I spend a lot of time with young people, teenagers specifically. While my work contract requires that I teach for 5 hours a day, in reality, there are teens in my room for more than 7 hours a day. Some kids are in my classroom doing work and others are there just to hang out. I figure that every kid who is in there has the chance at learning about Duran. After all, there are lots of little details that show my fan status, from the Duran tumblr holding my morning coffee to my computer wallpaper. When all goes well, a kid or two will ask me about the band. This gives me a necessary window of opportunity to share about the greatness of Duran. Has that made any fans? I don’t know, but I won’t stop trying.
Interestingly enough, I have sort of stopped trying with my nieces. When they were younger (now they are 19 and 15), I used to give them Duran tunes for birthdays with the hope that one or more songs might grab them. I had hopes that this would work when my oldest niece started to like the Killers. I thought the leap to Duran wouldn’t be too great, but alas. No luck. So I stopped trying to push the issue.
Now, though, I have a little reason to hope. Last summer, after having conversations with my youngest niece over the TV shows, Buffy and Angel, we decided to watch the entire Angel series together. We would decide on how many episodes we would watch per week and then on Sunday we would talk about them. I enjoyed sharing an activity like this with her and didn’t want it to end when we finished the final season. I had to come up with something else. After hearing my niece talk about aliens, the choice was either going to be X-Files, which is really long, or Roswell. While I adore X-Files to this day, there is a special place in my heart for Roswell. When this show aired on TV, I watched out of boredom but soon got hooked. I appreciated the cheesy dialogue and the undercurrent of outsiders as heroes. Soon enough, I jumped into the Roswell fan community and made some good friends. One of the people I met actually reminded me about Duran, which led me back home to this fandom. Roswell reminds me of the best of fandom.
I was unsure about how Roswell would go down with my nieces. Like Duran, I had tried to show my nieces the show a few years ago when I was there visiting. They thought it was okay but didn’t really want to watch more. This time, I thought, they might give it more of a try because of how we are watching it. So, we are two weeks in and they are hooked! In fact, they have watched more than they were supposed to for the week. This, of course, entertains me so. In talking to the eldest niece who is about to return to college, she is sad that she won’t get to see more. I invited her to come watch more episodes here with me.
Perhaps, there is a lesson here. Could it be that getting someone into a TV show or a band is not about basic exposure but something more? Could it be that there needs to be a reason to really watch or listen? Could it be an issue of timing? I’m not sure what has made Roswell work right now. I just know that it has despite earlier rejection. This tells me that I should not give up on my nieces or my students when it comes to Duran. Maybe, someday, something will click there, too.