Happy Friday everyone! I know that I have promised you all a rubric, or means of evaluating Duran Duran concerts and I plan on doing that, but I cannot produce that tonight. As usual, this week kicked my ass and I haven’t had time to finish the rubric yet. I expect to get it done sometime this weekend. I wish I had finished, though, as I am sitting here struggling with what to write about. That’s weird for me. I normally have ideas upon ideas. I blame being tired and feeling old. I’m so old, in fact, that my niece turned 18 yesterday. 18! How did that happen?!
I think back to January 12, 1999, and how very different my life is now compared to then. In 1999, after having substitute taught, I anxiously hoped for a full time teaching job. Funny enough, the day after my niece was born, I received an offer for a semester long teaching position. I did not hesitate to take it and did not look back. While I have had moments (sometimes many moments) questioning this career decision, in reality, I have identified as a teacher since then. Teaching is a huge part of who I am. In 1999, I was so focused on teaching that I didn’t even think about fandom at all. In fact, I had no idea what Duran Duran was even doing! I know, I know. For shame!
Part of me looks back and is very sorry that I missed out on so much Duran history. I could have seen shows on the Pop Trash tour. I could have seen John Taylor solo shows (which I actually regret more! I am a bad Duranie!). Another part of me definitely does not believe that I made the wrong decision. I needed to focus on getting a job, getting settled, really learning how to be a teacher. While education classes are great, one does not know how to teach until one actually does it. I learned that quickly in my first semester teaching. I had to be intensely focused on the job to get decent at it. It would take years before I felt that I was a competent or good teacher. Yes, sometimes, one must be laser focused.
This brings me back to Duran Duran. I suspect that the band was pretty dang focused on writing and making music during the first months of its existence. I bet they ate, slept, and breathed Duran Duran for years after the band formed and after each member joined. If they didn’t, I suspect that they wouldn’t have been as successful as they were. They wouldn’t be as good. Just look at how many albums and videos (and quality ones at that!) they created in such a short time span. They were extremely prolific in the early 1980s. I think it is pretty normal for people to emphasize their career when it is beginning. The band did. I did.
As time went by, teaching became second nature to me. I began to develop skills to think on my feet in a different way than I could as a first year, second year or third year teacher, for example. Day-to-day tasks got easier. I got faster as creating curriculum and knew how to deal with students and parents better. I learned. I learned a lot. I bet the same is true for Duran Duran. Things that probably once took a lot of time and effort to do now potentially comes easily. For example, I wonder how they felt when they had the first interviews. If you have seen the first known interview, which I have included below, they look awkward, uncertain, nervous.
Compare that interview to the one Simon did this week on an Italian TV show:
Even with the translation over him, you can tell how at ease he seems. Likewise, John Taylor also seems relaxed in this interview from this week:
As I became an experienced teacher and got more comfortable with my skills, I found myself with more free time and the chance to do other activities, including this blog! I didn’t need to focus on my career 24/7. I could and did broaden my interests and activities. The same seems to be true for the band. They do not live and breathe Duran like they once did. As a fan part of me wishes that they would. They could produce more music or make more videos. Yet, I do believe that they should be able to have time away from their careers just like I deserve vacations or any of you do.
Funny enough, even during their time away, they are not that far away from their career. John did an interview for For Bass Players Only. Simon was performing for that Italian show, which you can see here. I sort of feel the same way about teaching. While I love getting away from the job and being able to explore something new, I know that the teacher in me is never that far away.