib to Led Zepplin, Stevie Wonder, and the Beatles. My father owned, well I really don’t know how many albums he owned, but it had to be in the thousands. My father was the kind of person who would literally wear albums out and then have to replace them. He had five copies of Donovan’s A Gift From a Flower to a Garden and refused to toss out the old worn copies. He saw that as a badge of honor. Continue reading

Are times finally changing?

Last night Stacey Abrams became the first black woman to lead the Democratic party ticket in Georgia when she won the state primary there. One of the major reasons I am proud to be a Democrat is our commitment to diversity and the diversity of our candidates. We believe that politics needs to be a big tent where all are welcome to help diversify perspective and ideas for policy and law development. But we still have a long way to go. Politics in general is far to white and male to be productive. However, that seems to be changing for the D’s. Continue reading

Why College Matters More Than We Know

Welcome to May! It is a time for spring to bloom in northern states like New York and Minnesota and for my home state of Florida to begin the slow march to summer. May is also a time for reflection and the promise of tomorrow because at colleges and universities all over the United States we are celebrating the rite of graduation. A time where students from all sorts of backgrounds and abilities line up, receive their caps and gowns, and are declared alumni. I myself, have had the pleasure and honor to graduate three times. I earned my B.A. from East Carolina University in 1995, my M.S. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1997, and my Ed.D from Texas A&M – Commerce in 2011. Each time I walked across that stage it was special and I really understood the gravity of what was happening. I was fulfilling the hopes and dreams of my family, that I would soar past where they worked so hard to bring me to. Neither my father or mother completed college. Continue reading

Face it, your kid is smarter than you.

Let’s Face It, Our Kids Are Simply Smarter Than We Are

Nothing is more grating on our nerves than a smart-aleck kid. We all either have one in our homes or we know one. These kids love to show us how much they know about technology, access information on the web far faster than we can access it with our brains, and they can YouTube a solution to just about any task. Yep, kids these days. But are kids really getting smarter? The science and practical evidence seem to say yes. Despite all of our efforts to quell our kids curiosity and ability to learn through draconian textbook committees, school voucher systems, attacks on their self-esteem, and the constant barrage on changing education standards our efforts to dumb down our kids has fallen mostly flat. Continue reading

What back pain has taught me about slowing down

For quite a few years now I have been plagued by back pain. It started when I misstepped while running a half-marathon in 2012. I stepped wrong, felt my spine compress, and ever since about every year or so I have a herniated disc that falls out of place and decides I am going to have to go a lot slower for a while. And I hate going slow. And it showed in my recovery. The cycle would go; I hurt my back working out, working in the yard, sleeping, whatever. Then for the next two weeks I stubbornly power through. Generally in great pain and I become very grumpy and lash out at people. Not the best way to recover. I would get mad, yell, and otherwise become a jerk because I did not want to show vulnerability in any way. Continue reading

Orlando! Slow down and stop killing walkers

This morning on the way to work I witnessed a near death. A car, turning into a parking lot just blew by a young woman who had to jump back to avoid becoming the latest casualty on Orlando’s roads. The car just kept going, the woman, visibly shaken stared the car down and then started walking. This is not a new occurrence. In 2017 24 people were struck and killed by cars in Seminole, Orange, and Osceola Counties. This was a new Central Florida record. And honestly I am surprised is not more.  Continue reading

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