The age difference – or lack thereof – between the interns and the students has created an interesting dynamic. We’d all like to think that we’re significantly older than our students in order to justify the fact that we’re teaching them, so we tend to exaggerate the difference. We’re shocked to see them wearing Backstreet Boys t-shirts (but seriously, I thought they peaked when I was in seventh grade?) and then out of nowhere, one student mentions that she’s 21. WHAT?
Anyways, the recent spike of deaths in Hollywood presented an opportunity for us all to play the age game. While a lot of our “shock” of growing up with the same bands and TV shows might be an exaggerative way for us interns to reaffirm that we are, in fact, older than our students … meaning that we are, in fact, qualified to be teaching them in class, in sports, and in the dorms, we were legitimately worried that they would not all be as distraught by Michael Jackson’s death as we were.*
I wasn’t as concerned about them not knowing about Farrah Fawcett seeing as I probably would not have known who she was had the first article I saw not been accompanied by a picture of her…
We learned about MJ during dinner. All the interns were sitting outside (we consider reserved tables part of our compensation) when one pulled out his phone (there’s service on campus!) to read aloud a text from his girlfriend: Michael Jackson was just declared dead! WHAT!?! We freaked out thinking that his girlfriend was pulling a prank. We wouldn’t believe it. We talked about what it would mean if we did believe it. And then we looked towards the cafeteria where all the students were and asked if they would know? Or care? Were they weened with Michael Jackson music? Did they get back into their cars at the end of ski practice and listen to Thriller on the way home? By the end of dinner we had indeed confirmed through other significant others that Michael Jackson was dead.
My fears were calmed as I was walking back to my dorm and saw a boy with a trumpet walk into a circle of boys playing Frisbee. All the boys took a knee as the one with the trumpet walked to the center playing taps. He then said a short eulogy for The King and requested that all take a moment of silence. Watching from across the road with a few other interns, I broke out laughing. Inappropriate moment but at least our fears of a “generational disconnect” were squelched.
And finally the results of the: Would you buy anything simply because Billy May endorsed it? Poll: Absolutely not.
*WHEW that was a run-on sentence. Did you get the whole thing? One of our ice-breaker games on the first night was to say what punctuation mark we would be if we were to be on. My house supervisor said semi-colon because “she is a run-on sentence.” I said an ellipses … because there’s always something more … and because *DOT*DOT*DOT* (“That’s what they did back then!”)