Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It Is I Yaro, Suddenly Emergent In Today's Society With My iPod!

At my college, the students invariably carry with them a weaponry of electronics, cellular phones and portable laptop computers, even iPads which some of my students take notes on during class - a practice that I approve of, as it at least shows up quite brightly on the screens, and I can verify that they are not on the face book.

But I'm not keen on all that go with the devices, chief among them their cellular phone ring tones. Those are always not rings at all, of course, but a portion of a modern song. I find myself once a week or so asking them to please silence the devices, to mute them upon entering class, and to utilize the device's vibrate feature for the duration of class.

But at times the music comes through, and my young charges are nearly always apologetic. I've stopped making a fuss over the momentary intrusion.

On the contrary. A few weeks ago a song came on that I found I enjoyed quite a bit. The student scrambled through his pockets to find the device, but by that time I was already humming along to a tune that I later found out was by the Bruno Mars, entitled "Grenade." The relevant passage that I heard was: "I would catch a grenade for you. I would put my hand on the blade for you. I would jump in front of a train for you." It was actually a rather fervent and sincere protestation of love, and I, Yaro, am nothing if not one who values love.

So I made a remark that if all the ring tones in class were tuned to the Bruno Mars that I would let them leave their phones on during class. They of course knew this was hyperbole, but it brought us all a chuckle nonetheless.

The result, however, of my brush with the modern music revealed itself this morning, as a handful of my students presented me with a shiny and delightful (used, of course) 8 gigabyte iPod Touch, filled with songs that they imagined I might look favorably on. Of course the Bruno Mars is on there, and countless other groups and solo performers, all with 3-5 songs of their catalogs.

It was a very kind gesture on the part of my students. They even provided a new pair of the ear buds, so that I now have the appearance of a younger man, what with the white cords falling casually over my belly to the gleaming silver device in my pocket. I am sure I am the talk of the faculty lounge.

At this moment I am enjoying a delightful song by the Fergie that I like very much.




16 comments:

  1. OK, this is fabulous. Are you sure none of the tracks are laced with subliminal messages, though???

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  2. I am having a students-related bad couple of days, and when I saw Yaro's name, I immediately knew that whatever the story, it would make me smile. And I was not wrong.

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  3. Please, I've already had my heart broken with the tooth fairy, Easter bunny, and Santa. Don't anyone tell me that Yaro is NOT out there, grooving to "the Fergie."

    My heart could not take it.

    Rock on, brother Yaro.

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  4. @ ESL: I’m pretty sure Yaro is someone’s alter ego, a construction. But is that really so bad? When I was a kid, I made a conscious decision to believe in Santa, because Christmas was just more fun that way. I believe Yaro is out there for the same reason.

    On the other hand, the alternative, that Yaro doesn’t really exist in his CM morph, is also sort of fun. Somewhere out there, there is a thirty-something American woman with a hungry five-year-old and a two-body problem. She, like me, is inelegantly stumbling down the tenure track. And some days, she just has to channel Yaro. Some days, she is a gently rounded, balding, middle-aged man, with a kind smile and an Old World accent. I rather like that idea too.

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  5. Yaro: now you have to give them all A's. It would break my heart if you didn't just pass all of their little hearts and get someone to make a Lifetime Movie out of this. Too precious. And why aren't MY students this nice? They just sit and glare, even when I compliment a ringtone.

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  6. Yaro, dear colleague, please be careful with the electronics. The chronic overstimulation they produce can make people stupid, as casual observation of too many of our students so readily shows. I wouldn't want this to happen to you!

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  7. I recommend "Pumped-up kicks" by Foster the People if you really want something fun and catchy.

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  8. Hurray for the re-emergence of Yaro! I believe in Yaro! And I am glad that his students have given him an Ipod as a humble token in recognition of his manifest awesomeness.

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  9. Thank you, Yaro, for making my day!

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  10. Sometimes my students bring me comic strips about the things we study in class. It makes my week. Yay for Yaro and his new iPod.

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  11. This song is in rotation for what can be loosely described as a playlist on our local indie station (WTMD in the the Baltimore area).

    Even though I've never been so lucky as to score an iPod -preloaded at that- from adoring students, some of them are smart enough to recognize interesting, non-autotuned music when they hear it, and can turn you on to not the same old same old music.

    For those in face-to-face classrooms, discussions about the contents of digital music collections can fill in some of those pre-class moments for those who are uncomfortable with silence...

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  12. Oh, dear. I am considerably further out of touch with popular culture than Yaro. I'm not quite sure what to make of that. But, as always, I am glad to see him, and to hear that parts of his semester are going well.

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  13. Miserable adjunct...I play music videos from other countries before class...these are often great starting points for discussion and now several bands from the Land of Dictatoria have American fans.

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  14. For more catchy Bruno Mars, check out "Uptown Funk" with Mark Ronson:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPf0YbXqDm0

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