Anyone who is not awed and inspired to have the honor of being a teacher is a nitwit and should stop teaching immediately. Many do, they just forget to quit. From those ranks of toilers and lookers-on, a fortunate few become the “educational leaders” of both our teachers and our children.
Being fairly close to Presidents Day, it’s appropriate to point out that the kind of leadership some of us have been treated to is the same kind that discovered the new world.
You take Columbus, of whom we eye-ties are very proud, thank you very much. We’re so thankful to him that we forget that Columbus damn near died, then he found some folks running around in some banana leaves, and after claiming everything he found for some Queen, not his own one, either, sat there jabbering to that bunch of indiginous folks of indeterminant tribe thinking they were a big bunch of Indians.
Well, the resemblance was remarkable: Both the Caribs and the real-deal Indians had the same highly developed culture, architecture and custom, and they…wait. Scratch that. They had nothing in common! But they were both really strange-looking,so I guess we can forgive the mistake.
But back to leadership like Columbus, we need to remember that things didn’t turn out well for Don Columbo or his brothers, or, well, the guys that sailed with him, for that matter. They did manage to try and save the Indians, but the attention didn’t have the desired effect on them, either.
The whole story is a bit jumbled, on account of all the folks that were there are dead now. And that was a best case scenario. Ole Chris and cohort could’ve clipped a coastline and crashed, too.
So in some of our schools, these LLC’s (do I really need to?) are busy leading our schools down dark alleys and trying to lose us all like some big brother that doesn’t want you around and tries to ditch you so he can make out with some hottie someplace.
Mind you, I’m not saying that these folks are with some brazen hottie from a small town just the other side of the county line.* From the looks of some of them, I kind of doubt it.
But they’ve amazed me before.
I suspect some of them are not doing what they do on purpose, so I guess I try to forgive those folks in advance. All I’m saying is that leadership like that makes me dizzy and I want to sit down.
So I got to thinking about how the schools would be run if it was up to bluegrass musicians. Hehe. That made me feel some better, I can tell you! So now that I got that rant offen me chest, here’s a short list of some of the things you would notice if you walked into a school run like that:
First, there would be lots of little groups of people with instruments in every square inch of the building, completely eliminating vandalism. Oh–and these groups would be playing music and singing and being happy, except when the banjo was too loud or the mandolin player screwed up his break or..well, they’d be happpy most of the time, anyhow. And when they weren’t, everybody would gather ’round and eavesdrop, almost like a fight except nobody would get hurt and there would be no mess. Oh–and hardly any hard feelings.
Second, nobody that didn’t really love being there would last long. There is no shoulder colder than a turned bluegrass shoulder.** It’s the BG equivalent of being shunned. It’s like walking around a festival where nobody likes you or needs you because you add nothing to the sauce. Everybody else gets offered hot dogs and high-fives except you, so after awhile you just go home. That alone would save us about 30% of our bill right off the top, chasing off that stinky 10%.
Kids would love it, too. They don’t like slackers, sneaks or smackers either.
And last thing would be that the bluegrass leaders would be people who:
1. Knew how to play their instrument for real and not be all talk.
2. Knew how hard it is to learn.
3. Listened when others played or sang—really, really listened, from the bottom of their feet.
4. Had taste and knew when not to play.
5. Had judgment and knew who could really play and who was all blow and no go.
6. Understood that songs have a beginning, a middle and and a point.
7. Nurtured the players coming up and helped them.
8. Always thought of others first. Or at the very least a close second.
9. Never ever did something that would make the song sound bad.
10. Never, ever, ever forgot that music without listening is like breathing in without breathing out, like kissing somebody that isn’t kissing you back, like an afternoon watching NFL without a achingly cold Yuengling and crispy toothsome hot wings and friends and freedom and health and a night without a warm bed and someone you love to come home to.***
*A fine song title, by the way.
**That would be too, except it’s too hard to say fast. Try it. It’s like trying to sing “The Irish Washerwoman” at warp speed.
*** Is this an old Santana song by accident? If so, I say, “Yo, Carlos! Via con Dios!”