Slow Education

I was an art minor in college. Sometimes I really miss painting, but not that class. Specifically the teacher. She would encourage us to bring in music, it was a bore constantly listening to the easy-listening generic Top 40 station someone would eventually settle upon. One day I bring in the Silver Jews and Daniel Johnston. I put the Silver Jews's album Bright Flight on. The teacher was hardly ever in the classroom. A couple songs into the album she comes back in and wonders what we are listening to, a raised eyebrow and  a unsettling look on her face. The next week, she brings in U2. It was at that point I questioned her validity as the director of the art program. Perhaps it was my stupid assumption that art students were supposed to have good taste or at least SOME interest in music not provided by the mass media.

With that in mind, I bought the new issue of Vogue with Lady Gaga on the cover last week at the grocery. I was surprised to notice they started selling the magazine, wondering why anyone from this neck of the woods would be interested in $2,000 pants. The lady cashier looked at the cover and commented on the lady's pink hair and bright red lipstick, and the dress that needs work. The bag boy agreed, perplexed by this other life form. It was endearing. And also expected.


Since January, we have been helping low-income families with their taxes. The best part of this has been getting to know the people. I almost started floating when a elderly widowed woman mentioned how she moved here several years ago because she met someone. Her smile melted the wrinkles on her lively face, and it felt like all the good in the world was in that room. Everyone who has come in has a different story, half the people weren't actually from West Virginia. In fact, I finally met someone from Delaware! I admire these people because of their willingness to talk about their lives, which might come across as mundane and trivial to others. Their stories, their jobs...somehow they are comforting. They are not ashamed. This is their environment and it's fascinating to see how that has shaped them.




Currently Reading:  Life  by  Keith Richards


Album of the Week:  The Roots  Phrenology

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