Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Valentine's day can be boring for those of us without significant others, or even others. So last Saturday, Jen and I decided to be pro-active and go to concert at the KenapocoMocha instead of sitting at Jennifer's apartment and watching television, which is what we do every Saturday night when we don't have anything else to do.

Kira and Zach Lace Hawkins sang some awesome folk music, we had some fantastic soup, and I had a great time.

Not to mention the hot chocolate.

The only problem was a little thing, something that shouldn't have been a problem at all. Of the people at the coffee shop, there were only a handful of well behaved children, including a very cute little baby who shared our table. She kept giving Jen these big gorgeous grins--adorable!

No, the problem, or should I say problems, are right here:

Recognize the MC prof? Hmm. So did I. These are the Talkers. The people who sat in the shop, drinking coffee and supposedly came to listen to the music. But they didn't do much listening. Because the moment they set foot in the door and noticed all the people they knew, crammed in wall to wall (we were at fire capacity)...they forgot all about the music, and enjoyed their class reunions, or running in to former professors, as there were many.

Those of you (I know at least three) who read this blog and are former/current MC students, will remember Monday morning Convos. At ten in the morning, once a week, MC students have (now had) to walk over to the auditorium like some mass migration and sit in assigned seating in order to listen to whatever scheduled lesson set for that day.

We had one day when a woman came, talking about how Hello Kitty and Godzilla were the natural progression of post-WWII Japan's national psyche. Another speaker was a Native American activist who came to MC with a stack of transparencies of cartoons from newspapers around the country. One by one, he slapped them down and told us which were derogatory and which weren't. Most were. We had people who talked long beyond their 50 minute time limit. We had people who thought they were way more interesting than they were. We had people who wanted more than anything in the world to have student interaction, interaction that wasn't going to happen when half their audience was already asleep before they came out on stage. Then there were the annual ones, the Honor's convo, the one for Brethren Volunteer Services where random people I had never heard of got awards for doing things I can now no longer remember.

There were ballet performances once a year, one year we had an Indian dancer who told stories with her hands and feet that she deciphered for us before each dance. I loved those. Sometimes the choir would sing (thanks to Jen and Rachael), other times we had acting groups come in. One year Ralph Nader came, and so did Indiana's current governor, Mitch Daniels. Those were good ones too.

I once attended a Convo where a Southern Baptist minister gave an empowered lecture on civil rights. However, I was so high on my post-wisdom tooth extraction medication that I thought he was yelling at me for all the bad things that I had done. I burst into tears; I was just so sorry. I had never meant to hurt his feelings.

Then I realized I probably shouldn't have driven to campus that day. After the speech, I called Mom and asked her to drive me home, just to be safe.

The point of this tangent is that each and every MC professor I ever had spent at least five minutes if not whole class sessions lecturing us on how to behave during a performance. We were to sit quietly, paying attention to the speaker, not reading or talking or listening to music or talking on cell phones or playing video games or studying or rustling papers or--gasp--showing any other kind of disrespect.

Well, at the KenapocoMocha the other night, that's exactly what all those MC professors were doing, not to mention the host of other Distractors that made it hard for me to hear the music and impossible to hear what Zach and Kira said between each song.

If you are talking, and there is music, and you feel that the music is drowning out your conversation, the solution is not to raise your voice over the singing. If you are narcissistic enough to believe that your conversation is more important than live music at a concert, there isn't much I can do to help you. But I think, and this is just off the top of my head, it might be a good idea for you to step outside or find a quiet place for your chat. Please.

I am tempted to out each and every MC professor I caught doing this. There were three. Other professors were there, but well-behaved. They were good examples.

If I were the KenapocoMocha, I would do this: Make a sign that says "Quiet, live performance" or something to that effect, since people aren't grown-up enough to catch on without one. Also, it is OKAY to ask people to shut up, or leave if they cannot, in order to keep the quiet going on. The movie theaters do it all the time.

That won't happen at such a casual place, I know. But I thought that writing this blog would be a good foundation for the next time I am at the coffee shop and this happens. When I stand up and start telling people to be quiet or get out, and they drag me off in a police car (or ambulance) then try me for whatever crimes I may or may not commit, I will have the beginnings of a good legal defense.

1 comment:

  1. If you want to hear them again, you can come to the elementary in April. I asked them to play for the fourth graders and they agreed to do it. I'm sure that audience will be much more polite:)