BY Paul Gaszak, English Faculty
On Tuesday night, I had the pleasure to kick-off the new quarter with my BPS in Organizational Writing SUPERSTARS: Kayla, Myranda, Blake, and Heather. The class is Advanced Creative Writing.
(Timeout: I get to teach my favorite subject and with a group of students as amazing as them? And I get paid to do this stuff? I must be doing something right….)
During class, we did an activity – myself included – in which we all went up to the whiteboard and started writing our favorite movies, TV shows, books, stories, and poems. The ultimate goal was to identify what types of creative writing we enjoy watching/reading so that we can identify what types of creative writing we may enjoy creating.
During our brainstorming, Kayla asked me if we should write down songs as well. I said no. My thinking was that adding music would make the lists too big and cumbersome. Plus, we won’t be writing music in this class, so I wanted to stick to examples that directly relate to the types of writing we’ll be doing.
But now, two days later, I realize I made the wrong call. (Which means you were right, Kayla. Score one point for you.)
I realized how right Kayla was while driving to work this morning listening to a song I’ve been addicted to for days: “Happy” by C2C.
This song (along with the entire album Tetra by C2c) has been my go-to “happy” music for the past week. After all, as the song says, “You’ll never feel happy until you try,” and this song makes trying easy.
(Side note: How gutsy is it to call a song “Happy”? What if “Happy” didn’t make me happy? How often does a song succeed in having a title that is the reality the music is about to create for you? For example, I’ve never listened to Jay-Z and then instantly had a quantifiable 99 Problems, and even if I did, one of them would always be about a girl.)
When making my list on the whiteboard with the rest of class on Tuesday, I realized that almost all of my items are either A) happy and humorous or B) intellectual and emotional. And my absolute favorite movies and books combine all of those traits.
As I listened to “Happy” today, the obvious point dawned on me that my favorite music follows that same pattern. Music either puts me squarely inside my own head and heart, or it is my escape to fun and happiness.
Again, the whole point of this whiteboard exercise was to discover what type of creative writing we may want to do. For myself, having done plenty of creative writing, I already know that my whiteboard list reflects my own writing.
Since my tastes in music provide that same reflection, I really should have had the class listing their favorite music as well. It’s as much of a piece of the puzzle as any other item they were listing. Sure, we may not be writing music in class, but we were trying to discover what’s inside of us that we may want to express.
So, I was wrong. My writers were correct. Once again, they’ve proven to be smarter than me, but that’s a good thing.
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PS: If you liked “Happy” then check out some more by C2C. Here are two more of my favorites: