I spend a lot of time at work, especially this school year due to an additional class. While I’m at work, it is not uncommon to have a bunch of students in my room. In many cases, these kiddos are doing work related to my class. In others, they are just hanging out or asking my advice about this, that or the next thing. Some of these kids have been hanging out in my room for years. It should come as no surprise that these kids have gotten to know me pretty well. They even know that I’m a “big” Duran Duran fan. The shock! The other day, one of them asked to use my computer for some assignment. When the computer was returned to me, my screen saver had been changed from the standard ocean picture to a Duran Duran group photo. Well then!
I have to admit that I don’t really hid my Duran Duran fandom from any kiddo, no matter if they hang out with me or not. After all, when the Rio album celebrated its 35th anniversary/birthday, I played a different track each hour to expose my students (and student teacher!). I even watched the video for Pressure Off for the first time at work on the large projector screen. Likewise, I do have a bulletin board by my desk filled with photos that make me happy. These photos include family, cat, friend photos as well as photos of me with famous politicians. There are also many Duran Duran photos, of course,
When I realized this, I started to think about a clip on the documentary, Trekkies, about a dentist who’s office is totally Trek themed:
To me, going to a dentist like this would be fun. I hate the dentist so having something fun about it would definitely help. Maybe I appreciate this because I like Star Trek. Would I be as excited about a Lord of the Rings themed office? I probably wouldn’t be as excited but it wouldn’t turn me off or make me not go there. Maybe, it would even make me rethink Lord of the Rings. What about the rest of you? Would this make you want to go to this dentist? Would it turn you away?
This brings me back to my job. My classroom has many posters up on the wall. Obviously, since I teach U.S. History and Women’s Studies, my posters focus on those except for my corner of the room that has my personal photos. Some might question me having those personal photos up. While I doubt anyone would criticize my family photos or the pictures of my cat, they might question all the Duran photos. They might also question my playing of the Rio album or the Pressure Off video. Yet, for me, as I have gotten older, I have become less concerned about that. I’m not forcing my students to be Duranies in order to do well in class. I’m also not suppressing what makes me happy. I won’t hid who I am. I might even argue that knowing that I’m a complex human being with people and things that matter to me makes me human. It allows for my students to see me as a person. This helps to develop those essential relationships needed for kids to really learn and grow.
Now, that I’m thinking about this, I’m starting to wonder if it isn’t time to start wearing those Duran Duran t-shirts to work. That could be fun!