PDC’s Sketchbook, v. 3 release

 

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(Not sure who designed the poster but it came out great.)

CalState San Bernardino, Palm Desert Campus is finally releasing their latest Sketchbook, their third volume of PDC student work. It’s so overdue that I’m not sure when it was originally to be published or even what I submitted for consideration. I’m sure I sent “Capone’s” and maybe “Tiger, Tiger” or even “The Moon Is the Truth of the Night,” but I don’t know what they’ve picked. The editor, Heather Benes – who, regardless of how late the book is, I know has been working damn hard on it – last told me that they were probably going to select two. We’ll see.

The gala is Friday, October 23rd. Starts at 5PM. Free food, free music, free Sean.

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Bill Evans interview; the return of Bill Nye; K. Stetz needs to embrace the initial; CBEST update

I discovered this Bill Evans interview (1966) when I was looking at Kelly and mine’s play, which is loosely based on the life and work of Evans. I found it interesting that he was not only as passionate about jazz as I had always hoped, but his opinion that jazz improvisation was just a revival of the classical form – lost simply because there were no equipment to “‘permanize’ or to ‘catch’ music” – that, because the music had to be written down, classical music abandoned its improvisational process.

 While watching Discovery’s Planet Green (I know, give me a break right? Why can’t TV stations just stick to programming?), I saw a commercial for Bill Nye’s new show, Stuff Happens. Nye is one of the few heroes in my life, and I’ve met him twice, so this is very exciting.

Last Friday, Erica and I went to Water Canyon to catch Kevin Stetz’s gig. He played some oldies, a few new ones (including “Midnight Moonlight in the Morning,” one he showed me last month), and ended with a Neil Young cover. It’s nice to see someone so comfortable with their work and their talent. And, even with the occasional feedback, the man gets a lot out of one guitar.

I received my unofficial results the other day: I passed the CBEST. Oddly, I haven’t written much these last two weeks, and even odder is that, shortly after taking the test, I’m not sure I’m ready to be a teacher. Instead, I’ve decided to move to LA to pursue the talents I have – acting and writing. But, with the CBEST, I can now substitute teach, which will help me get a feel for that profession while I also avoid simply being a waiter while I wait to be discovered.

CBEST, dead comic books

I retook my CBEST today to make up the writing section that I failed fall, last year. It’s lucky I didn’t have to do the reading and math sections: for one, when my alarm went off at 5am, I told myself that I was getting up too early and I could actually sleep til 6’30am and make it too San Bernardino (I made it in time, but not without panic); secondly, not having to worry about the two sections I have already passed, I was able to concentrate most of my allotted four hours on the one section. I feel good about my work today. Unfortunately, I can’t disclose either the question or my response, but I will say this: the first essay told me I might be a Republican; the second, that I was raised in a staunch Irish-Catholic family.

When I made it back to Palm Desert, I saw a bunch of magazines or pamphlets on Monterey, one of the busiest avenues in town. At first, they all looked different, so I crossed out the immediate idea that some caballero dropped from his delivery truck. But when I saw a second pile within a block, I saw the classic white, rectangular box that is common in comic book stores to hold back issues.

There I was, an old comic book collector, watching cars driving over back issues of God-knows-what – hundreds or so. It was upsetting; I had to convince myself not to pull over and redirect the busy traffic to collect up the books. “They weren’t even bagged and boarded. Probably old Batman Adventures issues – worthless.”

Still made me sad. So, I went to the mall and ate some cheap sushi.

Poetry books (free), CBEST (fail)

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The college library (in the same building as mine) had a poetry display all last month, even though Poetry Month is April (everyone knows that – or perhaps just the optimistic poets do, and the confessionalist poets enjoy [or try to enjoy] December). I signed up for all the posters they had so I can look even more like a poet when I get my own classroom. I’d say that’s proof of “it’s all about who you know” but honestly, I’m the only one who seemed to notice (what can you expect, it’s December).

I went next door today and saw eight stacks of books, some of just two, others of a dozen or so – all books of poetry. My friend next door just started chucking one each into my hand, told me to take ’em. The six that do have prices total to 103.85 $, and that makes the two that are unpriced (but still have ISBNs) that much more dear. What makes these so great is that most of them are selections of college work – all published by the Academy of American Poets, some selected by colleges and professors. This is my thing, dig? Just in the last year I’ve set certain goals – one to be an associate or fellow of the AAP, and the other to be the poet laureate of California. (A third goal is to be on Charlie Rose, but that’s pertains more to the play I’m co-writing, so.) These books, yes free, have meant a lot to me today.

I didn’t pass the writing section of my CBEST, the three-part test needed to start the teaching credential program. All joking aside, it comes down to time management; I canned the section by reading over my first essay when I could have been gearing up my second essay even better (the second essay fell short a hundred words or so). Failing the test this week means that I can’t make the school until Fall 2009. I was mad, really mad, but I’ve already made sense of it. The benefit is now I can retake the test and not only be better prepared to apply to the program, but also spend those 6 months substitute teaching – something I could have been doing for months already, had I taken and passed the CBEST back in June (sadly, the earliest I neglected to take the test). I know, it kind of sounds like “I’m so happy to be single now, cos now, I’m freeBAHAHAHAAAAAARGGGH!” but sincerely, this is best. And I’ve spent most of this week resizing myself, so I’m pretty sure about this one.

Okay, maybe the next post will be best album covers, it’ll come…