It sometimes happens that things I learn in my private life have a profound impact on some aspect of my professional life, usually to the benefit of those I work with.
In particular, I have been involved in the American traditional dance scene since I was a graduate student: contra dance, English country dance, and a select few varieties of couples dance. I now play fiddle in a couple of contra dance bands, and my wife is making a name for herself as a caller and choreographer.
I may have things to say, later on, about what I’ve learned from being a musician and playing for dances. My experience organizing the Atlanta Open Band has given me some insight into the conditions under which large, transformative projects might succeed or fail, for example, and I’m convinced that there is some deep, metaphorical connection between musical improvisation and ethical living.
As I was thinking about yesterday’s post on electronics in the classroom, though, and on some of the attitudes evinced by contributors to the discussion on The Daily Nous, I was reminded of one of the principles my wife learned when she was first learning to call dances: It’s always the caller’s fault. Continue reading