Tonight I was supposed to fly home to Bellingham from Portland, Oregon after a meeting, and my flight was cancelled. As the PNW enjoys early spring-like weather, the east coast has a boatload of snow that’s wreaking havoc on the airlines. I’m really okay with being trapped in Portland for another day. I get to attend the last day of a very cool meeting with very wonderful people. And I dig this city. All is almost cool.
Only that I’m missing my Humanities Lecture and this makes me feel awful for two reasons: I was looking forward to it so much and I’m letting down at least four teachers who thought they were getting a day off from the tyranny of lesson plan writing. Right?
You’ve been there. It’s so suh-weet when you have a guest speaker, and you get to run the class without doing the work. And I was oh so excited to teach. But I can’t get there. Maybe we’ll be able to reschedule. Maybe not. I really hate letting people down that I love, and I truly adore the teacher who asked me to do this lecture. Sadness.
Despair, meet my broken heart; I won’t get to teach.
But I’ll get to be at the second day of a meeting that is entirely amazing. Like so entirely awesome that I want to write about it, but I can’t. Yet.
Telling this story is not the realm of middle management. We don’t get to shout about the big news, but let me tell you, readers, I’m in on something so entirely cool that I’m in disbelief that I have the title “Institutional Leader.” I still look around like there is somebody else other than me in charge. Wow.
And well, let’s be clear. I’m nothing special. What the hell, airline, you suck. Why give me a meal voucher that I can’t buy alcohol with? I left an awesome little event with truly wonderful Manhattans and brilliant people only to pay for IPA out of pocket. An entire plane full of strangely wasted business people who are at the Holiday Inn drinking up their per diems. Just type. Don’t look up. Don’t engage. Don’t look. Just type. Ignore everything. Pretend like you’re working. Pretend.
But I will share with you, readers; I have been obsessed with the idea of cover songs and their connection to open learning movement. Ethos. Obsession. Motivation. Connection. Yes.
I mean, how many times have you been at a concert/live performance only to hear a cover and fall in love with the new version of the song? In the moment. Yet.
For instance, I love New Order, which only exists because of the demise of Joy Division.
Which then leads me to this beauty from Buffalo Tom, which I love the most.
I’m not sure how to connect the idea of open learning to the creation of cover songs, but I can’t seem to let the idea go. I just can’t fully accept that open learning is something new.
Like this mindset hasn’t already always existed among musicians that I love. Listen to the end of this song and tell me that Buffalo Tom doesn’t make that ending refrain all their own.
All their own, yet entirely somebody else’s. But it’s his. It’s mine because I love it. But I’m not the kind that likes to tell you.
Derivative yet entirely original. Just try to tell me that it’s nothing new.
I won’t believe you.
I’ve lost track of what’s true.