Saturday, December 30, 2006

Washington, DC

We drove halfway to DC last Thursday. We drove the rest of the way on Friday morning. Steve and I visited the National Women in the Arts Museum in the afternoon. We even joined the membership on a level that enjoys reciprocal privileges with the Corcoran, Phillips, and Textile Museum in DC as well as the Mint Museum in Charlotte. We saw the Book Art show. It is a biennial made up of pieces in the collection. We'd seen some of them. Overall, the exhibit was first rate. I bought the nice hardbound book.

On Saturday, Steve and I went to the American Museum/Portrait Gallery. I've already written about this wonderful experience. Steve left in the early afternoon to pick Mathias up at the airport. I also went to the Bead Museum. It was very small but nice. Then we met at a nearby shop. Steve and I had noticed great holiday sales on winter coats.

Mathias has had his heart set on a cashmere coat since he saw a lovely camel-colored one at Norstrum's when he was only twelve. We promised one for his graduation. Yet, there weren't any coats in the stores last May and by September Mathias needed a television set instead. I purchased the TV last September. Still, we knew he wanted a coat. With the weather in England, he NEEDED a coat. Everything was 50% off.

As it turned out, Mathias opted for the warmed, more durable wool coat. It is long and black and looks fabulous on him. Later that night, we met Kuckeruk for dinner at Maggiamo's in Friendship Heights. We talked ballet all evening. Fortunately, the food and wine was good and the conversation managed not to get too bogged down on technical things. Kuckeruk seems pleased with Mathias' employment with BRB. He had lots of opinions on the Kirov Academy. I was left with an overwhelming feeling of relief. How happy I am to no longer have a child at that school. I don't have to care. I can nod my head in all the right places and sleep without crying with worry!


Larry said...


I have read numerous posts you have written disparaging The Kirov Academy of Ballet. Obviously I do not know all the particulars of Mathias' experience there. However, the objective record shows a medal won in nearly every major international ballet competition under the tutelage of a world reknown ballet instructor at full scholarship. A fair criticism of the academy could be that other students' experience might have suffered because of the disproportionate attention accorded Mathias while he was there.

Sure, there are things that I would like to see corrected or improved at the academy, but your incessant, non-constructive criticism adds little to the conversation and does little more than devalue the worth of a Kirov education for other students who were/are Mathias' friends and peers. What really is the value of that? Not every adversity in life needs to be countered with a torrent of tears.

I realize that you write your blog as a train of thought diary with little expectation of feedback nor discourse. Still, in addition to describing every plate's morsel, you might have mentioned how much Philip, Natalie and Mathias enjoyed the opportunity to get together over Thanksgiving. Surely their friendship and shared experience has as much interest to you as a plate of garden greens.


Susan Lenz said...

Dear Larry,
I remember a time when many of your PTSO posted messages did much to cause unhappiness and unrest at the Kirov Academy of Ballet, then UBA. These words were placed in a way that parents almost had to read them in order to keep up with the other, day-to-day activities and information at the school. Avoiding your political thoughts was impossible. Some statements were simply offensive, even though each was nicely phrased and logically put. Your criticism was quite slanted. I, personally, never issued a single word on the subject, but others certainly did. Steve and I actually agreed with you on some, small points. Yet, we always thought you have a right to your opinions and would have fought for your rights to voice them. We would never had suggested that you were "incessant, non-constructive" or that you added "little to the conversation" or that your words "devalued the worth of the Kirov education".

Frankly, I think it is a little funny that you would find my brief comments about the Kirov as "disparaging". This has never been my intention; it is not how my sentences are constructed either. I've written that I don't miss the worries for my child, the nervousness of performances, and the tears. That's about my emotional state, not about the school. Elsewhere, my POSITIVE comments are well documented. Yes, I have cried buckets of tears over six years with regard to having a child far away in a ballet boarding school. This does not state that I shed "torrents of tears" over "every adversity in life". Hardly!

Speaking of "life"; this is MY LIFE. This is my blog. I am writing about my artistic journey which includes many of my day-to-day relations with family and friends. This is NOT a documentation about Mathias' life and dancing.

I have not addressed several of your sentences because they are completely outrageous. Are you trying to pick a fight with me? If so, it will not work. With a click in a few spaces, all these comments can disappear. As for now, I'll allow them to stand. I will chalk up your decision to write such mean-spirited things to the fact that you still have a son at the Kirov. Evidently, worries and fears manifest themselves differently in you than in me. I'll stick to crying. You can go ahead and rant at people who have only been nice and polite to you.