Tag Archives: fandom and work

It’s Going to Tempt You

I am not a very spontaneous person.  I’m sure that those of you who are reading this blog post who know me personally might even be laughing at the thought.  Yes, it is true.  Typically, I take a long time to make a decision even when I have thought about my choices over time.  Let me give you an example.  Over the course of my life, I have saved money to buy the latest electronic gadget.  I will then research, decide on the best option, and save money for whatever I want.  Then, I go to the store to finally buy it and I will still stand there and debate the decision to myself once again.  I kid you not.  This indecisiveness happens with work, too.  For instance, it comes each and every time I don’t feel good.  I will literally spend hours going back and forth about calling in sick.  Why do I do this?  I suppose it is insecurity about doing the right thing.  Should I really miss work?  Should I really spend the money?

Funny enough, the one area of my life that tends not to be indecisive is when it comes to my fandom.  Just ask Rhonda.  It does not take me long from reading or hearing about a new show announcement to deciding that we should go.  Typically, if I see a Duran alert about a new show, by the time I am contacting Rhonda, I already have a tentative plan about what we should do in order to go.  Fandom is the one aspect of my life that I truly allow my heart to lead rather than my head.  Of course, this sometimes has gotten me into trouble.    Take the UK tour of 2011.  The shows were announced.  Tickets went on sale within 24 hours of the press release.  If we were going to go, we needed to buy them then, we said.  So we did.  I knew that this tour, which was to take place in May, was pretty awful timing in terms of work but I just went for it.  I assumed that I would get those details figured out later.  Well…a month or so later, I did get it approved but it took a lot of effort by contacting a lot of people to help me.  If I had thought more, I probably shouldn’t have or wouldn’t have gone for this idea, but I didn’t.  It was Duran.  It was Duran on tour in the UK with my friends.  I didn’t think.  I just acted.

Do I regret the decision to go to the UK for this tour?  No.  Not one little bit.  Did it suck that I had to push hard to get to go, to get approval from work?  Absolutely.  Did I ever give up?  Strangely enough, I didn’t.  Maybe, I should have.  Some might have taken it as a sign that I shouldn’t go, that it wasn’t meant to be.  Still, I pushed.  Now, we know that those UK shows in May of 2011 did not happen.  Strangely enough, I still don’t regret going even with the extreme effort with work.  I learned a lot about myself, fandom, Duran Duran and friendships during that trip.

Of course, over the course of my fandom, I have gone to other events that I should not have due to my crappy schedule.  The best example of this is when I went to John Taylor’s book reading and signing in Chicago in late October 2012.  Not only was that night a “school night” meaning that I had to work the next day but it was also days away from Election Day.  This meant that I was working about 80 hours a week between teaching and campaigning.  I knew that the responsible thing would have been to stay at home, get more work done, go to sleep at a decent hour, etc. but I didn’t.  I couldn’t.  This was John Taylor.  Was it crazy of me?  Absolutely.  I remember standing in line to get my book signed and answering call after call about the campaign.  Then, I ended up with like 3 hours of sleep, if that.  Yet, it was amazing night that was worth the multi-tasking and the sleep deprivation.

Now, I face a similar situation.  It, unfortunately, isn’t with Duran Duran or John Taylor but with the Killers.  If you have read this blog for awhile, you probably know that both Rhonda and I love the Killers.  I would definitely pick them for my second favorite band and I have been lucky enough to see them live a number of times.  Well, a few days ago I saw an event on Facebook stating that they are playing in nearby Milwaukee on September 4th.  Sometimes, I think there is a conspiracy against me.  What date is September 4th?  It is literally the first day of school with students.  On that date, 9th graders come to learn their way around the building as they walk through their schedules and meet their teachers.  It is not a regular day of school but it is tiring as there is lots to do to get ready.  The next day, the 5th, will mark the first normal day of school in which all students come and attend class during regular hours.  Ugh.  What a terrible date for a concert!

So, once I saw the event, I shared it and began debating to go or not to go.  It is right in the beginning of the year,

which means that I am already super exhausted.  That said, I also can and will be prepared so that I can leave right at the end of the day.  Should I let work dictate my life?  Should I be good and stay home?  Double ugh.  Again, I waffle.  Yesterday, though, this changed.  I found myself with a presale code for this concert.  At that moment, I did not stop and debate.  I used the code and within minutes I had tickets purchased.  Oh boy.  Will I regret this decision?  Maybe, I will when I am driving home afterwards, exhausted and begging for sleep.  Perhaps, the next day will be so painful that I will kick myself over and over again.  On the other hand, I did not second guess my decisions in those other examples.  Besides, it is a concert.  It is about seeing a fabulous band live.  How could that decision be wrong?  Now, to find someone crazy enough to go with me…

-A

I’m Busy Working

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!

-A