Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Poetry Corner: George Roger Waters

Yeah, again, I hear you ask, “Who?”

Tadpole and I have at least a little bit reconciled from our falling-out over the weekend. For one thing, even though teenagers and their parents are supposed to disagree over music, with neither understanding the other’s music, that’s not the case here. I’ve discovered that I like a lot of what he listens to, such as Green Day, Audioslave, Apocalyptica, Lawsuit, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Meanwhile, he likes the Scorpions, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd.

Right now, I believe about half of what he has on his iPod is Pink Floyd. When I graduated from high school, the album The Wall had just come out; our high school graduating class voted “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2” to be the class song. It might seem ironic that a high school class that boasted 36 National Merit finalists (among 410 graduating seniors) should select a song that starts “We don’t need no education” as its class song. But if you look at the lyrics, you can see that what’s being protested isn’t really education; it’s the kind of so-called education that stifles critical thinking and creativity.

I try to encourage independent thinking in my students. Sure, at the level I’m working with, it’s important to deal with the basics, such as general organization of an essay, but I find the more advanced habits of thinking are also useful. If my students have an argument they care about and have put a lot of thought into, they write much better essays. Even the grammar becomes better, because they’re working on making their arguments rather than out-thinking themselves into changing a correct construction into something that just isn’t right.

Thanks to sing365.com for the lyrics.

Another Brick in the Wall Part 2
George Roger Waters

When we grew up and went to school, there were certain teachers who would hurt the children anyway they could
by pouring their derision upon anything we did
exposing any weakness however carefully hidden by the kids.

*You, Yes You, Stand Still Laddie!*

But in the town it was well known
When they got home at night their fat and psychopathic wives
Would thrash them within inches of their lives!

We don't need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teacher! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it's just another brick in the wall.
All in all you're just another brick in the wall.

(A bunch of kids singing) We don't need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teacher! Leave us kids alone!
All in all it's just another brick in the wall.
All in all you're just another brick in the wall.

Spoken:
"Wrong, Guess again!
Wrong, Guess again!
If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding.
How can you have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?
You! Yes, you behind the bikesheds, stand still laddie!"

[Sound of many TV's coming on, all on different channels]
"The Bulls are already out there"
Pink: "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrgh!"
"This Roman Meal bakery thought you'd like to know."

(A bunch of kids singing) We don't need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teacher! Leave us kids alone!
All in all it's just another brick in the wall.
All in all you're just another brick in the wall.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Carol Anne said...

Footnote: I've just discovered Mark Doyle on Tadpole's iPod, and I'm hooked. The music is hard to describe -- it's modern and at the same time very rich instrumentally, and hugely thought-provoking. Much like Pink Floyd, but newer.

Thu May 03, 01:59:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Snowcuts said...

I was singing this song to my kids, "We don't need no education . . ." and my husband said, in a shocked voice, "How can you sing that? You, a teacher?" At the time, I was a little embarrassed, and stopped singing. Still we instilled our attitude -- that some types of teaching such as brain washing just isn't good; search for the real learning -- in our kids. Perhaps it was unfortunate. Both our kids had a disdain for the education they encountered in public school and dropped out of high school (both after going through their freshman year a second time and still with failing grades.)
Connie

Thu May 03, 06:43:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

I wonder whether some of the now-proliferating charter schools might be doing a better job for some students. Last fall, I had a couple of concurrent-enrollment students from one of the charter schools in my English 100 class, and they were wonderfully mature critical thinkers. Both of their portfolios got clear passes.

Thu May 03, 09:49:00 PM MDT  

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