Friday, December 7, 2018

Delores Fisher December 7, 2018 Happy Holidays

                                                  Delores Fisher, Lecturer/Blogger

Hello Australia, Ukraine, and India! 

Holiday season is officially underway here in the USA. I gotta tell you, I can't remember ever watching so many made for television holiday movies with such diverse actors!  It's refreshing.

Sending a shout out to our new Africana Studies Department faculty member in the College of Arts and Letters here at San Diego State University,  Sureshi M. Jayardene, Phd.

Dr. "J," as she is known to students, specializes in western Indian Ocean Africa diaspora studies. And, yes students who read my blog, I DO think she's really super cool with major scholar skills!!

Oh yea, as fall 2018 semester ends and finals fade into the past, students, administration, staff, and faculty anticipate a brief break before Spring 2019 semester rolls into the all too near present. I am already setting up my 2019 schedule as educator/lecturer, guest speaker, pianist, and poet. 

I heard from three of my favorite people over Thanksgiving.
First, opera soprano Malesha Taylor. Now Education Coordinator with the Atlanta Opera company, she recently did a Ted Talks.

Next is opera Baritone Nicholas Newton.

And, composer Jude Thomas whom I've known since he was a teenager. Here is one of his piano compositions performed in concert

Speaking of music, my 2017 list of popular Christmas Songs (My Christmas Jams!) are still my favorite. Click on and enjoy.

Just a brief update and hello, 
Delores Fisher

Thursday, November 1, 2018

November 2018 Thanksgiving Pre-thought

                                                           Delores Fisher

Just a brief hello to thank you for putting us over the 20,000 mark! Special November hello to Ukraine, Brazil, Russia, Canada, and India. Yes, my readers are diverse ...

Here in the U.S., Thanksgiving is fast "trotting" onto the holiday scene. We seem, in general, a bit more solemn and contemplative this year due to acts of violence and oppression. Perhaps we are becoming more deeply grateful for blessings in the middle of hurt and pain and confusion, and yes, anger, and frustration, and yet...humility. 

Words also can not express our profound acknowledgement of bigger than life natural forces beyond our control. As a planet, we can not always accurately predict let alone completely control what geology or weather will do.  

Thanksgiving may look a little different this year. But if we keep love in our hearts, maybe more than a pinch of patience and compassion . . . and a special place in our hearts for those whose lives interact in a nurturing way with ours. Thinking of two very special people:

 Vince Meades:

Vince Meades and me (several years ago) at Special Collections and University Archives San Diego State University, discussing my research finds in his generous sheet music donation to the archives.

See some of the results at:

And, India's Rabandra Sakar  "Rock Whisperer--My first video interview. The Reiki Master was so kind to grant the interview and to let me post it.

We continue to keep in touch and can often be found, when he is in town, talking about spirituality and life as we sit on the sea side boardwalk wall at Seaport Village/ Embarcadero.

                                              Ravi and me at Seaport Village

As many areas of the world start to rebuild, from the wildfires of Southern California that has claimed over 40 lives  to other especially hard hit regions of our world like Southern India struggling to recover from its monsoonal rains   

-----Let us send up prayers and positive thoughts for healing and renewal; let us give financial gifts to reputable charities and disaster relief funds, share a conversation or a smile with the homeless, be a little more patient with people who don't look like, don't act like, don't think like or don't talk like us.
And if we can't agree, at least respect the other's right to an opinion.  

Giving thanks  giving for intercessory prayers, blessings, and mercy for us all . . . 
Delores Fisher


Friday, September 28, 2018

September Pre-holiday Season 2018: A Few Thoughts

                                             Delores Fisher Blogger 2018

Hello to all, especially my longtime readers/followers in Canada, Russia, Brazil, the Seychelles, UK, China, and of course France.

As each new year approaches and each year end fades, we as a global people often consider watershed pop culture events that have changed our perceptions. Musician scholar and pop culture critic William Banefield states, "Popular culture allows us to see so many meaningful elements, fixtures, and symbols of our culture. This is the means by which our identities are concretized in many ways."1 

Through the lens of this quote, I must say: 2018 has been a very disturbingly interesting year.

We now have weather called a "medicane" in Greece: 
Our planet, Earth, a symbol of our identity as humans is shifting and shaking us to our core, causing us to re-evaluate much of our central traditions and values.  Our home, Earth, is not necessarily cooperating with those who would try to harness her for selfish gain. She now seemingly more than ever before is making us pause to reflect on our role as her steward.

It is still September. We take from the Earth to produce what we need and admittedly in the 21st century, increasingly only want.

 Holiday themed programming has began to shimmer its media designed warm, fuzzy, cheerful glow into our global public eye. 

Although increasing buying frenzy propels a consumer driven attitude towards the approaching holiday season after September is beginning to push an ever growing mountain of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas commercials overflowing with merchandise, it is important to consider the "groanings" of our Earth, to stop consumer frenzy purchases before the madness enchants us, to appreciate family and friends.

This pre-season time is also traditionally one in which to consider those who are grieving, starving, lonely, bullied, poor, working poor, and homeless. It is also a time to reflect on the filthy rich who lead vacuous lives of episodic high adventures that bury an abyss of pain and regret. to alter a phrase by a previous mentor, Bruce Keitel, "That which seems, is often hidden by the seams, of the symbolic meaningless seme wealth."2

As a young man yelled out on a chilly evening a few years ago while being arrested by San Diego Trolley Transit police officers, "Why am I being handcuffed and treated this way? Am I not also   a child of God?  I am also a child of God! Both officers of the law and perpetrators seem locked in a deadly uptempo Topsy-Turvy dance.

I wasn't sure what the young man had done to provoke the overly-aggressive response. But, it made me pause and think. Experiencing someone taken down so physically is different than late evening channel surfing. 

Talking and interacting with refugees from war whose artistry provides comfort against tragic memories is different than reading about them online.I experienced this during a lengthy interview with the refugee rapper Hot Dog several years ago.

This was reinforced for me during my brief interaction through a translator and during  my interview with the Matrida Umoja band:

Life experiences of new friends who just want to talk are illuminating as we share our transitions and crises.

This is the time to reflect, before seasonal pop culture materialism grabs our attention. 

Who are we as a global people? Will we embrace these next few months with meaningful "goodwill towards all?"

The "traditional" season is almost here,
Delores Fisher

          1.William C. Banefield,  "Popular Culture in Non-Theory: Seeing Ourselves, Revealing Ourselves, Knowing Ourselves," Black Notes: Essays of a Musician Writing in a Post- Album Age      (Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.2004), 62.
          2. Bruce Keitel was a mentor professor. He trained several Summer Bridge student instructors at San Diego State University in the 1990s and early 2000s in ways to engage critical thinking pedagogy active teaching praxis.