Tag Archives: Vickie Bartkus

An Anthem For Love


 Welcome to my twice-monthly feature about anthems, the songs that inspire us.  You can listen to the songs on my Spotify playlist, Carry A Watermelon Anthems. New Anthems will be posted here the 1st and 15th of each month. 

Today, enjoy the Anthem of my friend, former colleague, and one of the reason I love millennials, Vickie Bartkus.

525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear…

I’ve heard the opening lines to my anthem more times than I can possibly count, but they still trigger goosebumps. This song is home for me, the same way a special quilt or mom’s home cooking is for others. I saw RENT on Broadway for the first time when I was 17 and it changed me. There is something so real, so raw, so unglamorous about that rock opera that spoke to me then and continues to speak to me almost twelve years later.

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee; in inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife…

How do we measure our lives? Like most people, I know what it’s like to lose someone close to you. So I know we’re only given a few, measly years to share experiences, to build relationships, to blaze our trail. So what’s the ruler with which we measure our success?

I am lucky enough to have the kind of family and friends that love unconditionally, give of themselves often, and hold me up when I’m not strong enough to do so myself. On the days when I’ve struggled the most (and, Lord, have there been some of those), during the times when it’s been black and I could hardly see the light, my seasons of love gave me something to hold onto.

As I enter new phases of my life, I think I’ll keep following Jonathan Larson’s direction: “measure your life in love.” So far, it hasn’t failed me.



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Vickie Bartkus is  a daughter, a cousin, a niece, a friend, a teacher, and a self-proclaimed bibliophile. Her blood type may be Colombian (a joke her mom likes to make about her coffee addiction), but she’s  convinced her heart beats in time with my favorite songs. Follow her magnificent classroom mojo here.


Don’t forget to follow Carry A Watermelon Anthems on Spotify to hear Vickie’s anthem and a playlist of additional inspiring songs!

Anthems: Because We All Need A Fight Song


Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 7.50.49 PMOn the first and fifteenth of the month, I’m going to be posting about anthems.  I’m going to start with one of my anthems (hint: Bruuuuuuuce!) and then share anthems of guest bloggers who have graciously offered to share the song that get them through.  I hope you’ll enjoy their stories of fighting through struggle and staying strong.

As an added bonus, please subscribe to my Spotify playlist, Carry A Watermelon Anthems, where I will add each anthem, plus some of my personal faves.  I hope it’s a place you’ll go to when you need to be uplifted, fired up, and ready to go.

May 1 = Me!

May 15 = Vickie Bartkus, teacher extraordinaire with a heart of gold, a love of Idina Menzel and a hard-core Brooklyn accent

June 1 = Patricia Florio,  author, former court reporter, and a founding member of the Jersey Shore Writers