Many students in college often struggle with the decision of what they want to do with their life. However, my story is a little different and for most of my life, I knew I wanted to become a teacher. The biggest decision I had to make was what kind of teacher I wanted to be. I was not sure if I wanted to go into history or english and could not figure out which I was more passionate about.
Music has always been a huge part of my life and I admire the way that artists tell stories through music and song. Just like many others, I have been guilty of not paying attention to lyrics but rather, the beat and rhythm of song and how catchy it may be. Have you ever heard the song “Escape” by Rupert Holmes? Yes, “the Piña Colada song!” One day while I was playing it, I decided to actually pay attention to the lyrics and could not believe that Holmes was telling a story throughout his song. How could I have missed that? So, if you think the song is just about the sweet and fruity drink like I once thought, I encourage you to check it out again and follow the story. Ever since that moment, I have found a love for song interpretations and the beauty of how artists convey messages throughout their songs. I appreciate how in class, we are constantly working with song lyrics and how we are allowed to develop our own interpretations and the meaning of the song. I believe it is necessary to understand that stories can be told in all different types of ways.
After reading Professor McCoy’s essay prompt, the poem “On Children” by Kahlil Gibran, was one that really stuck with me. In the poem, Gibran states, “You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts.” As I have discussed in one of my other blog posts, I believe that the education system and the family that we grow up with, have a huge influence on our beliefs and a lot of the times teachers and family force their views upon us., whether it be on purpose or accident. One of the most innocent examples I can think of, is my father being a Yankee fan. Since he was a yankee fan, it was mandatory for me to be a Yankee fan from such a young age. In the poem, Gibran emphasizes the idea that children have thoughts and ideas of their own. Since I hope to be a teacher in the near future, I will make sure to support and applaud my students for following their own beliefs and let them develop as people.
“Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd is another song to easily rock out to but when listening to the lyrics, it conveys a message about the corruption of the education system. It describes how the education is set up so that all students are taught to think the same way and individuality and creativity is discouraged. In the song that Roger Walters wrote, he states, ” we don’t need no education, we don’t need no thought control” meaning that teachers can sometimes assert their views and beliefs on their students, making it so there is no other way to think. Walters, also refers to the students as, “just another brick in the wall” meaning that they no longer stick out and what once made them different and unique, has been taken away from them essentially making them all the same. This song can be related back to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “The Danger of a Single Story”, since the students were only exposed to one perspective, which was their teacher’s.
The literary cannon plays a big role in today’s education system on how it influences and shapes the minds of young readers. In Ellie Fells article, “The Danger of a Single Story”, she states that the literary cannon “is fundamentally flawed; with its Eurocentric focus and its minimal inclusion of any work by anyone who isn’t a Western white male, it gives not only an inaccurate view of the huge wealth of literature that we have at our fingertips, but has issues of racism and sexism at its heart.” It is essential to acknowledge the power of the texts that we have our children and students read in school, since it also plays a huge role on what they believe and how they view the world.
I believe that college gives you opportunity to find what you truly value and believe. Although these blog posts can sometimes get a little boring and redundant, I think it is important to see the value in having the freedom to write without a prompt. It gives us the opportunity to write about what is meaningful to us, rather than what is meaningful to our professor.