Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

A Short Subject That Is Tangentially About Social Uprising, But Is Just As Much About Eloquence

I am struck, relatively often but particularly this week, as the city of Baltimore convulses with protests (and associated occasional violence), by the kind of friends I have.

Stick with me here. That was not your standard intelligible sentence.

Thanks to social media, I can read the expressed thoughts of several hundred people with whom I am connected. Many times, when the subjects are placid ones, like birthdays and commencements and anniversaries and successes (or disappointments, for that matter), I get to read well-expressed thoughts. “Thinkin’ about you, hon’” … “Hope your birthday is full of everything that makes you happy” … “You rock” … the subjects are not difficult to opine about, but nonetheless I got a bunch of Friends who write well.

In the last day, as rioting has sprung up in Baltimore in response to events that call up challenging larger topics like police behavior, race, poverty, and social protest, I’m pleased to be able to say that I have continued to read eloquent sentences and paragraphs that qualify as well-expressed thoughts. In the past, as certain current events with larger contexts have similarly arisen, my roster of Friends has not disappointed: I have gone to the Facebook machine wondering what I would read, and have been frankly thrilled to be associated with the people who have been inspired to write so wisely and compassionately and sometimes so incisively.

And in this case, today, I have noted one interesting detail. The two or three folks whose posts, whether of their own writing or of links to others’ writing, have so far caused me to pause, and think, and actually smile, have been former students of mine.

It would be monstrously hubristic to think that because *I* was their teacher, they turned out to be these fine humans who would write the kinds of things they have written. The absolute truth is: I was fortunate to have these people on my class roster. They were fine and eloquent and thoughtful and decent people before they ever hit my classroom. I’m not only comfortable with that … I was, and am still, frankly grateful. Their contributions to our school’s music community (whether deep or intensely silly … and there were myriad examples of each!) always made life better.

I was, and am still, the lucky one in this little scene, I think.

So while I don’t look exactly forward to the moments of challenge in our world of current events and societal trends … I do look forward to seeing how these folks respond to them.

So thank you.


April 28, 2015 - Posted by | current events, Facebook, news, social media, writing | , , , , , ,

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