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This is from the Jeff Bridges website. I heard about this when it hit the news, but as many other people at the train station that day, didn’t pay much attention. Given some recent circumstances in and around my life, I thought it was worth posting.

Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later:

The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:

A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children.. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly..

45 minutes:

The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.

The questions raised:

*In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

*Do we stop to appreciate it?

*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.

How many other things are we missing?

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What are you doing at midnight? If you live in the Boston area, you might be taking a college course. Boston’s Bunker Hill Community College is reportedly the first college in the nation to offer general education courses that run from 11:45 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. At first glance this might seem just plain wacky. There are evidently enough people out there interested in these classes to almost fill them, according to an article located at I guess that in the world of college kids, they might be up at that hour anyway, so why not grab some additional credits? The class makes sense for people who might work odd shifts or young parents, who might need to juggle parental schedules and job schedules to fit in a class here or there toward a degree. In any event, the college offered the late-night class to supplement its regular class schedule and in response to the overwhelming demand for classes and uptake in registration. Some students interviewed said that they would prefer the late night classes to early morning classes. Colleges may become the next 24-hour operations offering classes round the clock if demand fits supply. Early risers might prefer a 5 a.m. class which may offer regular office hour working folk an option to night classes. It will definitely increase the desire for caffeine in the Bunker Hill Community College area, at the very least, I am sure.

The whole gang outside the theater with our driver Oscar

The whole gang outside the theater with our driver Oscar

Sunrise reflecting off a building on the Charles River. Taken from the 2nd floor of the Museum of Science

Sunrise on the Charles River, taken from the 2nd floor of the Museum of Science, reflecting off a high rise.

We had a great time in Boston. Due to bus problems we were only able to do 50 maximum for the ride back and that turned a 3 – 3 1/2 hour trip into a 5 hour trip with a couple stops to re-boot the bus evidently. Blue Man Group show was terrific but we were not allowed to take pictures. I think it was one of the highlights of the trip for the kids. We arrived back at the school at 2 a.m. and by the time we unloaded and got home it was more like 2:30-ish this morning. Everyone seems no worse for the wear.

Our duck boat reflecting in a building with Trinity Church in the background

Our duck boat reflecting in a building with Trinity Church in the background

Driving the duck

At the museum

At the museum

Street performers at Quincy Market

Street performers at Quincy Market

Columbus Park on a beautiful day

Columbus Park on a beautiful day

Well on the bedroom update scene, the furniture is in and we are putting the finishing touches on it. We are still waiting on the new mattress which prevents us from completely putting things together as the frame is meant for a Cal King and we have standard King mattress in there now. Next is the closet organizer so I can find my clothes again. Going from tote to tote looking for stuff is getting old.

The den is looking more welcoming, which is nice. The furniture is in there and it is downright homey looking again.

Now I am off to bed since I have to get up in the morning, sift through for clothes for the trip to Boston and head out the door. Next few posts will be from the road if mobile wordpress cooperates.  Either that or I will use twitter – so it will be short bursts.  Wish me luck – camping out at the Museum tomorrow night!

Photograph courtesy of

Today will be a busy day. Movers, errands and packing. Tomorrow Tim and I are off to Boston for his 6th grade class trip. We are spending the night at the Museum of Science with a flurry of other activities, culminating with a show from the Blue Man Group Friday evening before we head back home. Went last year with Tyler and it was fun, but exhausting. At least this year, there are a group of friends/moms that are traveling together. Last year, although I had a friend or two, most of the parents I didn’t know. What a difference a year makes.

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