I wrote this piece as a magazine filler, but it went unpublished, so here it is. I still sort of like it.
Now I’ll show ‘em how to run an art department! Policy change number 1: Students can listen to music in lessons. Year 10 arrive and I inform them that they can bring some music in next lesson. Today we’ll listen to mine: Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust for Life’ End of the lesson: “That music was crap, sir.” No taste these kids.
Year 9 lesson: “Can we have some music on? I’ve got a tape”. The tape goes on. No idea what it is, but it’s not bad. “I can’t work with that rubbish on!” comes’ the chorus. I turn the tape down. “When that song’s finished can I put my tape on?” “What is it?” “Eminem”. “Isn’t that a sweet?”
Year 11: A tape is produced and the room fills with trance music – not bad and no one seems to mind it. Must be trendy. The lesson’s going okay until I turn to see two girls dancing in the corner. I ask sarcastically if they think this is a night club. The girls stop but forget handbags, which I promptly trip over.
Year 8 lesson: “Can we have personal stereo’s on instead sir?” I have heard so much rubbish this week, personal stereos sound like a great idea. I try to start the lesson but no-one can hear me. I go around the class pulling out ear pieces. The lesson gets under way when it occurs to me that the school rules ban personal stereos’. I stop the lesson and confiscate all personal stereos’.
Year 10 lesson: “Instead of listening to a tape, can I play my guitar sir?” The student produces an electric guitar and a friend carrying an amplifier. I start to wonder about my sanity in implementing this policy. I go home and relax to Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘The Sound of Silence’.