Aug 12, 2010

Prank Calling (It Wasn't Me) and Other Adventures (That Weren't Mine)


How are you?

Uh huh.



That's great.

Me? Oh, you know. Same old, same old.

Flickr is being mean to me. It won't let me change our highlight (to the right there? right, the watermelon) and, really, if it was going to get stuck, it should have had the decency to get stuck two weeks ago when we had that awesome picture of the girl with flour in hair... you don't remember. No worries. I'd show you, but Flickr doesn't feel like sharing. Don't worry, though, you won't be stuck with watermelon forever. I'll figure it out. Or Katie will. Or a good fairy, maybe. I believe in them.

In more depressing photo new, Nadia sent me the pictures of my last first day of school, but somehow they weren't in the email and... Sorry. No pictures for you.

Totally shifting gears here, my completely genius English teacher (she doesn't read this, so I can say that without being a teacher's pet or any of that phrase's less attractive synonyms) gave as an assignment: write and share a song essay. What is a song essay? I'm so glad you asked.

(Side note: One of the things I love about blogging is that the conversation goes exactly the way I want it to. You ask all the right questions, respond at the right times and offer no criticism. Like right now, for example, you aren't telling me that this side note is getting way too long.)

A song essay is where you bring a song and an essay to class. The song evokes a memory of a person, place event or time. I've heard two days worth of these so far and there are a few stories I feel like sharing (because I'm more generous than flickr).

Maia and Kiana (more about her later), were sitting in the middle of a basketball court at night, alone in the darkness with a phone, a phonebook and an ipod. They were prank calling. They had decided that they would pick song and play it for the stranger at the other end, the owner of the the number they punched into their phone. They wanted to give that stranger an opportunity to reflect on his/her life through the power of music. The song they hit upon was I Am A Vampire. I've provided some of the lyrics for you:

I am a vampire
I am a vampire
I am a vampire
I am a vampire
I am a vampire
I am a vampire
I have lost my fangs
I am a vampire
I am a vampire
I am a vampire
I have lost my fangs
So I'm sad and I feel lonely so I cry and I'm very angry and I hate some garlic
So I'm so no more sad and
Ache yeah yeah

"Dave listened to the whole thing," Maia told us. "Weirdo." They called up four more people and preformed the same ritual.

Sya, who sits a few seats to my right said, "Wait, that was you guys?"

Kiana, Maia's calling buddy, got up and played My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion--you know, Titanic. She listened to the song with a morose expression on her face and then started her essay. "I was in the dentist's office," she began.

She went on to detail the day her braces were put on, her anxiety about them, her mental preparation for names she might have to put up with-- brace face, metal mouth, etc. As she sank into the dentist's chair My Heart Will Go On started playing above her. The deep throb of the music sank into her. She shut her eyes and envisioned the two doomed Titanic lovers going down with the boat and saw her social life sinking with it.


Marissa (not me, a different Marissa) had a more cheerful story (though Kiana's made me laugh more). I don't know Marissa well at all. She's been in my class since seventh grade and all I know about her is that her name is Marissa and she has pretty hair. Marissa's song was The Rocky Racoon by the Beatles. She told that, growing up, her dad would come in every night just when she was going to bed and strum his guitar while he sang her this song. Now he plays it for her little sisters as they go to sleep. Sometimes, when he is away, Marissa sings it for them.

Here is the thing that I love about these essays: they give me a chance to see my classmates as people. So often they walk out the door of AP Lit and disappear. Poof. Gone. In my head they all hang up their coats and hang out in the cosmos, possibly in a gaseous form, until class is once again in session and they solidify. They don't have dads, little sisters, friends, they don't prank call and they don't agonize over what a row of silver lining their teeth might do to their social life. In my head they're actors in my life, and not main characters either. They're extras.

Obviously I don't really think that. I know my classmates have parents. And TV sets and favorite books and goldfish (they probably don't kill their's within days) and hobbies. I know they have them. I just don't think about it. It's easy to not think about it, isn't it? Isn't it. Please say yes so that I fell less bratty.

The essays remind me that my classmates are always solid. Christina went to Canada, Holly makes friends through Disney music, Penn's friends tried to kidnap her on her seventeenth birthday. Tried being the operating word.

The best of these essays are not the ones that are well written but the ones that make the twenty people the author's been going to school with for five years sit there and think: I'd like to see the movie that is your life.


1 comment:

  1. Are you going to tell us about your music and essay?

    Your mom.

    Love ya.