SPEAKING OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON . . . I know we weren't, but now I can. See how I did that? Anywho, I actually ran into a person today who has NEVER heard of Hamilton Musical. I know, right? I said, rather impolitely, you don't have internet?
They are a particularly awesome human in all other respects so I'm gonna let it go. Than of course, I proceeded to calmly and briefly explain what Hamilton was. Actually, that's NOT what I did. I proceeded to begin my three hour lecture on Why Hamilton is So Important and also Amazing and also Crazy Intelligently Written and Quite Possibly the Best Thing Since Shakespeare, who may or may not have been a hack as compared to Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Which reminds me of when students in my class or possibly my own children are telling me about something that they really, really, really, love and I want to be attentive -- I really do, but how many times can you listen to a story about Minecraft?
We tend to get excited about the things we love, and we want other people to love them too. Sometimes we run into someone who loves the same things we do and we become serious, hard-core buddies. That One Important Thing may be the only thing we have in common but man alive is it good to find a fellow fan.
Wil Wheaton, who's writing I admire, once said that if you love someing -- go ahead and love it. If you are into pokemon or Star Trek or Minecraft -- love it because it makes you happy and you enjoy it. If other people love it, too, then great, but if they don't - it is no reason to be embarrassed or ashamed. The part that I really loved was when he said that you should never let someone tell you that a thing you love isn't something that you should love. Which means that if you love the show Supernatural - then go ahead and love it. If you love board games then love board games.
One thing I appreciate about the students at my school is that our population has some pretty diverse tastes. We've got kids who love Pokemon Go, and kids who love My Little Pony and kids who love stuff that is current and on trend. For the most part they sort of live and let live. If some 4th grade boy comes to school with his stuffed lion, he doesn't get teased. In fact, the next day you might see more 4th grade boys with their stuffed animals. There is usually one or two students in each class who are differently abled, and they might talk about how they love Carebears or Elmo, and their fifth grade classmates patiently listen and smile. That's pretty amazing. Whenever they leave our classes to go their resource classes you will hear many students in class saying, "Bye! See you tomorrow!" as happy and friendly as can be - even if that student has a had a rough day and been unfriendly or uncooperative.
I love seeing that. Of course, it also makes me feel a little guilty for zoning out as my son talks about why a particular pokemon is so awesome. "See, it is a fire type and when it evolves it can . . ." I wish I had the patient spirit of some of my students who kindly will listen as a classmate explains for the 53rd day in a row which pony they like best out of all the My Little Pony characters.
I want my Offspring to grow up in a world where Serious Business Guy and Cool Skater Dude, can admit they both like Downton Abbey, and no one bats an eye. I guess it's like that commerical where people are wearing the same sports jersey and they give each other a nod or a high five. But I want more than that too. I want you to love your Downton Abbey, and never have to be ashamed of it. I want kids in middle school to be able to proudly wear their Debate Team t-shirts and never even consider that someone might tease them.
Love what you love. I'm cool with that.