Some Weeks Are Good

I know I whine, but not always. Sometimes things work out. Some weeks are good. Last week was one of those. Classes went well. Real collegiality and collaboration took place. Respect was the watch word. Yes, it was a good week. In celebration, I’m printing the lyrics (rough draft) to one of my favorite songs in my new musical CAMPUS. This song is sung by the three “fairy godteachers.” Enjoy!

The Liberal Arts

Mrs. H (singing)
When I lived in Chicago.

Mrs. Mc and Mr. T.
You lived in Chicago?

Mrs. H
Back when I was a girl.
One thing I used to do

Mrs. Mc and Mr. T
What was it?

Mrs. H
I used to read.

Mr. T
Who would have guessed?

Mrs. H
I mean only read.
You’d think the teachers would agree
That reading was a great activity
But they would roll their eyes and give that look
When they called on me and my nose was in a book.
I read
The Three Musketeers in history.
I think Jane Eyre in PE
In Science it was Pride and Prejudice
Lord of the Rings I read in Math
I even got in trouble for reading
In English class.

Ms. M
Why was that?

Mrs. H.
I’m not sure of the cause
But I think it was
Because I was reading Judy Blume
Instead of Sylvia Plath

Mr. T
But what does this have to do
With signing up kids for class?
How do we make them move
Get up off their tiny…

Mrs. H
I’ll tell you.
And then there came a day
That wonderful, glorious day.

Mr. T
Here we go.

Mrs. H
When I knew
Without doubt
What learning was all about…
It was fifth grade and I was all alone
I had no friends to call my own.
Just only had my books
To keep me company
To keep away the looks
They gave to me.

Then we went to the art museum
The Chicago art museum
And walking down the staircase
I looked up and saw it fill the wall
A painting all in black

Ms. M and Mr. T
All in Black?

Mrs. H
Mainly black.
With a thin line of white running down the middle
And an orange line running down the side.
That was all

Then I walked down that massive stairway
Step by step
Moving closer
Moving nearer
To the truth.

Mr. T.
What truth?

Mrs. H.
There was something
In all the blackness
You couldn’t see it from afar
There was meaning
In the darkness
Shapes and form
And art

Ms. Mc
I love this little story
But I’m not sure what it means

Mr. T
That makes two of us
I just don’t see
What you’re trying to say.

Mrs. H
I’m trying to say
That after that day
I knew what school was all about
Giving me knowledge for my work
But teaching me so much more
Teaching me how to live and
What to live for.
Because you only know what truth is
When you get close enough to see
I learned that’s what the liberal arts
Could give to me.

The Liberal Arts
The Liberal Arts
Because you only know what truth is
When you get close enough to see.

Ms. Mc
Now I know what you mean
I’ve felt it too
I only cared about computing
When I was in school
And Chemistry was okay too
The calculations were somewhat challenging.

Then I went to a symphony with my class
Drug to hear a full orchestra on the lawn
Of an old mansion in downtown Tulsa.

Mr. T
Tulsa?

Ms. Mc
Downtown Tulsa on the lawn
With my 10th grade class
When I was just fifteen
I sat through some baroque
Didn’t really have a choice
And some other too straight forward
I can’t remember what it was
Then came The Moldau

Mr. T.
The what?

Mrs. H.
Bedrich Smetana’s The Moldau

Mr. T
Right.

Ms. Mc
I’d never heard anything like it before
It was a river
A river flowing through the music
Through my mind
Starting as a stream
Running through the strings
And I heard the poem
The musical poem
With structure and form

So I’m trying to say
That after that day
I knew that school was all about
Giving me knowledge for day to day
But teaching me so much more
Teaching me how to live and
What to live for.

Because you only know what truth is
When you sit still enough to hear
I learned that’s what the liberal arts
Could make so clear.

ALL
The Liberal Arts
The Liberal Arts
Because you only know what truth is
When you sit still enough to hear.

Mr. T
Well, you two can really get on my nerves
I just don’t like people it’s true,
But you’re really all right you two.
I see what you’re trying to say.
Because it happened to me one day.

Mrs H and Ms Mc.
It did?

Mr. T.
It did.
Actually it was one night.

Mrs. H.
Oh, no, not one night.

Mr. T
Well, yes there was a girl
A beautiful girl
With brown eyes and brown hair
Who wore lots of leather
If I remember right
In my acting class.
But she was different than the others
Didn’t want to be a star
She studied and studied
Wanted to be a doctor
But I didn’t care
I just wanted to get with her
Backstage.

Mr. H.
Oh, please.

Mr. T
Well, anyway,
She wanted to go on this field trip
I didn’t really want to go
To the planetarium in Pittsburgh.

Mrs. H.
I didn’t know you lived in Pittsburgh

Mr. T
There’s a lot you don’t know.

So I signed up for the field trip
Flirted with her on the bus.
But she wouldn’t sit next to me
In a darkened room with us
Boys. I guess she was right.
Not to sit next to us boys that night.

So I was bored out of my skull
As the show began to start.
Just about to go to sleep
Until it happened.

Mrs. H and Ms Mc
What happened?

Mr. T.
Out came the stars
In the center of the winter night
They said I could see a hunter.
A hunter I didn’t see
They said two stars mark his shoulders
And two stars mark his knees
Then they outlined his form
Standing with his arms upraised,
A hunter standing strong
I saw Orion.
I saw the Orion Nebula

I’m trying to say
That after that day
I knew what school was all about
Giving me knowledge for my work
But teaching me so much more
Teaching me how to live and
What to live for.

Because you only know what truth is
When someone points you to the light
I learned what liberal arts can do
That fine winter’s night.

ALL
The Liberal Arts
The Liberal Arts
Because you only know what truth is
When someone points you to the light

Mr. T
That’s the day I wanted to teach drama

Ms. Mc
That’s the day I wanted to teach math

Mrs. H
That’s the day I knew I could teach English

All
The day we finally understood
And knew we could

Teach the liberal arts

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s