Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Joshua Bell

I read this story the other day. I want to always remember the message:

In Washington DC, at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, a man with a violin started to play. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that over 1,000 people went through that station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip; a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk. A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old little boy. His mother tagged him along, hurriedly, but the child stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard and the boy continued to walk by, turning his head to watch the violinist the whole time. This action was repeated several times by other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played only 7 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk by at their normal pace. He collected $32.17 that morning for his efforts. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it, and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the finest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a 1713 Stadivarius violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Three days earlier, Joshua had played to a full house at Boston's Symphony Hall, where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

True story.

A writer for the Washington Post named Gene Weingarten set this up as "an experiment in context, perception and priorities - as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste: In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?"

This is how Weingarten described the crux of the experiment:

Each passerby had a quick choice to make,
one familiar to commuters in any urban area where the occasional
street performer is part of the cityscape:
Do you stop and listen? Do you hurry past with a blend of guilt
and irritation, aware of your cupidity but annoyed
by the unbidden demand on your time and your wallet?
Do you throw in a buck, just to be polite?
Does your decision change if he's really bad? What if he's really good?
Do you have time for beauty? Shouldn't you?
What's the moral mathematics of the moment?

(The Washington Post won a Pulitzer in the feature writing category for Gene Weingarten's story about his experiment.)

Photobucket Photobucket

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Oh she's just so fun!

We LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE our little girl! Emma is (like my title) just so much fun! She has really started to love the peek a boo game. And she does it herself! She'll pull the blanket or shirt or whatever over her head, and then when we pull it down she starts to giggle. Such a smart girl! Her hair is now at the stage where after she takes a nap we have to wet it down with water because it well basically looks like she just woke up from a nap. She still loves her jumper, but has recently been using her walker. Oh and she started scooting around on the floor. I knew she'd probably be an early mover- - she just wants to be going places. Oh and baths are still so much fun, except now rather than relaxing in them, she spends all of her time splashing. So mom has had to pin her arms down, we even tried distracting her with bath toys, but it only drew her attention for a couple of seconds and then she proceeded to splash all over and drench the entire floor.We took this picture on Sunday when we went on a drive through the Alpine Loop, the colors were starting to change and it really did look so beautiful! Here Emma is getting ready to cheer on those Cougars, who obviously needed our help! Too bad they couldn't hear us! This is the dress my mom helped me make for Emma, I think it's cute, but I had to post this picture because it shows one of Emma's favorite past times- grabbing her feet! Emma loves sitting in the Bumbo that aunt Ashley is letting us use. She is just a smiley girl! I love it. Soon that smile will have some teeth! I'll try and post some videos later! We just love what she brings to our family and house!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Someone in our house is 5 months old

Well we don't have an accurate scale, but Emma doesn't seem to have changed very much in weight. But she changed so much from birth to 4 months that her weight was bound to slow down. She is getting to a friendly stage right now and smiles all the time. She loves to laugh- and we love to laugh with her. She is all about toys right now, and loves to play with pretty much anything, but her favorite is this little crab rattle. I am ALL for babies playing with things that aren't toys too, but who would have thought the car seat would be one of those toys. I wish I had a picture, but by the time I got it out, she stopped. You know those boxes they put on the carseats that describe the warnings and rules about carseats? Well Emma loves looking at them!
She also is a proficient roller! She does not like lying on her back and if you lay her down like that she will procede instantly to roll onto her stomach!

She is the cutest little girl!

Well onto other areas in our life, James has an internship right now with Beneficial Financial Group, which he loves. Oh yeah and after 2 years in Chile, Osorno - - - CHRIS IS HOME FROM HIS MISSION!

I love this picture! My poor grandpa is shorter than all the boys except for Carter, who is 11. In our family we get our growth spurts later than most, and when James and I got married Curt was my height, but here 2 years 8 months later, Curt is practically as tall as James. This was also really fun for us, because Chris and Curt seem so alike. It's crazy my family is growing up. At least I'm still taller than Carter!