Oh, stuff the critics. I don’t care. Too many people are snooty about classical. Look, I wasn’t brought up in a home where we listened to classical music. It was a singing teacher that thought it would be best for my voice. Then I moved into crossover. And if that makes the music accessible to more people, then great.
My calculus teacher would send me home every weekend with 400 problems to solve. At the time, I felt it was so strict and demanding, but now I realize that the workload instilled in me a sense of discipline, and showed me that even if I wasn’t inherently skilled at something, I could be, with enough dedication and practice.
Society needs both parents and nonparents, both the work party and the home party. While raising children is the most important work most people will do, not everyone is cut out for parenthood. And, as many a childless teacher has proved, raising kids is not the only important contribution a person can make to their future.
Students never think it can be the teacher’s fault and so I thought I was stupid. I was frustrated and would come home and cry because I couldn’t do it. Then we got a new teacher who made math accessible. That made all the difference and I learned that it’s how you present it that makes it scary or friendly.
I always was a weird child. My mother told me the story that, in kindergarten, I would come home and tell her about this weird kid in my class who drew only with black crayons and didn’t speak to other kids. I talked about it so much that my mother brought it up with the teacher, who said, ‘What? That’s your son.’
I think, initially, my rebellion, my rebellion of going to college when my dad would have liked me to stay home and work in the herbs, I think that it was a pretty mild rebellion in the sense that I thought, ‘Well, I’m going to go learn how to be a music teacher so that I can come home and do choir.’
The use of slave women as day workers naturally broke up or made impossible the normal Negro home, and this and the slave code led to a development of which the South was really ashamed and which it often denied, and yet perfectly evident: the raising of slaves in the Border slave states for systematic sale on the commercialized cotton plantations.