Friday, January 2, 2009

A Few Small Things

A few days ago, I heard an interview on NPR with Steve Earle and his son Justin Townes Earle, who has also gone into the music business. It's a great interview about children following (or rebelling against) the family tradition. Here are two things that stick:

Justin Townes Earle mentions that when he first tried to write songs as a young man, he realized that he didn't have anything to say. When he asked his father what to do about it, Steve Earle simply said, "Read." The younger Earle reports that this made all the difference. As an English comp teacher at a community college, I love this. Too many of my students idolize popular musicians without knowing what goes on behind the music/video.

At the end of the interview, as the NPR commentator is signing off, you hear Steve Earle say "Justin, call your grandmother, please." It's a very parental moment. Then, Justin Townes Earle responds, "I will. I'll call her this afternoon," with just a hint of the child scolded in his voice.


The trouble with a break from my school work:

I have time to catch up on everything on my desk at home, which means lots of slips of paper with titles and authors listed. While I'm reading through all the books & journals that have piled up over the last four months, I end up ordering more!

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