On the way to the store the radio broke in with news that Michael Jackson had been rushed to the hospital. On the way from the yarn store to Trader Joe's the radio announced his death. Everyone in Trader Joe's had gotten the news by the time I got there.
My first thought? I remembered the day that I subbed for the middle school choir over a month ago. Every subbing day I keep an eye and an ear out for a good story for the blog. Some days this is harder than others. Some days I have more than one good story. On this day the following was my other contender for the day.
The teacher left me a stack of DVDs to keep the class entertained. As usual, I was given the task of choosing, and as usual, I delegated this to the classes. (Most of the time I don't care what they watch so long as it's appropriate, and they're usually much more attentive if they choose the DVD.) One period picked Mulan. Another picked a different movie (I can't recall which one now). Fourth period picked Michael Jackson's HIStory. I was shocked. I thought that that was the last one any class would pick.
But, I let them pick, so I put it in.
Apparently, they had watched this before. And enjoyed it. These were 7th and 8th graders. They usually spend their time listening to more current music, so I was surprised that they knew who Michael Jackson was.
The next thing that surprised me was that they were singing along with the DVD. At first I couldn't figure out why the closed captioning was on, but then I realized that with the captioning they know the lyrics. If this had been another class, I would have been more concerned, but it was a choir class, so they should be singing.
We skipped around a bit. They liked "Beat It", "Billie Jean", and "Smooth Criminal". They had not had a chance to see all of "Thriller" before, so they got their chance this day. For a medley done at an MTV awards, half the class begged me to skip it while the other half wanted to see it. We watched it.
At one point I gleefully informed the class that a song ("Billie Jean") was popular when I was their age. I love messing with their minds. I don't know if they processed it.
Then the period was over and they went on their way. And yesterday I couldn't help but think of them. I wonder how they took the news.