Category Archives: lyrics

I Heard You Talking Softly

Last week, Rhonda and I had a brief conversation about lyrics. In the midst of the discussion, I mentioned that I viewed Simon’s lyrics very differently than John’s lyrics in his solo work. In thinking about this, I started to wonder about the reason behind these differences and if their purposes for writing was the cause.

Let’s start at the beginning. How would you describe Simon’s lyrics? I know as a kid in listening to songs like Union of the Snake, I might have said that they were nonsense. If they had a meaning, I had no idea. Of course, some songs seemed obvious in their meanings like Rio, which I would assumed was about a woman, or Girls on Film, which must be about models. Later, of course, I started to realize that all of these songs might be deeper than I originally thought. Union of the Snake, for instance, could be interpreted in a thousand different ways. I learned that Rio was more about the United States rather than just a woman. Even Girls on Film was deeper than just about models but about the exploitation of them.

So what does this mean when it comes to thinking about Simon’s lyrics? Obviously, it showed me that there was more to his lyrics than what appeared on the surface. There is a poetic element to many of them and others could be thought of as more of a metaphor or analogy. Then, I wondered if there were any songs that were more of a personal nature. A few came to mind. Come Undone is about his wife, Yasmin, and She’s Too Much is about his daughter. We know that Hold Back the Rain was written about John Taylor. Yet, the songs that directly relate to his life seem to be few and far between. Interesting.

Let’s compare to John Taylor. Now, I’m willing to bet that some of you out there aren’t as familiar with John’s solo work as you are Duran Duran’s work. So, I’ll share a couple examples/verses.

Spirit of the Times

and now that I’m in Hollywood
I feel that here I’m understood
there’s fifty minutes to the hour
and twelve steps to every ivory tower

spirit of the times
spirit of the times
spirit of the times
prefects from birmingham
chamberlain’s birmingham
christ wasn’t perfect
he could have been from birmingham
rotunda
new street
jasper carrot’s birmingham
tis-was

rum runner
swordfish up the alleyway
steel pulse
bob lamb’s
moseley inna birmingham
underworld in our world
minutes up the motorway

Anon

I’m good at relaxing, I like to kick back
When I go to the steamroom, I get my hampton out
I get plenty of love from all the kids I meet
I get a sense of fun from them, Just can’t be beatI know a man with problems, So self-absorbed
He couldn’t see nothing past the end of his world
His life was grey then, It was hard to see
But I got the number, I got the recipe

Okay, so it seems to me that John’s lyrics are way more about his life and what he was thinking and feeling at that given time. If you listen to his complete solo work, you can tell a lot about how he was trying to really get his life together in his new world of sobriety, post Duran Duran, after a divorce/new relationship, etc. John’s lyrics are almost always incredibly personal, like the exact opposite of Simon’s.

Does that mean one’s lyrics are better than the others? I don’t think so. I love them both for different reasons. With Simon’s, I get to make guesses about what they could be about. I can interpret them in various ways, some that might fit only to my life. In that sense, they can more universal. Yet, I admire the heck out of John’s. It takes a lot to be that open, that vulnerable, that raw, especially in front of other people. This, of course, takes me back to the original premise. What is the purpose for their lyrics?

I suppose that you can argue that the reason for writing songs is for people to listen, to enjoy, to love, etc. I’m pretty certain that all of these songs were written with the hopes of selling copies of albums and singles, to make money. Beyond that, though, John’s lyrics seem to represent a personal process that he was going through. I might conclude that he was writing, not just for all of the usual reasons for writing lyrics to songs but also to deal with his thoughts and emotions, to help him figure things out. Part of me definitely can relate to that. I feel like I have been using the blog for more and more of that as time as gone on. Writing does help me tremendously when processing what I think. It helps me to organize all of the random ideas floating around in my brain. It provides a coherence.

As I continue to process a lot of potential changes in my own personal life, I suspect that I will be doing a lot more writing in the coming weeks and months.

-A

You Didn’t Quite Change Our Mind About Barbarella

Wow. If these are the opening remarks of this series, Amanda and I need to do our homework! Great job, everyone. I thoroughly enjoyed reading and contemplating a reply. Originally I was going to just reply in a comment, and then I wrote a short novel and realized that wasn’t going to work.

I can’t say that my view has been completely changed, but I’ve certainly been given some food for thought. I’d like to keep my response to the same 250 word limit given to our esteemed interns. I was close…

Lyrical evidence

Sexism is about power. Those who hold the power oppressing, defining, and weakening those who do not. With that in mind, none of the songs offered up as being possibly more sexist tend to hold up, at least lyrically. In these cases: ASWI, HLTW, GOF and The Chauffeur, the words clearly put the woman in a position of power. The man is ultimately chasing them. Even in GOF, arguably the most lyrically sexist song lyrically of those mentioned, the woman is clearly a model. There is no clear indication that she is there by force. Read My Lips, on the other hand, is overtly sexual – no argument there – but sexist? I read the lyrics as perhaps someone (maybe even a celeb) in a bar trying to convince a woman to go away with him for a one night stand. Falling Down has nothing to do with sexism, lyrically. It could be about anyone. 

In Electric Barbarella, we can read that this female subject was found on a so-called “showroom floor”. At the onset, she has no power – whether robot, or arguably, even if human. She is powerless. He buys her. He takes her home, dresses her, “plugs her in” and trains her. 

Video evidence

In videos, women still have the power. ASWI – the men are puppets. HTLW – the male is desperately pursuing the female. GOF – in every vignette, it is a woman in charge. She is the horse rider, the masseuse, even the hero. Sex objects, yes. Sexism? No. In Falling Down, the video definitely poses women as the rehab/psych patients and the men are doctors, treating the patients. Is that as overtly sexist? I don’t think so. 

Loved doing this – it was a great exercise!

-R

And I think It’s About to Break

One of the aspects of Duran Duran’s music that I love is how, periodically, you connect with a song in a different way. This happened to me this week while on the way to work. On my usual drive, I had my music on shuffle, never knowing exactly what would pop up. This past Monday’s drive, I found myself lost in thought when the song, Union of the Snake began. Now, usually, when this song comes on, I have images of elevators in sandy desert areas and bellhops, thinking of the video. Once upon a time I felt like it was describing my fandom, when I felt like I was barely holding on to it. Looking back at those feelings and at that time, it is clear to me that my feelings had very little to do with fandom. I was recovering from working really hard for a losing campaign, one that felt more personal than most since the winner had attacked my profession. I needed my fandom to distract me, to give me joy and the band was on a break after the All You Need Is Now era. It wasn’t theirs or the fan community’s fault that the timing sucked.

For years after that time (end of 2012 and 2013), Union of the Snake brought up my undefined frustrations, which meant that I struggled to listen to as those negative feelings overshadowed images of a passed out John Taylor in a truck. Then, Monday happened when the song began playing in my car, jarring me out of my thoughts. As the first notes played, I reached to switch songs when I started to listen to the lyrics again.

Telegram force and ready
I knew this was a big mistake
There’s a fine line drawing
My senses together
And I think it’s about to break
If I listen close I can hear them singers, ohVoices in your body coming through on the radio
The union of the snake is on the climb
Moving up it’s gonna race it’s gonna break
Through the borderlineNightshades on a warning
Give me strength at least give me a light
Give me anything even sympathy
There’s a chance you could be right
If I listen close I can hear them singers, ohVoices in your body coming through on the radio
The union of the snake is on the climb
Moving up it’s gonna race it’s gonna break
Through the borderlineThe union of the snake is on the climb
Moving up it’s gonna race it’s gonna break
Through the borderlineIf I listen close I can hear them singers, oh
Voices in your body coming through on the radio
The union of the snake is on the climb
Moving up it’s gonna race it’s gonna break
Through the borderlineThe union of the snake is on the climb
It’s gonna race, it’s gonna break, it’s gonna move up
Through the borderlineThe union of the snake is on the climb
Moving up it’s gonna race it’s gonna break
Through the borderlineThe union of the snake is on the climb
It’s gonna race, it’s gonna break, it’s gonna move up
To the borderline

There is a fine line drawing my senses together and I think it’s about to break

How many times have I heard that line? Thousands? Tens of thousands? On Monday, it described exactly how I was feeling. The weekend was rough, to say the least. I ended up grading for 8 hours over the weekend, which followed a 60 hour work week. The worst part of all that time is that I didn’t even get caught up. While my to do list had gotten smaller, a whole set of tests and essays awaited my feedback and evaluation. Then, if that was not enough, I am struggling with a particular class, which is usually the one I look forward to the most. As the weekend rolled into Sunday night, I found my agitation with it all growing. How could I sustain this? Why should I have to? How come I cannot figure out how to make this class work for everyone? Then, what about the other things I want to? Will I have time for my political activism? What about our new research project? Will my house always have dirty dishes in the sink and unfolded laundry in the dryer? You can see how my brain was working as all this began to translate to failure. The rest of my Sunday found me in tears followed by restless sleep.

Give me strength at least give me a light
Give me anything even sympathy
There’s a chance you could be right

Monday morning was tough. My emotions were still raw and I felt like I had not slept at all. I feel like I might break, in a way that I haven’t in a long time. That said, I did feel like I needed strength, light, and sympathy in order to make it through the day and beyond. I went into work, looking for help from some colleagues, which I never do. I tend to be the one that helps rather than the one needing assistance. While I cannot say that the day was easy, thinking about the lyrics helped me feel a little less alone. I feel a little more validated, that my emotions weren’t wrong. Interestingly enough, there was a sense that I was a little stronger than I was the night before. By Tuesday, I could confront some of what was causing me grief and frustration. Things aren’t perfect but I don’t feel like I’m going to break anymore and that I can and will do what I want and need to do both at work and beyond.

-A

All Alone Ain’t Much Fun

A few days ago, I tweeted and posted another survey question in which people had to respond by using Duran Duran lyrics. Like the last time, I was super impressed with how clever people were in their responses. The question was: What Duran Duran lyric best describes what you like to do for fun? As soon as I posted the question, I knew that some people might find themselves in the gutter a bit, which was immediately seen when someone responded with, “Bedroom Toys.” All I could do is laugh! Of course, there were a lot of other responses that I want to share here.

Vacation!

To no one’s surprise, many of the responses focused on going on vacation with many of the lyrics focusing on warm or tropical locations like “Nine am, the beach, tequila mayhem”, “Across the sky a jet trail following, the wish that I was on that plane, on my way to some far destination, undiscovered never mentioned, sipping on the high of expectation,” and “she dances on the sand.”

City Life

Some responses focused on things that can be done in cities like: “Ride the underground!” or “Maybe I can catch a ride…” Another one could be “Just a perfect day. Feed animals in the zoo and later, a movie too and then home.” One that might also fit into city life would be “looking for cracks in the pavement.”

Sexual in Nature

The person who chose “Bedroom Toys” was not the only one who focused on a lyric that might be considered a bit sexual. Some examples include: “Come Undone,” “Some people call it a one night stand but we can call it paradise…” or “the reflex is in charge of finding treasure in the dark.”

Parties!

I was surprised that there weren’t more lyrics chosen that focused on partying. One of the first ones I came across was “Fire dance through the night.” Of course, I suppose that could also be about a bonfire or something like that. One classic lyric that was given was “there’s an all night party is room 7609,” which I appreciated. I also liked “La la la late bar…”

Weather related:

Someone mentioned that she enjoys “waiting for the sound of thunder.” I liked that one as I too like to listen to storms. Another one that I thought was cool was, “Sway in the moon. The way you did when you were younger.” “Chasing after rainbows” could also be weather related.

Other Activities:

A few people were able to find a lyric that describes a hobby. One instance of this was “Got your picture,” which could be in reference to photography. Another one that was close was, “Heads turning as the lights flashing out are so bright, and walk right out to the four line track, there’s a camera rolling on her back, on her back.” The lyric, “Sing blue silver,” came up more than once. Apparently, Duranies like to sing! 😉 Dancing seemed to something people like with the line, “Steppin’ out, step-in’ out, step-in’ out, and jumpin’ up” Similarly, “the music between us” was also stated more than once. On a different note, TV and art were mentioned with, “I sold the Renoir and the TV set. Don’t wanna be around when this gets out!”

Multiple categories!

Some lyrics could fit into multiple categories so that I am not sure where to put them. An example of this is “Reach Up for the Sunrise.” Are people reaching for the sunrise because they are sitting at a beach watching a beautiful day being born or are they reaching for the sunrise because they have been up partying all night? Another one that could fit in more than one would be “I saunter out and down a path sometimes.” Is it going for a walk? Hiking? Visiting a new place? What about “Pressure Off?” Would that go under vacations? Partying?

Random:

Of course, there were some that didn’t seem to fit anywhere including: “Wild boys never lose it, wild boys never close your eyes, wild boys always shine,” “Once I thought I was in control, but that was just another trick of fate playing with my life…” and “Searching for the undeniable truth that a man is just a fool.” What about “hungry like the wolf?” I’m not sure. What about “Dress in flimsy clothing, use your lipstick line, to cover fear and loathing with a pink disguise.” Again, I didn’t know the best category to put that lyric in. Probably my favorite was, “Oh my God, what’s this??” Too funny!

Rhonda picked a lyric that would definitely fit into the party category and probably the one I would also choose, which was “We’re gonna live this night, yeah. Live it like it’s our last night. ‘Cause nobody care if there’s no tomorrow.” For us, there is nothing better than touring. While I’m sure that I’m having a great time on vacation with my family as we go through history and art museums, play games and more, there is still nothing quite like being on tour. Something to look forward to for next month!

What lyric did you choose or would you choose, if you didn’t share yet?

-A

It’s a Crush Panic: Lyrics Describing Duran Fandom

Duranies are so dang clever, I swear! The other day I posted a simple, little question on social media: “What Duran Duran lyric describes how you feel about the band?” We got a ton of responses on both Facebook and Twitter, which I loved to see. When I asked the question, I just wanted people to participate in the fan community. As a bonus, I also love reading Duran lyrics. All that said, it became super clear that this question shed a bit of light on our fandom, one that I was not expecting. It seems to me that I could put the responses into categories to help show what I learned!

Emotional connection:

“Your rhythm is the power to move me. It’s something you control, completely.”

“I think you’ll find it’s true. These words are like the sand, just get blown away. All the things we’d like to say. We need you.”

“You make me feel alive, alive, alive.”

“Some people call it a one night stand but we can call it paradise.”

“A smile that you can’t disguise. Every minute I keep finding clues that you leave behind.”

“You know you’re something special and you look like you’re the best.”

“All she wants is…MORE!”

“My immaculate dream, made breath and skin..”

“The price of my blue star eyed weakness…”

“Like a birthday or a pretty view…but then I’m sure that you know it’s just for you.”

“A hit to fit reality. It’s just a state of mind and you, and it, it’s more than just. And that’s what you’ve got to find. We’ll make you spin. We’ll make you sweat. All you have to do is choose me. And if you would try an alternative high, then tell me, what have we got to lose now?”

“Maybe it’s something they put in your perfume or the look in your eyes”

“Now you’re on the sandman everyday. Dancing with the bulls in any old way. Running like a fox…”

“Hold my hand. Please understand me. You’re never alone…”

“And your telephones been ringing while you’re dancing in the rain”

“So easy to disturb with a thought, with a whisper”

“Wild boys always shine”

“You’ve gone too far this time…”

“You shine where others fade…”

“…and we’re gonna go to space, kid, cause I’m leaving with an astronaut!”

“Save a prayer till the morning after”

“Waiting…”

“And she wonders how she ever got here as she goes under again”

“I may be a deluded fool but still fascinated”

“But now I feel your presence in a way I could not know”

“It doesn’t have to be serious”

“Must be lucky whether when you find the kind of wind that you. Come on. Show me all the light and shade that made your name.”

“Chill, is it something real or the magic I’m feeding off your fingers?”

What you want the band to do or know:

“Is there something I can say to make you come my way?”

“And it hurts me to think you might never know that I’ve got this thing about you.”

“My obsessive fascination is in your imagination!”

“Because you’re lonely in your nightmare, let me in and there’s heat beneath your winter, let me in.”

“…in case you don’t understand, there’s something else I meant to tell you, there is nothing better than being with you.”

“I love you so much, I keep your cigarette butts.”

“I do what I do to have you”

“The music’s between us”

“Don’t say you’re easy on me, you’re about as easy as a nuclear war”

“I know this is real, believe it. We belong together. Whatever happens you’re gonna be with me forever”

Song Titles:

“Wild boys.”

“What are the chances.”

“All you need is now”

“Notorious”

“Faith in this colour”

“Big Bang Generation”

“So Misled”

“New Religion”

Childhood/Teenage Years/Good Times:

“And you sway in the moon the way you did when you were younger, when we told everybody all you need is now.”

“Everybody everywhere feel it in the air. It’s time to take the pressure off!”

Now, in fairness, my categories are not perfect. Obviously, for example, some of the song titles are also lyrics, for instance. That said, I thought it was interesting how people responded to the question. Some people clearly went for a positive, why I love the band, which is cool. Others seemed to pick lyrics that would speak to the band from the fans. What also interested me is that not all of the lyrics were completely positive. For example, “so misled” could be a dig that the band isn’t what they thought. Same thing could be said about the nuclear war lyric. I think, overall, the answers show that there is a diversity of thought about the band and fandom, which is cool. All in all, I enjoyed the heck out of the super smart responses and plan to ask more questions like this. It was fun! I wouldn’t be surprised if I don’t decide to do something else with these lyrics, too.

What did you all think? Did you enjoy the question? Do you have suggestions for other questions?

-A

Words that are Spoken to the Wind

DDHQ likes to keep our brains from turning to mush by throwing out questions to engage the community-at-large. I think they do this about once a week or so, and last week they asked about favorite lines of lyric.

At the time, I had a tough time answering. This wasn’t so much because I didn’t have an answer or didn’t know, but because there are too many “favorites” to choose from.

“And so we travel, and we unravel, towards the place where all loose ends go.”

This line comes from “Before the Rain” off of AYNIN. I think that for me, I tend to fall hardest for lyrics that are a bit more introspective in nature. Sometimes, I really do feel like I’m a loose end, myself. It’s sort of a wistful, cloudy-grey, sort of feeling – admittedly when I’m depressed it is the sort of song that plays right into my thoughts and feelings, but I still love it anyway.

“Freefall on a windy morning shore, nothing but a faded track of footsteps, to prove that you’d ever been there”

These words, of course, come from Secret Oktober, easily one of the best songs Duran Duran has ever written. (YES I AM BIASED) Again, more than slightly brooding and introspective, I love the line. It reminds me to leave my mark on this world in some way. I really don’t know if the blog is that mark, but some days, it absolutely does. I like the lyrics that sound like someone is on the outside looking in. I very much felt that way in my pre-Daily Duranie days.

“Searchlight the crowd, I’m fixed on your face, I know it well, but it’s a dream I can’t place”

Sometimes, when I’m in my car listening to this song, I would swear
Simon read our blog at some point. There’s a few songs off of Paper Gods that make me feel that way, but obviously it’s because he wrote about things that were universally experienced. This song though, and particularly this line, remind me of what it is like being in the audience for Duran Duran. If there was ever a place, or a moment, that felt like an escape from reality….truly taking the Pressure Off….it would be at one of their shows.


“Don’t worry if you’re confused, we all tend to be sometimes.”

I think my problem is that I’ve spent most of my adult life confused…

No really, this line from Serious gets me because like much of what Simon writes, anyone and everyone can attribute it to some part of their own life. I try to remind myself that spending far too much time being serious is a waste of good energy. This song helps.

“I’m just a number on the metal fence which marks the great divide.”

I have no idea what inspired Simon to write Edge of America, but I know how I feel when I hear it. I think that as a stay-at-home parent, I’ve often felt forgotten. It is a very bizarre thing to raise children in this world. Once you choose to stay at home, sometimes it feels like you no longer take an active part in society. That is definitely how I felt from time to time as my kids grew. This song, and specifically this line, gave words and a voice to something I felt deep within.

These were just a few of the lines running through my head last week, and there are dozens more where they came from. I don’t know if I have a genuine favorite. I’m just lucky my favorite band seems to know exactly what to write and say.

-R

Words Are All Remainders

Last weekend, I shared the list of the top 15 Duran Duran songs in terms of lyrics as voted by the readers of this blog. I had chosen that particular homework task because I have been thinking a lot of how much the lyrics of Duran songs matter, how much I have connected with various lyrics at different times. It doesn’t have to be some big moments in my life for this happen. I often find myself, for example, sitting it my car when a Duran song comes on and some lyric catches my attention. Maybe it is a lyric that seemed poetic for the first time or perhaps, it is when the line completely matches how my day was or how I was feeling about a specific topic. While there are other artists who have great lyrics, there has always been something special, more meaningful, more intriguing about Duran’s lyrics. Realizing this, I started thinking. Is there more than can be done with lyrics besides the homework assignment I just gave? I think yes.

One of the things that I have always been proud of is when we have been able to get Duranies more involved in the fan community. For example, seeing Duranies come to meet ups, meet other fans and become friends make my heart smile. After all, the friendships are what makes fandom worth it. As much as I love Duran’s music, I’m not sure I would still be around if it wasn’t for my friendships. They keep me going. Anyway, is there a way to have people participate in our fan community more in connection with lyrics? Hmm….again, I think yes.

So far I want something to do with lyrics and something that would increase people’s participation in the fan community. Could I also do something to help people get to know each other more or better? Maybe I am thinking about this because I struggle with getting to know people online and vice versa. I recognize that I’m not the easiest to get to know and I know that my lifestyle might be a lot different than most Duranies. I’m not married. I don’t kids (beyond the 120 I have at work). While there are a lot of Duranie teachers out there, I don’t see a ton of Duranies who are political activists. I recognize that people might not think we have anything in common or might even be turned off by this activism. Yet, like everyone else, I’m more than these labels. It would be nice to be able to show more of me and to get to know my fellow fans more. Okay, now, my task is to come up with something that involves lyrics, will make people participate more and allow the chance for people to get to know each other better.

Here’s what I’m thinking. What if I asked questions of fellow fans but the answers must be in the form of lyrics. What example I could ask a question like, “What Duran lyric best describes your life right now?” I would hope that this would get people thinking about Duran lyrics. Then, of course, I would hope that they would share their response online and explain as much as they are comfortable with about the reasoning behind whatever lyric is chosen. Maybe I would have a question a week? It would give people time to think, to respond, and to discuss.

What do you all think about this idea? Would you participate?

-A

Top 15 Duran Duran Lyrics

The results are in! I have combined both the lists sent to me and the poll regarding what people think are the 15 best Duran Duran songs in terms of lyrics. Here they are:

#15 What Are the Chances

#14 A Matter of Feeling

Tied for #12 Before the Rain

Tied for #12 Do You Believe in Shame

Tied for #9 The Man Who Stole a Leopard

Tied for #9 New Religion

Tied for #9 Save a Prayer

#8 The Universe Alone

Tied for #6 Come Undone

Tied for #6 Careless Memories

Tied for #4 The Seventh Stranger

Tied for #4 Lonely in Your Nightmare

#3 The Chauffeur

#2 Secret Oktober

#1 Ordinary World

That’s it, people. What do you think? Personally, I was not super surprised by the choices as many of the songs chosen are more poetic than most. I also found it interesting that some of the more obscure lyrics were not included. I’m thinking here about songs like Union of the Snake. Then, I also noticed which albums were included and which weren’t in the top 15 list. The ones included were the 1st album, Rio, Seven, Notorious, Big Thing, the Wedding Album, All You Need Is Now and Paper Gods. If we go past the top 15 songs, I believe that a song was chosen from each album by someone. I think this is a testament to Duran’s massive catalog and their ability to write some down right amazing lyrics.

-A

DuranIe Homework: Lyrics Poll – Due May 25

Today did not go as planned. I assumed that I would spend my day getting grading done and this blog. First, I dealt with a headache most of the day and last night. This meant that I was not as productive and when the Advil was working, I was driving about an hour away to help my niece. She is finishing up her sophomore year at college and decided that she needed us to store some of her belongings back in Madison before she flies home. Ugh. So, here I am. It is 9 pm and I’m working on the blog for today, a day with less than a few hours to go.

Last weekend, I asked the question. What do people need to participate in this month’s homework assignment to pick the top 15 songs in terms of lyrics and lyrics alone. Some of you just asked if I would give an extension as far as the due date goes. Others wanted some sort of scaffolding or means of making the task easier. Probably the easiest way to do that would be to create a poll. So, here it is. You get to pick the 15 songs with the best lyrics! I know. It is not easy but you all can do it, Duranies! Of course, if you still want to send in a list, that’s cool. You can send it via email or private/direct message.

[socialpoll id=”2550740″]

I think I have included most songs with lyrics. It is possible that I missed some. Let me know if I did! On that note, happy voting!!

-A

Duranie Homework Changes?

There are many aspects of my job as a teacher that I love. For example, I get all excited when I come up with a cool way to share information about a topic that really matters. Another part of my job that interests me is the problem solving involved. Sometimes, it is large scale like how can I get my students to analyze documents better. Other times, it it all about one kid. How can help this kid to stop doing x behavior? Of course, problem solving can extend beyond my classroom to the campaign trail to even what Rhonda and I do here and with fandom.

A few weeks ago, I assigned some Duranie homework. Here was the assignment:

Assignment:  Determine the best Duran Duran lyrics! List 15 Duran Duran songs that you believe have the best lyrics. It is up to you to determine what best means. Could a song have great verses and a terrible chorus or vice versa? That is up to you. Could it be a side project song? A solo song? Again, that is up to you. Could you pick a song that has just a really great one liner? Sure. You may decide to put them in order of the best, second best, etc. but you don’t have to.

The assignment is due today! Unfortunately, not very many Duranies turned in the homework. Here is where the problem solving comes in. Why? I ask. Is it that I didn’t explain the homework well enough? Is it that the turn in procedure was not clear? Is it that I didn’t remind people enough? Something else that I did not even think of?

I think I explained it well enough. Is it something else? Is that the assignment is too hard? Maybe. Is it too hard to pick just 15 songs that have the best lyrics? Would it be easier if I made a list and had people pick 15 from there? If so, I would be happy to do it. I could also put the list into a poll of sorts. Of course, both would require some time but I would be happy to do so for more participation. If I turned it into a poll, people would not have to turn anything in. I could also easily see what songs were determined to have the best lyrics.

Of course, it could be a situation in which people forgot about the assignment or just got too busy. I know that I have been feeling like I have been on a runaway train which I’m barely hanging on. This means that I need some more time to get the assignment done myself. So what do I do from here? Seems to me that I have three choices:

  1. Look at the lists that were sent in and go from there.
  2. Change it to a list or a poll to make it easier on people.
  3. Give people an extension so more people can participate

What do you all think? I’m happy to do whatever. 🙂

-A