A few weeks ago I did a thursday thirteen of my teachers. I said then that it was only part one. Here are thirteen other teachers. Thirteen people from pop culture that made a difference in my life.
1-4) The Beatles:
I was about three when I saw the movie Yellow Submarine while sitting on my brothers lap. I wanted to be Jeremy, the little Nowhere Man who the Beatles took along with them on the journey. Nowhere Man is still one of my favorite songs.
Nowhere Man, please listen, you don't know what you're missing.
Nowhere Man, the world is at your command.
These words can make me think about the world around me on my most selfish days.
There's nothing you can do that can't be done. Nothing you can sing that can't be sung, Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game it's easy....All You Need Is Love
Is there a more fundamental truth than this? Yes, I know, somtimes you need more...but love is the first step--and I thank the four men from Liverpool for being my teachers.
5) Jim Henson
What do I say about this light that went out way too early. He was much more than just a puppeteer. He made a Pig a sex symbol. He made places for kids to go that they felt safe and loved. He showed us truth by using just a bit of felt, and a lot of heart.
When green is all there is to be, it can make you wonder why, but why wonder, why wonder. I'm green, and it will do fine. It's beautiful and I think it's what I want to be.
6) Dorothy Zpornak played by Beatrice Arthur
I know you're going HUH???? The Beatles, Jim Henson and who??? Well yeah. I didn't watch The Golden Girls the first season it was on. On August 22, 1986 my grandmother died. I was sitting with my grandfather as he watched The Golden Girl. Grandpa, who had barely smiled since losing Grandma was laughing full out. I stopped watching Grandpa and started watching the show. Sophia was very like my grandmother, but Dorothy was the woman I wanted to be. Smart, Savvy, and with a lightning quick wit.
7) Diane Chambers played by Shelly Long
Boys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses.
Old saying. I also think it meant that if you wanted to be too smart, you wouldn't be seen as attractive. I was a teenager and I liked being smart, but I knew that the boys would not go near me if I was "too smart" right? Well, then, wait a minute. Here's this TV show. There's this woman, Diane, and she's smart. She's really smart. She's sexy too--all the guys on the show want her. Wow, maybe, just maybe, I could be smart and sexy too. Thank you Diane, for making it okay to be smart.
8-9) Thomas G. Yohe and Bill Dorough
If the names aren't familiar see if you can finish these phrases
Conjunction Junction, what's your function?________________________
I'm just a bill, yeah I'm only a bill and____________________________
Lolly Lolly Lolly get your ______________________
If you can finish the phrases than you know these two men. They are the ones who created Schoolhouse Rock which taught me the basics of grammar, history (even though as I'm older I realize how white-centric it was), science and my multiplication tables.
10) Barbra Streisand
I remember getting in trouble in hebrew school because of her. My teacher (a woman) was talking about Yentl. She went on to say how Barbra overreached. Barbra should know that you can't (co)write, direct, star in, and produce a movie. I raised my hand and said that when Woody Allen does just that he's called a genius. I had to leave the class. I admired her for making her own terms in hollywood. I admire her less for charging $1000 a ticket to see her live, but that is her right. I still call her a mentor because she showed me just how far a Jewish woman from New York can go.
11) The cast and crew of Star Trek
Star Trek, the original series. Go back and watch it. Yes, sometimes you cringe at stuff, but DAMN some of that is great work. If for no other reason than it became a common language so geeks all over the world to speak to one another. When I meet someone who is a Trekkie (or Trekker) I already have something in common with them. And while we might be geeks, we're the smart ones. Bill Gates is a Trekkie, so's George Lucas. I'm in good company.
I suppose by extension George Lucas, but really the character of Yoda was a mentor to me. I can't say how often I have said to myself "Try not. Do or do not, there is no try." Nine times out of ten, after giving myself the Yoda pep talk, I do whatever the heck I was going to try.
13) Steven Spielberg
There is a line in an Andrew Lloyd Webber song, We taught the world new ways to dream, When I hear that line I always think of Steven Spielberg. From Jaws to Munich he shows us fabulous stories that enrich our lives. He brings the best out of his actors, treats his screenwriters like people, not peons and manages to be a role model.
Who are some of your teachers?