Sunday, May 21, 2006

Ah, home...

We're back from Memphis, where we visited the museum of Rock& Soul on Beale Street.

(This is mr. delagar's doing. Music is not my thing. I am an musical idiot, due to having been musically deprived as a child. We didn't even own a radio, much less a record player, until I was sixteen or seventeen, and I didn't discover music, at all, until I was in my early twenties, and yes, I'm serious. I still know nothing about it -- to the utter despair of mr. delagar, who composes music and is a music junkie.)

But in ANY case:

If you happen to be in Memphis, the Museum of Rock& Soul is worth the trip, though pricey -- nine dollars a pop. Excellent, though, with little headsets that hook you into music for every step of the museum, and jukeboxes throughout the museum, keyed to these headsets, so you can listen to the music for each era, and famous players guitars, and bits of movies, giving historical background, the roots of rock and soul, it was like being inside the History Channel, only way cooler.

Where was I?

Oh, right: leading to this:

It ends with the Civil Rights Movement, with Martin Luther King Jr getting shot in Memphis during the Sanitation Workers Strike -- that's the last exhibit, how he had asked that saxophone player to play for him, right before he was shot -- and that brings me to this*,

After 34 years of college teaching, I thought I had heard just about every imaginable student complaint. Last week, however, a freshman in my 300-seat US History Since 1865 course came in to discuss her exam with one of the graders and proceeded to work herself into a semi-hissy over the fact that we had spent four class periods(one of them consisting of a visit from Taylor Branch) discussing the civil rights movement.

“I don’t know where he’s getting all of this,” she complained,”we never discussed any of this in high school.” One might have let the matter rest here as simply an example of a high school history teacher’s sins of omission being visited on the hapless old history prof. had the student not informed the TA in an indignant postcript, ” I’m not a Democrat! I don’t think I should have to listen to this stuff!”

Because, see, this was what I liked about the Museum of Rock & Soul, how it tied everything together for me -- showed me how all these bits of history and life came together and reacted and this part of society did that to that part of society and this happened and this part made that part of society do that to that part and man, it was just great.

This young bint -- she wants none of that. Sne wants to know nothing about what happened in her world -- or what might happen; or what could happen; or what any of it could mean.

So -- to echo Diane, over at Dees Diversion ( -- what is she doing at a university?

*[via PZ's site(]


zelda1 said...

Memphis is cool, they have rich history, great music, good food, and yet in some places there are still pieces of slave auction places. The last time that I was there, my children were quite young and we were taken on one of those cheap tours and the guide took us to see where they auctioned off slaves. I was silent, my children were too, but the rest of the people just talked on and on about nothing. To me, that was a moment, like the moment you see something that happened so long ago and was wrong and you need to pay respect to those who were wronged. Did you get any of that good ole barbeque?

delagar said...

We did not eat BBQ, I regret to say. mr. delagar is still on that pork thing. We ate some really bad food at a chain restaurant. Ick.