Friday, April 20, 2007

"Johnny Cash Says It All" Friday Random 10

This morning, the art teacher and I were discussing the week and we came to the conclusion that it was "unsettling."

Wednesday morning, Corey, a student I hadn't seen in my Spanish class in a couple of weeks, showed up. He stayed only long enough to talk to each of his teachers, myself included, and give us each a hug. Then he left.

Later in the day, a Chicago policeman stopped by, looking for Corey.

Yesterday, we found out why. Apparently, Corey's girlfriend had been having a relationship with another guy. The police believe Corey killed this guy Wednesday morning, shortly before he came to school.

It was unsettling, particularly given what happened in Virginia this week.

Corey was unlike a lot of the young men in my school. He was friendly-- he always had a smile and a greeting. There didn't seem to be the coiled menace a lot of the guys here have acquired on the street (or in jail). He made a terrible decision, and now two lives are gone-- his and the other guy's.

I'd had a post ready for today about a kid bringing a gun to my son's school three years ago. I decided to wait a few more days to post it.

And besides, Johnny Cash said it all right away in my random shuffle.

1. Don't Take Your Guns To Town- Johnny Cash
2. You Shook Me- Led Zeppelin
3. Wedding Bell Blues- Laura Nyro
4. I Will Survive- Gloria Gaynor
5. Searchin' For a Soldier's Grave- Bob Dylan
6. Baby I Love Your Way- Lisa Bonet (from High Fidelity)
7. 20th Century Man- The Kinks
8. Jersey Girl- Bruce Springsteen
9. Friction- Television
10. Pretty Persuasion- REM

Notes:
1. Enough said.
2. From that great first album.
3.. The Fifth Dimension had a hit with this song, and another Laura Nyro song, "Stoned Soul Picnic." I like the cover, but Ms. Nyro's original is my favorite. BTW, Laura Nyro also wrote "Stoney End," a Barbara Streisand hit.
4. I didn't care for this song until I heard the Communards' cover (Jimmy Sommerville's band after The Bronski Beat). I've got a funny story involving an old boss and this song that I'll post about sometime.
5. I have no idea how this song got on my itunes-- probably d/l'ed it while looking for another song. It's live, from October of 2001, according to my ipod.
6. Another song that I appreciated more after hearing a cover-- Peter Frampton originally did it on his "Frampton Comes Alive" record, which was issued to every American teenager in 1976. This was from High Fidelity, one of my favorite movies. Lisa Bonet can't hold a tune in a bag, but she sured looked good singing it.
7. "You keep all your smart modern writers/Give me William Shakespeare."
8. Springsteen covering Tom Waits-- I mean, how cool is that?
9. Monty Python had the killer joke-- this song's got the killer riff.
10. "Goddamn your confusion/She's got pretty persuasion."

17 comments:

lulu said...

Pretty Persuasion might be my all-time favorite REM song.

GETkristiLOVE said...

God, that's awful. You deal with some rough situations.

The other song from Cash would be a'propro too - Folsom Prison Blues.

Bats in the Belfry said...

Too bad you weren't a female teacher. One of our fellow teachers got a kiss on the top of her head and I on the cheek. It was was pretty numbing yesterday. Not sure what to think. That brings our total to 3 students we will never see again. One murdered the other to will be serving hard time. So sad. All 3 I liked very much too. They were smarter than the average student on current events and politics too.

cheer34 said...

Sad.

Beth said...

Eerie how your playlist fits into this week's mood ...

Skylers Dad said...

That is quite the story, what a wide range of emotion between giving out hugs and killing another person.

Wow.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

How terrible. It must be so hard to deal with some of the situations that your students become involved in.

busterp said...

Strange, just talking to a student one day and the next he's wanted. I agree. What a waste.

Good songs. I really liked REM for awhile. I don't know what happened - I think they got too whiney for me.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Very senseless indeed, two lives lost. An ex-student/parolee of mine argued with a clerk in a 7-Eleven. He went home to get a gun and came back and shot the clerk. And for what? The price of a burrito.

sv said...

Yesterday (Thursday), I was driving by the high school a few blocks from my house. The Po-Po was directing traffic in front while a covered stretcher made its way toward a fire truck in front of a crowd of hundreds, many taking pictures with their cellphones.

After reading about VA Tech and living only 20 miles from Columbine High school, my mind jumped to the worst conclusion. But in white bread Boulder, I should have known better. It was a staged car wreck to show the Lexus driving HS students what a real car wreck might look like (without the blood).

This place is so peasceful I often forget what danger really is. The four security guards in my high school carried sidearms and I alwas felt it was for their safety, not mine. Yet I never felt unsafe there. The Superman complex didn't leave me 'till my mid-30's, when I discovered that I'm highly breakable.

I'm deeply saddened by the loss of life and innocense your story conveyed. However unfortunate, it keeps me grounded in the real world.

Dale said...

One of those days and one of those posts Johnny Yen.

Johnny Cash showed up from the boxed set on my list, Pretty Persuasion is a great tune and Frampton was standard issue to Canadian kids too.

Your post was pretty unsettling too for obvious reasons. What an awful waste.

Yas said...

sometimes it breaks my heart to know that the ones with all the chances in the world blow it on one hot emotion.

but hey... we don't know. only him... that guy and god. or goddess. or whatever.

Johnny Cash breaks my heart too..

Johnny Yen said...

Lu-
It is one of their great ones, isn't it? That whole Reckoning album just knocks my socks of whenever I hear it.

Kristi-
Yeah, it's worn me down a little. This will definitely be my last year teaching.

Heh- lots of good prison songs from Mr. Cash, aren't there?

Bats-
Yeah, that must have been special.

It's been a rough year. Trial by fire, for sure.

Cheer34-
It is. There have been good moments too this year.

Beth-
I had the same thought!

Skyler's Dad-
Thinking back, I think he was in shock. He's not a mean or violent person. I think he deeply regretted it. He'll be paying for it for a long time.

Barbara-
It is, but there are a handful whose lives have been changed immensely for the better by being able to get their high school diploma. That has been gratifying.

Busterp-
It was a waste. I really thought he'd be one of the ones to get out of there and do something with his life.

I tend toward their older stuff myself, as well.

JR-
I came to realize what a conflicting set of values that these kids operate under. On the street, it's imperative that they not lose face. One of the things I figured out early was that to get my way (i.e. get them learning) was to develop a teaching style in which I was telling them what to do without making it look like I was.

SV-
It's awful how we've come to expect the worst.

Armed guards? My god, we don't even have them in our school! Your school must have been rough!

My superman complex left me in the Illinois Masonic Hospital Emergency Room one summer night in 1988 when I was 27, getting fixed up after taking a spill on a motorcycle I was a passenger on. That's subject for a post soon. It'll be entitled "The Stupidest Thing I've Ever Done."

Dale-
Thanks! I got up this morning, made my kids breakfast and thanked my lucky stars for all the good things in my life-- them, wife, friends, bloggers and all.

That's funny that Elvis' Armed Forces album showed up on both yours' and Bubs' Random Ten. A few songs after mine, Oliver's Army came up as well! Synchronicity in the Ipods!

Yas-
Absolutely. There's a part of me that wishes I could have known what the hell he was thinking-- and part of me that doesn't want to go to that place.

Mob said...

I can't imagine what educators go through when things like that happen.

I was born too late to understand the Frampton phenomenon, but Lisa was pretty cute in that film.

What ever happened to her, anyway?

Erik Donald France said...

Jesus, that's horrible. I'm sorry, man. It's like there's an uptick in gun violence. It's scary how people can become so emotionally dependent and then take it out with a gun if the attachment is threatened. Guns make it so easy. My heart goes out to you and everyone involved.

Danny Tagalog said...

I can't quite imagine how this must feel - having lived in countries with strict gun laws. Hope you're OK...

Bubs said...

A sad and scary story, and it segues right into a great song list. Whew. What a week.

I suppose teaching in Chicago is like being a youth officer--every once in a while you start thinking of all the kids you've dealt with over the years who end up dead. Best not to spend too much time on that thought.