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    Entries in Glee (4)

    Friday
    May072010

    Kurt and Friends get their Glee on in the--what?--the library? Again?

    Seriously? Being a disruption in the library is the WORST thing a student can do at McKinley High?

    In case you missed it, in this week's episode, Kurt, Artie, Mercedes, Tina, and Brittany decide to dirty-up their reps a bit by causing "a scandal so extreme they can no longer be ignored." [starts at the 9:20 mark] But a disruption in the library?

    Okay, to be fair, Kurt did say, "I'm not talking about trying to check out a reference book." (Although that line was hysterical to us librarian-types). No, Kurt was talking about "full on chaos," "gettin' your Glee on in the stacks."

    And boy I was ready for that one. I turned up the volume on the TV, made sure the DVR was blowing, pulled my chair a little closer to the screen, and then, and then, and then . . . they--I can hardly say this--they "puff up the jam" with a spunky rendition of MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" (in parachute pants, no less)? [17:30 mark]

    Um, two things.

    First of all, even the 500-year-old librarian (we won't even talk about stereotypes, here), even SHE thought you guys were cool. News flash, kiddos: the keepers of the stacks have come a long way. You don't surprise us, or shock us, or even scare us. Occasionally, however, you do make us laugh.

    Second, let me just share with you some of the reasons MY students gave for visiting the library this semester alone. Disappointingly, none of them involved song, but at least one did involve getting down. In their own words, as they signed in at the circulation desk:

    Reason for Visit
    [tweetmeme source="JanetTrumble" only_single=false]

    Books, AHHH!!, Glaag, Nuke ( Enough said), Magic, To take over the world, Bored, Talking, Yo Mama, High School reject, Dueling, I'm God, To be popular with nerds, Because ____ is gay, Because I'm not homophobic, Home-chicken fries, Why do you care, Girlfriend shot me, Kill James Bond, Stuff, IDK, Nuke, Should there be one, Sex, Purple, and Dragons.


    I noticed too that we've had visits from Bob the Builder, Mr. Pajama Pants, Dead Boy, and some kid who repeatedly signs in as (µ)(∑)(--)(H).

    Let me just say this--as long as it doesn't involve weapons (including magical things) or food or, you know, that third to the last thing on the list, we're pretty much okay with it. Just, how about checking out a book every once in a while? And READING it. Oh, and if someone could produce a dragon, that would be pretty cool too.

    Sunday
    May022010

    Open letter to Erik Hedegaard, author of Rolling Stone cover article "Glee Goes Wild"

    Hi, Erik!

    I've been thinking a lot about your comment to my post re your now infamous article in the April 15, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone magazine (and I know you're going to read this letter because Google Alerts will alert you to this post, and, well, you're a bit of a fame monster like me and like to know 1. that people read your stuff, and 2. what they're saying about your stuff).

    [tweetmeme source="JanetTrumble" only_single=false]I totally get what you said about people thinking you were trying to be “clever” or “meta” with your line of questioning (although I'm not exactly sure what "meta" means in this context, but that's my failing, not yours). Anyway, I got to thinking how frustrating it is when you pour yourself into an article and people don't get it, or totally miss the point, or scan the article (or book) and then stuff the contents into their already preconceived box of prejudices. Because I've been there.

    A few years ago I wrote an article titled "A Teacher's Tale," which the Houston Chronicle published on the front page of their Diversions section under the much sexier title "There Comes a Time When Enough's Enough: Fed Up with Teaching." Ahem.

    Anyway, I love teaching and I love kids, but I'm not too crazy about all the other junk that comes with the job. At the time, I was newly widowed with two kids (5 and 7) and I was getting up at 3:30 in the morning to grade papers and plan just to try and please an increasingly-demanding system and nearly-impossible-to-please group of parents. I wrote the article in frustration as I prepared to walk away from the profession I loved. The article generated a flurry of letters to the editor, most of which left me scratching my head and wondering if they even read the article. I was called a number of rather unflattering names and told I obviously hated kids. One reader went so far as to say she was glad I didn't teach her children. (Yeah, me too.) A few applauded me for telling it how it is. It took me two and a half years to get over the trauma of that one school year and the fallout from that one article.

    Another article I wrote for the Chronicle questioned the benefits of increasing the speed limit from 55 mph to 70 on the Interstates leading into Houston. Kind of a cost/benefit analysis. I said something like the time it took to order a non-fat double venti latte with a shot of caramel in a double cup and a slice of zucchini bread was roughly equivalent to the amount of time saved driving from the outer suburbs where I live into Houston at the increased speed. Someone called me a latte-drinking idiot, or something like that, which wasn't very nice, and totally missed the point. (Sir, did you even read the article?)

    I can't even post on my Facebook page without someone twisting my words or my intentions. When a friend posted on my wall and asked about GLBTQ lit for her library, I told her I had purchased some and would send her a list. I was accused of trying to teach "alternative lifestyles" to our students. Really? Gay characters = indoctrination?

    This has all got me thinking about the lines to the hit Dixie Chicks song "Not Ready to Make Nice":

    I know you said
    Can't you just get over it
    It turned my whole world around
    And I kinda like it.

    So I guess my point is, if we write, we're gonna piss someone off. I can live with that. And if you want to call me a latte-drinking, Dixie-Chick-loving idiot, well, that's okay too. Writing is not for the thin-skinned or the feint of heart.So bring it. You won't hurt my feelings (too much).

    Thanks again for the comment, Erik. It's nice to get emails, but it's better to get comments so, you know, others know someone's reading your stuff too!

    Tuesday
    Apr272010

    GLEE kids trash the library and librarians everywhere gasp!

    In last week's episode of Glee, Rachel and Finn work through their feelings for each other in typical Glee fashion--in song, in the choir room, in the school hallways, and in the--crap--the library! And because they're teens and angry and passionate and don't think beyond their hormones, not only do they NOT use their library voices, but they (well, technically, Finn) yank books off the library shelves as they cavort through the stacks wailing "Open your heart to me." And librarians everywhere are stunned! [Note: the song starts at about the 15:00 mark.]

    Okay, maybe that's overstating the response just a bit, but that stuff--knocking over books--does happen, just without, you know, the song.

    [tweetmeme source="JanetTrumble" only_single=false]

    So they're singing, and Finn is yanking out books and looking oh so adorable as he does it, and all I can think is, OOOOOO, Jill (my assistant) would be SO MAD. Because stuff like that happens in our junior high library all the time. Kids knock over displays (accidentally-on-purpose, of course), they pull out books and shove them back wherever, they leave their candy wrappers and broken pencils and silly love notes and stacks of bookmarks (what part of "Take One" do you not understand) on the floor, on the shelves, and stuffed between the pages of books.

    It's not that they're mad at us and trying to get back at us or even being particularly disrespectful. They're just kids (junior high kids, which are, kinda, the worst kind of kids).

    We could get mad, and we could fuss, and we could follow them around, and we could impose a lot of restrictions on library use (and sometimes we do some of those things, and sometimes when we've really had enough, we do them all), but mostly we just right the books and put everything back where it belongs and pick up the trash and smile, because, really, the kids come because they love the library. And we love them loving the library.

    I just wish they'd sing when they're making a mess.

    Saturday
    Apr102010

    Rolling Stone contributing editor Erik Hedegaard (Glee Gone Wild) should write a YA novel. Seriously!

    I am wild about Erik Hedegaard's cover article in the April 15, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone magazine. I don't always pay attention to who writes the articles I read, but this time . . .

    Hedegaard takes us along on his interviews with Glee cast members Lea Michele (Rachel), Cory Monteith (Finn), Dianna Agron (Quinn), Jane Lynch (Sue Sylvester), and Chris Colfer (Kurt) as he pleas with them to entertain him. Some do, some don't. Michele turns her tongue into a bathtub ("baffling"). Monteith bangs out a drum solo on overturned glasses ("disappointing, but we let it go"). Agron roars like a tiger ("It's all very lame. We feel kind of snookered"). Lynch dismisses his request in true Sue Sylvester style: "I am not your monkey."

    He prods them with sophomoric questions intended, he insists, to "loosen them up": Do you pee in the shower? Have you ever had a one-night stand? How often do you change your underwear? What do you wear to bed? And then he gets miffed when they refuse to play along. And that is the BEST part of the interview. Erik whines and complains his way through the article. When Monteith insists he's just being himself now, Erik calls his response "a great big load of complete and utter Glee-worthy nonsense." He calls Agron "an A-plus prissy pie." When Lynch asks why he's asking "such stupid questions." "Do you get off on that?" Hedegaard is "stung," calling her response a "total misreading of our intentions." Right.

    Later, on the set, the cast members, miffed at his unwelcomed line of questioning, ignore him. "We are feeling incredibly awkward and uncomfortable," Hedegaard says, much like the high-schoolers the Glee members portray. "It really sucks." In the end, Hedegaard regrets his line of questioning. "Right now, all we really want is to be liked."

    I did a little digging. Apparently, this line of questioning is vintage Hedegaard. The Glee kids aren't the only ones to walk away from a Hedegaard interview with their proverbial feathers ruffled. He's kinda rude and childish. But oh what fun! Why isn't this man writing YA?

    In his blog It Takes All Kinds, Hedegaard reflects on past interviews for Rolling Stone. Some subjects loved their pieces. Others, not so much (insert giggle here).

    [tweetmeme source="JanetTrumble" only_single=false]