On my way to my photography class this past Wednesday, I passed by the music building on campus. A youth choir was in there doing their thing. They were practicing a song I actually know…called “Away to America”. I first discovered that song in 1997, during an elective class I took as a 7th grader. It’s crazy that I actually remember some of the lyrics. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: Mr. McKinney’s “Music Appreciation” class.
How I first came across this moment? Me landing in Mr. McKinney’s Music Appreciation class was the result of me being spooked by the limp of the wood shop teacher, Mr. Carnegie. The only other option for electives was Art 2 and I really didn’t really want to kick it in that class again, watching Bob Ross videos. So Mr. McKinney it was.
What it meant to me then? Mr. McKinney was your classic pushover teacher. Looking back on it, he was way out of his element with the students but I give him kudos for hanging in there. When I wasn’t clowning around with friends in the class, I was actually learning a little about music. I remember being fascinated about his passion for the piano. I learned some interesting songs, too. The class didn’t have much impact on me then aside from being an easy A, which Mr. McKinney gave you if you at least participated.
What it means to me now? Nearly 20 years later, I can’t believe I actually remember some of the lyrics to that song. As I’m writing this, another song—“Waltzing Matilda”—has entered my head. The class still means the same to me but at least I have that memory.