After the meeting, I arrived home to check on the online world, including facebook. That night, like I frequently see, someone had posted an article by a teacher who talked about why he would not encourage anyone to go into teaching. That didn’t surprise me. Yet, I made the mistake of looking at the comments that followed. A number of comments were offering support to teachers and how hard our job must be. Unfortunately, a number of them were usual anti-teaching rants about how little we work since we only work until 3 and how we get so many days off and summers, etc. Yeah…that isn’t the first time I have read/heard things like that. It won’t be the last. My only response to those comments is that I would gladly allow them to take over my job for a full calendar year so they can see how wrong that comment is. As I tried to sleep that night, I pondered about how both the meeting and the comments were expressing the same thing. They want me to be a teacher at all times and do nothing but think, breathe and talk teaching and education. I shouldn’t want to talk about anything. I shouldn’t want to have other thoughts or interests. I shouldn’t want to take a break from it ever. Teaching should be my only identity. I shouldn’t be an organizer/campaigner/activist. I shouldn’t be a fan/writer/blogger. I am not sure where my friends and family should fit in. Maybe they shouldn’t be that important either. Nope, it should be all teaching, all the time.
Clearly, I don’t think it is fair of people at my meeting or the random people posting comments to think that I should only talk about teaching. I think we would all agree that people aren’t just their jobs. People should be allowed to have other interests, no matter what your job is or how important it is. I shouldn’t have to just think about teaching. I should be allowed to have a life outside of work. I bet everyone reading this would agree with this. Yet, I wonder if we really think this for the members of Duran. Do they have a right to think about something outside of their JOB? Can they think or talk about something other than Duran or something else connected to Duran? Do we as fans let them? I wonder if we do. This week, for example, Simon showed up on Twitter. The first tweet I noticed was about Margaret Thatcher’s passing. Soon after that, my timeline was filled with tweets to Simon. Were they tweets about her death? Were they tweets reacting to what Simon said? From what I saw, they weren’t, for the most part. Many of the tweets were about the band and the work in the studio. Is this just like the people at my meeting who seemed to think I would want to talk about work when I’m not at work? While I understand how we all want to know what is going on in the studio and how the album is going, should Simon and the others only get to talk about work? After all, Duran is just their job. Yes, it is a big part of their lives but it isn’t their whole lives. They have ideas outside of the band. They have other interests. I know what some of you are saying…but they are celebrities. Their job is different than yours and mine. True. They are. Yes, their job is different than mine. What part of being a celebrity means that they can or should only think about work? Maybe, I’m missing something but I think they should be allowed to think and talk about other things.
Then, of course, I have also seen some criticism around Duran’s time in the studio. Where/when did this criticism come from? I saw some of it as soon as John’s book talk in Copenhagen was announced for April 17th. Then, when Roger’s DJ Set in Chicago was announced for April 25th, the criticism increased. “Shouldn’t they be in the studio? Shouldn’t they be working more? Why are they taking breaks? This album will never get done. Why isn’t the album their priority?” I could keep going but those are some of the things I have been hearing. Isn’t this like those people who criticize teachers like me for getting a break? Some people are allowed breaks but others aren’t? Is this fair? I get it. People want the album to be done as quickly as possible. We all want the album today or, at the very latest, next week. We love Duran music and we would love to hear new music from them. That said, they aren’t machines. They are people who do create and perform music for their careers. I believe, though, that they, like everyone else, need breaks. Breaks help people be productive. Also, they are involved in the creative arts. I don’t believe that people can just be creative every single day to the same level as the same as the day before and the same level as the day after. People can’t control creativity like this. I know that my mom, who is an artist, can’t. She has times when nothing hits her. She may try to work on something and nothing shows well. Then, at other times, she can’t stop her creativity. On those days, I think my dad has to make her step away from her work just to eat. I know that I feel this way with writing. Some days, I don’t feel like I can even write a sentence and if I do, none of them make sense. Other days, I wish that I could just write the whole day and all of it sounds fabulous.
I think my point here is that I’m not just my profession and should be allowed to have breaks and other interests. Likewise, John, Simon, Dom, Roger and Nick are in a band for their careers. They, too, should be allowed to have other interests and be allowed to have breaks. Maybe, I’m crazy but I don’t think their fame took away this element of their humanity.