teaching

why we do what we do

vinyl

I was reminded again of why we do what we do as instructors: our students never cease to surprise. Just when you’re ready to go, “What gives? Like seriously….(fill in the blank)” some of them manage to do something pretty incredible.

I told my “American Civilization to 1865” and “Bebop to Hip Hop: Young America” classes that we won’t have class next week as I will be in New York at a film festival. I didn’t expect to hear much back from the Am Civ students. Too many in the room, which is really an auditorium. But the “Bebop to Hip Hop” students where 36 meet on a good day?  “Can we meet anyway? We want to spin some records,” I heard back.

Music to my hears, pun intended.

What’s even cooler is watching an older student show a younger student (a freshman) how to determine where a song is on a record. My better half brought in two turntables and a fader so they could see how Kool Herc spun records back in the day. The younger student didn’t know to count the cuts in the vinyl and match them up with the songs printed on the album. I watched the light bulbs going off in her head as she’d only used Spotify to make a mix.

Why we do what we do.

PS I especially enjoyed asking the “Bebop to Hip Hop” students to identify the postwar story on photographs of Florida State’s quarterback and Notre Dame’s quarterback (I took the photos while recently watching those teams play). They mostly nailed it with Notre Dame image. They were a bit stumped with the Florida State one although one got very close by mentioning the football player’s Caribbean ancestry. I may share background on this prompt in a future blog post. For now, Roll Tide!

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