Posts Tagged ‘you’
I like free music. Who doesn’t?
My unquenchable thirst for downloadable music — legal or questionably legal — took a strange turn when a friend turned me onto the archives of the United States military bands. The Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps bands all have their own websites and, because these bands are funded by the taxpayers, their recordings are free.
As far as I could find, our friends in the Coast Guard were left out. Please correct me if I’m wrong. I’ve been looking for a copy of their theme song — nine times catchier than Anchors Aweigh — to no avail.
Seven years of marching band in high school and in college well-prepared me for the huge collection of marches and patriotic music. Three hours later, I finished importing the complete John Phillips Sousa into iTunes. I don’t know who Colonel Bogey is, but he makes me smile.
I imagined military sanctions for band members.
Twenty push-ups for each missed chord change. Play through a rest means half-rations for a week. Talk during rehearsal? Court-martial.
Then it got weird.
Google gave me a link to the old Air Force archives, filled with recordings of our fighting men and women playing and singing music of all genres. Dixieland. New Wave. R&B. There was even a rap song.
It’s hard not to crack a smile at the idea of stoic, serious-faced officers playing the blues in their full dress blues, chiseled jaw and all.
I found all of these songs for free online. Most of them are cheesy.
Featuring the thrift-store Enya knock-off.
Imagine government-funded rap about living your life drug-free. Imagine it worse.
You can steal something like eight consecutive melody notes before it’s legally plagiarism. Joseph Spaniola knew this, and wrote for us the Space Fanfare. It starts by almost quoting the Star Wars, Superman and Star Trek themes. It’s a downward spiral from there.
They Died for You, They Died for Me
Hey — did you hear? Vietnam was a fight for freedom, at least according to this Nashville-style Soft Rock. “They died for freedom, God and family/ They died for you/ They died for me,” attests the honkey-tonk crooner. Strangely enough, references to carpet bombing, conscription or the Gulf of Tonkin were cut from the final version.
‘Taint So, Honey ‘Taint So
A white man doing his best Louis Armstrong impression provides the lead vocals about halfway in — as you’d expect, it’s immediately singable. Everything in this album really isn’t that bad, though this is the only selection with such a gravely hoarseness to it.
Tax dollars well spent.
Short entry today, in part because I’ve been wasting my time on some old, familiar edutainment. I’d forgotten how freakin’ hard of a game Pharaoh was.
In any case, Weezer made themselves a music video, and it’s probably my favorite music video from a musical act without a prominent member named Yankovic. There’s at least one other, older music video I like, but mostly because I like to mock it sadistically.
There’s nothing trainwreck-of-poor-taste about Pork and Beans. Something tells me that Weezer meant to include nearly every star of the Internet.
Idle brainstorm: Find and download a representative sample of all of the videos shown or referenced in Pork and Beans, saving them to show one’s students.
At the beginning of each class session, show one of these clips. Skip Cris Crocker and other those few other school inappropriate clips, and be sure to avoid telling the students what all of the clips have in common.
On the very last day of class, show the Pork and Beans music video.
Do this at the beginning of class, because everybody’s heads will have exploded. You’ll need time to clean up.
I’ve had four teachers at my current, inner-city school compliment me on my intelligence at separate times. Each of the four immediately added that compulsory layer of “it won’t make you a good teacher.” This has been a source of frustration for me.
Mr. Bogush, for his part, also riffs on the hard-to-swallow theme of the four teachers in my department.
You have the “Curse of Knowledge” — you know so much that it is often impossible to realize what it was like to not know it. You are a thinker so initially it will be impossible for you to realize what it is like to be ignorant and naive. …
Unlike White Kids’ Unified, students have to come first at Podunk, Mr. Bogush said. Whether or not administrators demand it in Podunk doesn’t really matter — the situation already demands student-centric reflection.
At Podunk, you will have to reflect, reflect, reflect. Not about your curriculum, and not about your primary sources or images, but about your mindset and the students. Why do they think what they think? You are so smart that you will feel stupid. Day after day.
You will find that all the things in life you thought were important are not, and some of the things that you took for granted become precious. You will have to be a mom, dad, brother, sister, social worker, and thrift store operator first. Only then will you be able to teach. You will learn that the “smartness” that you have is worthless and you will have to figure out 100 other ways to a kids heart.
Don’t mind my interjection, but is smartness really worthless? I chalk this up to hyperbole. He continues:
Don’t let being too “smart” keep you away from Podunk — let it drive you there. You might hate it; you might dread every minute. However, it will make a “thinking teacher” stronger. You will learn skills and insights that you will never get from a book, from a person, or by working at the other school.
I had intended to reflect on his comment, but I couldn’t bring myself to add anything. Mr. Bogush sums it up his point of view, and I have no perspective to counter it.
No perspective, at least, that the teachers at my school would allow themselves to appreciate. As far as they’re concerned, smartness be damned: I’m a student teacher. I don’t have any business making judgment on high educational theory.
What is the role of smartness as a teacher? What is the role of reflection, at either White Kids’ Unified or BFE-Podunk Joint Unified, and is the role different between the two districts?