Thursday, November 19, 2009

Record Labels

There is a very heavy moment that happens every year in the second right after a student asks me the most dreaded question they dare: "So, what kind of music do you listen to?" The room usually goes silent, every kid waiting to know if my taste matches theirs, for better or for worse, and what my musical inclinations say about me. In that very moment, judgement hangs in the room in the same way that it hung in the Coliseum when the spectators awaited Caesar's signal - will it be life or death for the poor gladiator English teacher?

I always feel like my answer will color the rest of the year, that either they'll respect me for being like minded, they'll shove me into the "old maid" pile, or they'll shrug me off with a label - emo, techno, bubble gum, navel gazer, screamo - or something like that. "Is the cool teacher really cool?" they'll ask, "or have we been snowed the last few months?"

I know it's silly to assign so much meaning to one question and to care about what the answer says about me. Still, I usually answer vaguely - the ole "I listen to all sorts of music," song and dance. But they know as well as I do, that my usual answer is pretty much a cop out. That's why this year I decided to go with, "Actually, lately I'm really interested in this new radio station that plays mostly indie music from people who record in their own homes. You know, the starving musicians who can't afford a fancy recording studio and who refuse sell out to some corporate label. Yeah. I'm into that."

They bought it! I didn't mention that it's the new NPR music station I'm talking about. They didn't ask, as they were nodding approval and wondering what "indie" means.

(Speaking of snowed..)

But there it is. I survived the question one more year.

3 comments:

Yaya said...

Lol!

Teresha@Marlie and Me said...

clever answer! I say your cool teacher rep is intact.

Sandy said...

I can only imagine how important that question is to those students especially when I look back and remember how important music was to me at that time.....and since.

Good answer BTW.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Record Labels

There is a very heavy moment that happens every year in the second right after a student asks me the most dreaded question they dare: "So, what kind of music do you listen to?" The room usually goes silent, every kid waiting to know if my taste matches theirs, for better or for worse, and what my musical inclinations say about me. In that very moment, judgement hangs in the room in the same way that it hung in the Coliseum when the spectators awaited Caesar's signal - will it be life or death for the poor gladiator English teacher?

I always feel like my answer will color the rest of the year, that either they'll respect me for being like minded, they'll shove me into the "old maid" pile, or they'll shrug me off with a label - emo, techno, bubble gum, navel gazer, screamo - or something like that. "Is the cool teacher really cool?" they'll ask, "or have we been snowed the last few months?"

I know it's silly to assign so much meaning to one question and to care about what the answer says about me. Still, I usually answer vaguely - the ole "I listen to all sorts of music," song and dance. But they know as well as I do, that my usual answer is pretty much a cop out. That's why this year I decided to go with, "Actually, lately I'm really interested in this new radio station that plays mostly indie music from people who record in their own homes. You know, the starving musicians who can't afford a fancy recording studio and who refuse sell out to some corporate label. Yeah. I'm into that."

They bought it! I didn't mention that it's the new NPR music station I'm talking about. They didn't ask, as they were nodding approval and wondering what "indie" means.

(Speaking of snowed..)

But there it is. I survived the question one more year.

3 comments:

Yaya said...

Lol!

Teresha@Marlie and Me said...

clever answer! I say your cool teacher rep is intact.

Sandy said...

I can only imagine how important that question is to those students especially when I look back and remember how important music was to me at that time.....and since.

Good answer BTW.