As I noted in yesterday’s blog post, today was my first day of classes for the semester.
The course I am teaching is a freshmen-level, Intro to Business course. I typically start each class by sharing and discussing a few articles from that day’s Wall Street Journal. Since this was our first day together, I had a few other things to discuss first, but I eventually got to the Wall Street Journal.
I told them that they should think of the WSJ as a second textbook for the course, and that one of my goals is to make reading the WSJ part of their daily habit. I also said that I realize they may be thinking that at 18 years old, they may not find much of interest in the WSJ. I then I try to show examples of articles that may be of interest to them.
One of the articles in today’s Journal was “Look Out Boomers: The Next Generation of Arena Stars Is Coming“, which noted that while there are still some older acts like The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen that may currently dominate playing at larger arenas, there are some up-and-coming acts that may be primed to replace those vintage performers. I assumed that many of my students are music fans, so they would find this article appealing.
The photo shown above accompanied the article, and I could not identify any of the performers from the image. However, the image did come with the following caption:
“Newer music acts are playing to huge crowds. The fresh crop of touring stars includes (from left) Bad Bunny, Tyler, the Creator, Ghost, Harry Styles, and Billie Eilish.”
I told my students that I had heard of Harry Styles and Billie Eilish, but that I was not really familiar with their music.
Since I had not read the full article before class, so I started asking about the other names listed.
For example, I said that I had never heard of Bad Bunny, and asked them if Bad Bunny was a group or a person.
There were a few chuckles/looks of disbelief, but it seemed like all my students seemed to know who he was (apparently he’s a pretty big deal; according to the article, he was the most streamed artist on Spotify for the past two years).
I then asked the same question about Tyler, and once again the students responded by telling me who he was.
I then asked about the Creator, and that’s when it dawned on the students that their teacher was completely out of touch with modern culture. They told me that Tyler and the Creator were one and the same person, that his name is Tyler, the Creator. I tried to argue it was a terrible use of a comma, but I had no leg to stand on.
It then dawned on me that I am old and perhaps should stick to talking about debits and credits.
I tried to quickly move on by asking about Ghost, and I got a little bit of satisfaction when I discovered that none of my students had heard of this band (neither had I).
Apparently, according to the article, Ghost is a Swedish rock and roll band. Here’s a brief description:
“The band, masterminded by singer-songwriter Tobias Forge, 41, combines occult-themed lyrics with catchy 1970s-ish melodies. Its elaborate stage show includes provocative costumes—Mr. Forge appears in character as a kind of demonic anti-pope—and the band does brisk business with its merchandise.”
Based on that description, it does not seem like the kind of band that I would have any interest in, but I thought I would check out some of their music. Here is a clip from a performance on the Jimmy Kimmell show::
Once I got past their strange outfits, I thought their music was actually pretty good.
So day one is in the books, and perhaps the one lesson that will stick with the students, and me, from today’s class is that there is a bit of a generation gap between teacher and student. But at least none of the students told me that I taught their grandparents…