Riva Capellari

[email protected]

Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

Old School Tools

I am unabashedly old school. I carry around one of those $2.95 calendars in my purse, the ones you buy at CVS with the plastic covers that feature pictures of kitties. I write checks to pay my bills via regular mail, keep track of my budget on a paper graph I created and have a drawer full of paper files and articles on voice. When I begin writing these newsletters, I sit down with paper and pencil and start taking notes, then I create an outline and finally, begin my first draft, – all on paper, all in my own hand.

It’s not that I disapprove of the tech age. I have a computer that I use everyday and a smart phone that allows me to contact my students or their parents quickly by texts. I really like all these things, and try to use them for what they do so well. My news-letter drafts are done on the computer because it is so easy to edit. I type personal letters on my Dell then send by email. I use You Tube (music, videos of breathing and vocal fold movement) generously for myself and my students. I love being able to google pretty much anything – it is a great research tool.

So where am I going with all this? I men-tioned earlier that I have a drawer full of information in various forms that is organ-ized and categorized and easily accessed during a lesson to answer a student’s question or to hand over an article that might interest them. However I have been keeping these files for going on 20 years and in this fast paced technological world, it was paramount that I go through and weed out the old and repetitive and even

the stuff that may no longer be viable. In the process, and it is a slow one since I am reading through all these papers, I am rediscovering knowledge I used to know, but no longer have room for in my brain. I can follow the progress in vocal research that has been helped along immensely by all the digital equipment available today. It is also a great resource for upcoming newsletters.

Things I (re)learned while purging my voice files: the neo-cortex takes up 2/3rds of our brain and is what distinguishes our brain from other animals; the tongue is the only pure muscle bundle attached at one end, but free at the other; the hormone DHEA (dehydro-epiandrosterone) is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands; plant based proteins (beans, nuts) have photochemicals that help with cell healing; at approximately 140 db, noises from gun shots and jet engines are in the pain level for our ears and can be dangerous to our hearing; our jaw has one of the most complex joints in our body; mitochondria are power plants in our cells, burning food and oxygen to produce energy; and memory processing takes place during NREM (non rapid eye movement) while we sleep.

I also never purchased a kindle because I really love sitting in a cozy chair with a book and a cup of tea, but I do try to balance the old with the new, appreciating them both. I guess, just like with friends.

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