I emailed the students in my “American Civilization to 1865” survey class tonight. I told them that I feel like a child the night before Christmas. The deadline for their Vinyl Record essays, traditional and video, is tomorrow. I’ve peeked into Blackboard to see some of them.
I was shocked to see how some of them made the most amazing connections between long-held ideas about what it means to be “American” and music by artists as varied as Aretha Franklin and Merle Haggard. And yet some students hesitated to even say as much.
I sent an email to them with a gentle nudge.
I want them to do well.
Technically, this project is due at 5 pm tomorrow. But I will give them until 11:59pm if they want to do a rewrite. I’ve created a new holder on Blackboard for revisions. Let’s hope they take the cue. As one dance instructor once told me when I made my way across the floor in a less than elegant fashion, but made it just the same: “Getting there.”
PS (I really like how one student made nice connections between Aretha Franklin, slavery and the Civil Rights movement. She homed in on the word “freedom” as revealed in Franklin’s 1968 hit “Think.” See it below in this YouTube excerpt from “The Blues Brothers.”