Jazzy Teaching–not marketable

This is weird–John and I were driving in the car yesterday in rural PA (just one of those things a young married couple with a child on the way likes to do I guess) when a jazz tune came on the radio, and he asked me what the name of it was. (I’m not sure why he thought I would have any clue, but I was momentarily proud that he thought I might know the answer). The question immediately reminded me that I could know the answer, because one of the most wonderful classes I took as an undergrad was an “Introduction to Jazz” class by a professor named Graeme M. Boone. The class was part of the core curriculum and was about the history of Jazz. It included lots of reading, tons and tons of listening (some of my happier undergrad hours were spent in a a big faux leather chair in a little library in the old–built in 1931–dorm where I lived). In fact, we did live listening as well; every Friday the professor would have a live band during class hours, including bands like Sun Ra. So, on our drive looking for snicker-doodles in Western PA, I was about to mention this guy’s class, but then I thought–I’ve told John all this before and it has little to do with the fact that I have no idea who is playing this song or the name of it. I said “no” and looked out the window.

Much to my amazement, this morning I saw that The Chronicle of Higher Ed had an article called From Harvard to Homeless to Ohio State by Piper Fogg on professor Boone that was kind of depressing in a happy-ending for Boone kind of way. The thing is, he was so amazing and the class was so amazing that it is so hard to believe that a guy in that position who was such a successful teacher was out on the street with his clothes in a garbage bag.

Worse yet, we didn’t even buy any snickerdoodles. John had a chocoloate chip cookie and I had a soda instead.

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