Tuesday, October 13, 2009


From the ages of 5-18, I was a devoted pianist. Although I primarily played classical music, I also was interested in popular music, and would often ask my piano teacher to find sheet music for particular songs. This sometimes resulted in misunderstandings, as in the following account.

One day I asked my teacher to find me the music for the song Cherish. I did not specify the artist, but I was thinking of this.*

Not this.

I remember being very disappointed at receiving The Association's version, but we got it worked out eventually.

*In retrospect, this video of Madonna's seems quite sweet and innocent, especially in contrast to other videos** released during that time period. Also, I love how the person who posted this video comments that it's from the 1989 "Like a Player" album. Nice!
**We didn't have MTV until I was 16, so I had to catch glimpses of videos at my neighbor's house. Since I blushed just listening to the lyrics of Simon and Garfunkel's Cecilia, it shouldn't surprise anyone that these videos made me decidedly uncomfortable.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Breathe, Practicing Idealist, Breathe

On Friday (after my students' exam had begun) -
Student: "Dear professor - I am home sick. Can I take the exam on Monday?"
Me: "Yes. Let me know when you would like to take it. You can take it any time between 11 and 4."

On Saturday - NOTHING

On Sunday - NOTHING

On Monday during class -
Student: "Can I take the exam at 4:00?"
Me: "Yes."

On Monday at 4:30 -
Me: "Dear Student, you are now past the time you said you would be here to take the exam. You MUST make it up on Wednesday between 11 and 4, or I will not allow you to make it up."

On Tuesday - NOTHING

Today, after failing to show up for class -
Student: "I'm sorry I wasn't in class. Can I take the test at 4?"
Me: "Yes, but I'm leaving at 5:00."

Today at 4:30 -
Student: "I'm here to take the test. I'll take it until you have to leave at 5:00."
Me: "No, I'll give you full time to take the exam, but we need to talk when you're finished."