A Message From Scott Lang

With greater rigor comes a greater education. This has been the mantra and formula used by reformists and political pundits for almost two decades. Through it all, America’s youth have been pushed, pulled, prodded, and cajoled through dizzying levels of sleep deprivation and stress, often leading to depression, angst, and academic burnout.

Since 2010, schools across this country have turned to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) based curricula in hopes of feeding the frenzy of helicopter parents who crave competition and rigor. Needing proof that their children are prepared for college and a global marketplace, schools are being forced to drive curricula towards technical skills that have an ever decreasing shelf life of relevance and usability.

Are we pushing kids too far too fast? Is it possible that in an effort to do good, we are actually doing long-term damage? Where will it stop? When will it end? How long before preschool becomes pre-med?

Gone are teaching and training of soft skills. Gone are the days of teaching of requisite and important social skills. Gone are the days of exploration and discovery.

Through it all, there is some evidence that STEM is not driving innovation but is in fact inhibiting it.

As a part of a major initiative to analyze its workforce, Google undertook a comprehensive and long ranging study of its employees and what makes them successful or not. What they found shook not just Google but the entirety of Silicon Valley, akin to the earthquakes they have become accustomed to.

Project Oxygen concluded that, “among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise came in dead last. The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others, valuing different points of view; having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas.”

Those traits sound more like what one gains as an English or music major than as a computer programmer. Could it be that top Google employees were succeeding despitetheir technical training, not because of it?

After bringing in anthropologists and ethnographers to dive even deeper into the data, the company enlarged its previous hiring practices to include humanities majors, musicians, artists, and even the MBAs and company founders once viewed with disdain.

Yes, science, technology, and math are important. We need engineers to understand schematics. We need architects to understand blueprints. We need programmers to understand code. But, we also need humans who understand humans.

And the arts, music in particular, makes people more human and help us to understand what it is to be human.

Have a great week!


Summer Symposium Interest?????

BOA hosts a summer symposium every year.  I have thought often of taking a group of students.  I want to get some feedback.  Are you interested in going?  Here is a link to their info.

Here is the paper I’m sending home:  Summer_Symposium_Intrest

Make sure you read everything about the possible trip before you submit your interest.  It will cost about $1,000 a student.  (This is an educated guess, don’t hold me to this price it could be more or less.)

Also, be aware that this will need administrative and board approval before we can go.  I am asking now for interest.

Here is a form where you can fill out your interest.

Raffle Time

It is time for the annual band raffle.  Tickets can be purchased from any band student, or you can contact Mr. Gibson.  Easiest way is to check out the band FB page and find contact info there.  Tickets are $1 each.  The drawing will be on Dec 17 and you don’t need to be present to win.  Good Luck!

Here are the prizes this year and a link to learn more about them:

AR Drone 2.o – Note this is slightly used, but hey it’s a prize.

Fire HD

Sport Squad Double Overtime Electronic Arcade PRO Basketball

HP 11-2010nr 11.6-Inch Chromebook (Snow White)

Amazon Fire TV

Coleman 8-Person Red Canyon Tent

Samsung UN32EH4003 32-Inch 720p 60Hz LED TV (2012 Model)

BARSKA Colorado Waterproof Spotting Scope

2 of PNY ID10400 PowerPack – Universal Portable Rechargeable Battery Charger

The Magic of Theron Milo

We are hosting a magic show for two nights at the Vernal Middle School.

This is a fundraiser for the bands and will be on September 11 and 12, 2014.  The show will start at 7:3- pm and we ask that you be in your seat by 7:15.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased from any band student.

Want to know something about the magician?  Check out his web site, then come see him live.  You don’t want to miss this show.

Here is a Facebook event to share:

Missed the parent meeting?

Here are my notes from last night. They are not written with good grammar and writing skills in mind. If you can’t decipher what I mean feel free to email me for further explanation.

Parent meeting notes

Reminded everyone how to keep in touch.

uintahband.net. Is the main hub

Several parents joined Celly

We discussed Charms and the advantage to the system. If you need your students ID for charms email Mr. Gibson.

Finances for the current school year were disclosed

Many of the parents share my distaste of fundraising

Run da funk was announced, but the date needs to be adjusted. It will be announced soon.

The mattress fundraiser was discussed and it was agreed that it is worth trying. We will get more info soon.

Volunteers for region band just need to show up at the hs April 9 at 8am.

Parents not wishing to be a part of the marching band discussion were excused at this time.

MB registration and the schedule were discussed. This info can be found on line.

After a lengthy discussion two things were proposed that we look at:

rather than a long out of state trip it was proposed that we add a trip or two in state and look at adding to the trips we already take. Ie Boondocks or lagoon added to a trip.
Since most families spend the money on the fund raisers anyway, look at raising the fees and cutting out fundraising.

I will be putting together a proposal for both of these items and asking for feedback. Please stay tuned.

Annual Christmas Raffle

It’s that time again.  If you want tickets for the drawing contact a band student or Mr. Gibson.  If you want you can just send a check to the High School and include a phone number and name for the tickets.  Checks should be masse out to Uintah High School and will need to be received by Dec 19th the day of the drawing.  We will ship a prize anywhere in the U.S. if you win.  Great prizes this year and the PS3 was donated by EZ Furniture.  So a great big thanks to them.  Remember tickets are $1 each.  You can’t win if you don’t enter.  Good Luck!

Raffle Flyer 13





Raffle Flyer 13


Summer Band Opportunities

If you did not register for the Marching Band you may think that you have no summer band options.  You would be wrong.  There are three options for anyone to take band this summer.

1.  Parade Band

If you show up, starting on June4, on Tuesday mornings you can be in the parades with us.  We will march in four parades.  July 4 and 24 / Aug 3 and 10.  Practices will be held at UHS from 8am – 9:30am

2.  Marching Band Shadow Band

Come to UHS whenever the marching band is practicing and practice with us.  If we have a student gone for the day you can march their spot.  If everyone is here you can shadow someone that plays your instrument.  It is a great way to see what marching band is and learn from someone that knows more than you.  You don’t need to come to every practice, just come when you want.  The MB full schedule can be found here.

3.  Jazz Band Shadow Band

Just like the Marching Band this is an opportunity to shadow what we do in Jazz Band.  They rehearse Tuesdays from 11am – noon.  (Starting June 4)  If you learn the music you can even perform with us at the Run Da Funk on July 27.

Other info:

The cost for summer band is $35 regardless of which one you choose, or even if you choose all three.  Need instructions to pay on line?  Read this: Online instructions

You may do just one, two, or all three.

A copy of the flyer we are sending home next week is here: Summer Band 2013

Registration to participate is here.