Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Waltzing Whatever

Quotables moments abound on a Presidential Inauguration evening! I'm glad now that I taught, though my first wish was to absorb every image on TV. As the president danced the night away at gala deca-balls, one of my students was struggling with a 3/4 time waltz beat. She eventually groaned, shut the book, looked at me and said, "who cares about waltzes anymore anyway! Only Bad Country music is in 3 anyway! And you know I'm right!" Well, actually, she is. When was the last waltz you heard on popular radio? And waltzes used to be held with such high regard! Vienna, 1830's- that's all they'd publish!
So, we learned to dance the waltz last night, she and I. Big step ONE, little little, now the other foot leads, ONE, touch touch. What color is your gown, I asked her? Rhinestones or pearls, I teased. She left laughing, and said she'd try that piece one more week.

I have a charming exchange student from Slovakia who learned our Pledge of Alligiance in the car on the way to her lesson. I asked her what Slovakia's pledge was like. The American pledge sounds wonderful with any accent. Slovakia is 5 nations, but she couldn't say "for which Slovakia stands". I am glad to be reminded on a night like tonight of what America is regaining standing for-'liberty and justice for all'.

After her friend's lesson, she was lying on the couch in the waiting room and I asked her some random question. "Whatever", she answered! Such an American saying! We all laughed so hard. Whadever. Who taught you that? My American sister. She said in her country there is no word. So she'll teach her friends the American word when she returns home.

Perhaps "whatever" defined the last 8 years or so. I love teaching students to waltz, with liberty and justice for all.

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