About

I'm Mike Pope. I live in the Seattle area. I've been a technical writer and editor for over 30 years. I'm interested in software, language, music, movies, books, motorcycles, travel, and ... well, lots of stuff.

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The reason why so few good books are written is that so few people who can write know anything.

Walter Bagehot



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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 6/14/2019

Totals
Posts - 2564
Comments - 2614
Hits - 2,148,807

Averages
Entries/day - 0.44
Comments/entry - 1.02
Hits/day - 368

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 2:13 AM Pacific


  09:39 AM

Marcus Tsutakawa, the director of the Garfield High School orchestra, has been at GHS for 20 years. Tomorrow (Sunday) there's a tribute program for him that includes a dinner and (of course) an orchestra performance involving from both current and alumni members.

The newspapers have picked up this nice human-interest story -- today's Seattle P-I has an article about "Tsut" and his program. As with Clarence Acox and the jazz prorgam, Marcus began with practically nothing and built the orchestra -- or now, orchestras -- into one of the top high-school ensembles in the country. The article duly notes that the school system's contribution toward this effort is palty -- less than $1000 per year for the entire program.

The thing I find astonishing -- other than the amazing success of the program -- is just how hard Tust (and Acox) work. As any of the students will tell you, both of these guys are there way before school starts and long after it closes. I know from personal experience that they both email late into the night. They both hold extra rehearals (orchestra rehearses every other Monday night, all year long) and as teachers and as potential benefactors of the largesse of corporate donors, they attend many after-school and evening functions. And both have other gigs as well -- Acox is a working musician and Tsut is director of one of the five Seattle Youth Symphony groups (and probably has other things going as well).

The article quotes several students talking about how great Marcus is with the kids and how he inspires them. No question about that -- Sabrina's gravitation toward her hoped-for career in music owes a great deal to Marcus -- the opportunities he has provided and the confidence that this has inspired in her.

Tomorrow will be fun as the students, parents, and alumni gather to fete Tsutakawa. In typical fashion, this will be a working gig for Marcus -- naturally, he'll be leading the orchestra that is playing in his honor. And it will be great!

Update The Seattle Times has come out with its version of the story today also: "Speak Softly (and Carry a Small Stick)". (And here I thought headline puns were on the wane ...)

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