The class that most affected my life!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The college class that had the most long lasting influence upon my mind was Black Music. I had studied it for three semesters and easily accomplished A’s in voice, trumpet, and piano. It was an unwritten formality to enroll in saxophone and complete the quartet.
My professor, Dr. Richard Davis, was one of the leaders of the UW-Madison Teacher's Union. This semester, he found himself in the midst of a very arduous negotiation for increases in teacher's wages and benefits.
It was an unusually warm spring afternoon day. Not the type to be stuck within a windowless chair filled cement box with pencil in hand. Rather, the perfect scenario in which all students dreamed of spending at the Union Terrace cooled by the breeze off Lake Mendota.
As a few hundred students settled into the enormous lecture hall for their final exam, Professor Davis instructed us to take out a piece of lined paper and write our name and ID number at the top along with the number one on the first line.
Holding up an album cover for us all to see he shouted, "Your attention please! Question One! What is the name of this album and its lead artist?”
He sheepishly smiled as laughter broke the silence and became the dominant sound of the moment.
He calmly spoke into the microphone, "If you answered ‘A Love Supreme’ by John Coltrane, put an A on your paper, drop it off on the stage and have a summer filled with peace and joy.”
It cemented my lifelong desire for
and John Coltrane!
What is the class that most affected your life and why?