I went to school with Mr. David Pope at that above-mentioned large, comprehensive university (whose fine marching band was recently involved in the Macy’s parade, but I digress…). I can’t say that I ever knew him that well, other than his exquisite bad-assery on the tenor saxophone, but reading this article makes me want to hang out with him more.
Some of my general ed requirements were not so great (note to Psych 101 professors — please do not stand like a statue and drone for 75 minutes in front of 350 people, especially when the class commences at 8am), but man, I still talk about things I learned in my Genetics & Evolution class, my Comp Lit class (thanks for introducing me to Julio Cortázar!), my Language & Diversity in the US class, my German classes (not actually required, but so worth it), my Physics of Music class, hell, even my Intro to Environmental Science class, which I found mostly boring, but I did learn to fall in love with nuthatches and how they walk down trees. Useful? Sure, if it makes me happy every time I go back to New Hampshire and smile fondly at the nuthatches. Affection is always useful.
A really nice set of vignettes from the “rank and file” members of the classical music field about what their “root” is in classical music. I don’t know who remembers that from “But I’m a Cheerleader” — how every queer person has that defining moment in their life that makes them queer, which they so nicely summed up as their “root.” Everyone has a root. I have always felt queerer for being a classical music person than for being queer.
File under: Things we all should thinking about more often, regardless of how we self-identify. Also, points for most concise formulation of the issue:
it makes more sense to describe gender as a lens through which all those things are given social meaning. If that doesn’t make sense, imagine walking into a bar and seeing a person with a flannel shirt, a buzz cut, a beer, a swagger, and a picture of their pet Rottweiler in their wallet. You don’t know how that person identifies, but interpreting them through a “male” lens produces a different social meaning than interpreting them through a “female” lens. The clothing, tastes, and behavioral affect haven’t changed, but they come across differently, in the same way that the same painting comes across differently if you think of it as being painted in the 20th century than if you think of it as being painted in the 16th.