Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Overachievers

That's his band name, my kid. The band isn't so much a band as it is an exercise he has to do for the class he didn't want to take.

My boy is all structure. When he found out he had to take a life skills class for an entire semester, he was underwhelmed. I prefer things I can quantify. Literally, he said to me. He's excited for biology, geometry, the academic quiz team. I told him to give it a chance, not judge it before he even sat in the classroom and if it was just noise then appreciate that, too.

Instead, the second day of school, he's thrilled to have homework in his life skills class—make a mix tape of songs. Pick a band name and influential people in your life to name as supporters. Then pick five songs:
  • A song that represents something you do well
  • A song that represents a goal you have
  • A song that makes you feel good
  • A song that represents a place you are most comfortable
  • A song that motivates or inspires you
And this brought us to a full-family discussion of songs we love and songs that make us laugh and references to songs I hate (notably, "We Built This City") because they like to see me cringe. In the end, he picked a good, diverse list of songs encompassing everything from 70s-era one-hit wonders, norther California punk and a Broadway showtune (I mean, it's "Hamilton" but it's still a show tune, right?). And he's excited about this class he was writing off as a waste of time. And I'm excited about this class for him because he gets to explore the things that make him happy, things that make him sad, things that make him awesome, things that make him... him.

Oh and because I get to make a playlist of my own.

A song that represents something you do well? What I do well is mimicking voices and accents and I love doing karaoke, so naturally it's David Allen Coe, "You Never Even Called Me By My Name."

A song that represents a goal? Des'ree. Nobody says it better than "Gotta Be."

A song that makes me feel good? "Santa Monica," Everclear. Guaranteed to pull me out of any bad mood in 3 minutes or less.

A song that represents a place I'm most comfortable? I'm a home body. "Our House" by Madness, of course.

A song that motivates or inspires? The Interrupters, "Take Back the Power"

Oh, and my band name? Donkey and the Free Range Goats.

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