In Support of Water Safety

Last August, my family and I said goodbye to a wonderful young man, Kaelin Hampton. At the tender age of 11, Kaelin lost his life at a local family resort. While Kaelin was fully aware of the mechanics of swimming he was not what you would call and avid or experienced swimmer. Particularly not in lake.

My niece, Kaelin’s mom, has taken on the mission of keeping his memory alive by helping to insure that children in Cleveland learn the necessary skills to keep them safe in the water.

Kaelin was an active member of the YMCA, participating in football and basketball leagues, so it is only fitting that the Hamptom Family and the YMCA combine their efforts to keep the children of this community safe.

If you are so inclined, please make a donation to the Kaelin Hampton Fund at any local Chase Bank branch, and do your part to keep our children safe!
You can also contact any of the Cleveland YMCA branches to learn more about the program.


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – What a Treat!

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 50th Anniversary tour swayed into Cleveland last night with such fluid motion and intense joy and drama that I am still elated this morning.

Anyone who had the pleasure to witness the brilliance of this performance should feel honored. The show opened with a film, “A Golden Anniversary Celebration,” recounting the life of Alvin Ailey and his rise in the world of American dance. Not a regular follower of all things dance, I was struck by the continued growth of Ailey’s dream and legacy.

Judith Jamison, Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, has taken Mr. Ailey vision of making dance something everyone can enjoy and taken it to another stratosphere. From the professional company to summer camp and even dance lessons and exercise for those who only long to be as smooth and svelte as the principals in the Company.

The performance began with Blues Suite, a tribute to the down home feeling that only the blues can present. As I said, I’m not a dance aficionado so I won’t attempt to describe the plies and the Allonge’.

Reviewing the program book, my sister and I found that opening night was definitely a treat with at least fourteen scenes spanning 1958-1984. The combination of dance and music lifted the audience from the State Theater in 2009 back in history. Stories were told of love, loss and faith all through the deft movement of limbs.

I would recommend that anyone interested in the arts take the time out of your busy schedules to enjoy the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. It is well worth the time and the money.

Hello Again!

It has been a number of weeks since my last posting, and to anyone who regularly checks in, I apologize. I have been in the midst of what I call “the semester from hell”!
Now you might wonder why I would call an opportunity to expand my horizons, and keep the mental thought process flowing – hell, but that is what it turned out to be for a number of reasons.
First, I signed up for two classes because over the last six years, the winter and early spring months are fairly slow for me at work so I felt I would not be taxed on both ends WRONG!!!! Add to this equation family illness and the stress and guilt that comes with trying to make sure you are giving your loved one all of the attention and support they need and you have HELL!!!!
I picked today to write about this because I just returned home from a class that I basically really enjoyed, feeling pretty bummed because I did not receive a very favorable grade on my project. Now, I could blame the professor and all of the stress in my life, but really the only blame should be placed with me. One of the problems I had with this project was that I continued to over think it, up until the very last hour. Have you ever done that? I know I’m not alone with that, so I’m sure someone out there is cyberspace can relate.
Problem number two, and oh this is the biggie, I attempted to do something I had never really done before as my project. Now, many will say that’s good, because you pushed yourself, you went outside the proverbial box, yada yada! Normally I would agree, but not when your grade rests on it.
In short, the semester will end in a few days, and despite my less than stellar performance on this project if all goes well with my remaining scores I should come away with a ‘B’ in the class. That will be the prayer of hope for this evening.
So, you might ask what was good about the semester? Well let me tell you! I really found that I have a much great appreciation for learning. I have always loved the academic arena, because I really believe that your mind is a sponge and the more you put in there, the more you can absorb. In the past however, I was not the type of student who really freaked out about grades, or stopped midway through to see where I stood and then attempted to do extra, or more work in order to achieve a higher grade. I basically did the work and hoped and prayed for the best. If I gave it my all I was satisfied with the grade, because I had completed the task.
As a more mature student I am really looking to ace my classes, which is why I was so depressed when I got home. I feel better already having said all of this, so to those of you reading – thanks for being that shoulder I needed to cry on.