Sunday, July 07, 2013

Teaching Dylan: Yes, the Times They Are A-Changin'

Not Dylan Thomas of And Death Shall Have No Dominion but  Bob Dylan himself. Yep, that's him on the wall, blowing on his harmonica and singing Blowin' in the Wind.  And that's not just any wall but the wall of my classroom where I was last Friday showing a video of him singing. A little hazy but still in my class, doing his stuff. Besides him, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. making his I have a Dream speech, as well as a video of the song I had blogged about here last year. Yes, the times they are a-changin' indeed.

All of it is part of a radical, new twist in the syllabi. Six classic songs from the 60s and early 70s and I get to teach the course, yippee! Growing up on those songs, I had never remotely imagined for even a minute that I'd one day be actually teaching them in a classroom situation. On the flip side, and a rather burdensome flip side it is too, it turned out I have to do a whole lot of researching into an era that was, to put it mildly, fast and furious. And maybe it's because I've become so used to teaching things that are over a few hundred years old and  have little, if any, relevance today apart from the fact that they're literary classics but I feel decidedly daunted about teaching stuff like this which has so much contemporary significance.

Fingers crossed.