Friday, October 1, 2010

look out, you rock-and-rollers

As primary school teachers go, I'm a bit of a rock-and-roller, at least in the musical sense. This is proving helpful at the moment: due to all kinds of factors, our school district is experiencing flash flooding and children are pouring into my school like heavy beautiful raindrops. We keep adding teachers, but not as one-whole-teacher-at-a-time; as a part-timer, I'm one of the folks whose schedule and teaching assignments keep getting "adjusted." This week (just when I was hoping to settle into a rhythm with my 2nd and 1st grade reading classes), instead I'm moving out of one classroom and into another, and losing my 2nd grade class and gaining a Kindergarten class instead!

How handy, at times like these, to log into Rhapsody on my classroom computer and play--at some volume--uplifting, pertinent songs like this 1971 classic by David Bowie (during my prep time, not class time. We listen to other rock-and-roll then). As in all good poems or lyrics, there's some ambiguity here, some interpretation demanded of us, the reader/listeners.

Culturally, I'm not as much of a rock-and-roller, if that implies going raucously, carelessly with the flow. Being a teacher is perfect for those of us who like routine, who "nest" into their classrooms like mamapapabirds, but who enjoy the surprises and challenges that arrive with each child each morning. However, I did appreciate being asked to help problem-solve on all these changes because of my ability to think outside the box. (Little do most people know how far outside of the box I'm willing to go!)

My only other comment is that I have never intentionally spit on any children.


Changes

I still don't know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
Every time I thought I'd got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I've never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I'm much too fast to take that test

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Don't want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can't trace time

I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence and
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're going through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Don't tell them to grow up and out of it
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Where's your shame?
You've left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can't trace time

Strange fascination, fascinating me
Ah, changes are taking
the pace I'm going through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Oh, look out you rock 'n rollers
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Pretty soon you're gonna get a little older
Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can't trace time

~ David Bowie

Dip into Poetry Friday's stream of warm impermanence with Jen at Biblio File.

7 comments:

  1. At least the rain seems to have stopped for a few days... I love this song, but for some reason can never remember that it's by Bowie.

    ReplyDelete
  2. is it me, or were the 70s just full of people writing intelligent lyrics for songs? i feel like an old man saying that, but so be it. thanks for the share. i'm be singing the song in my head all day (not a bad thing).

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is an old favorite of mine. Thanks for sharing it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi, Heidi. This was one of the songs that brought me to Rock N Roll. Absolutely love it. Good luck with your teaching adventures, friend!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, yeah. Ch-ch-ch-changes! Gotta go with the flow, or the flood, as it were...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Having your teaching assignments change sounds hard to me, Heidi! I hope things settle down for you.
    One of my favorite David Bowie songs is Putting Out Fire from Cat People. Do you know it?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for sharing this, Heidi! What a great attitude you have. Glad you're not spitting on children, either as a statement or while singing "Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!"

    When I taught 8th-grade, I loved incorporating lyrics into classroom lessons/projects. We'd listen to "Moon Over Bourbon Street" by Sting, which was inspired by Interview with the Vampire. And "Wuthering Heights," by Kate Bush. And the Gilligan's Island theme song, which kids would rewrite with new lyrics to summarize an epic tale of a book they read...Ah, good memories!

    ReplyDelete