There have been a couple times in my life when I quite vividly remember Michael Jackson songs leaving a feeling with me that so permanently stuck. I’ll start with the second story first because it isn’t as applicable to this post as the first is.
This was during my junior year of college during Fiesta weekend. I drank too much of a bucket at Sharkeez, however I wasn’t even drunk, but felt absolutely sick so I was sitting down moping in the corner while everyone was dancing and having a great time. BUT, the second “Billie Jean” came on, a fire was lit under my ass and I lept up and to the dance floor I went for a good 4 minutes of hardcore dancing….ultimately retiring to my nauseafest in the corner once the song concluded. If only for those 4 minutes, thanks to the great MJ, my night was quite complete. Ever since then, I cannot sit down during “Billie Jean.” IT IS MY JAM.
Now on to the first story. When I was in 5th grade, the music teacher would come around to our classroom and teach us songs once a week. This one week we happened to learn “Heal the World.” I instantly FELL IN LOVE with the song and all I remember trying to do that whole period was steal the lyric sheet that the teacher handed out to us. Then when goody-two-shoes-ol-me was too scared to steal it, I began frantically trying to write down all the lyrics. When that got to be too much, I finally ended up stealing the sheet. Phew! I was determined to learn that song! Essentially, I thought the song was so beautiful and fell in love with the power behind the words at such a young age, and it is a memory of a song I will never ever forget.
Well, this past chapter with my 5th graders, Jin and I were teaching about “What a wonderful……” She had taught them the song “What a Wonderful World” and thought it would also be really great to teach them about the differences the world over. The poverty, the obesity, the riches, the diseases, the fighting, the different ethnicities, the different religions and skin colors, all co-exiting together. This is so important, especially since Korea is such a homogenous society and many will never have the chance to leave, or may never choose to leave. It was also really special to me to have the chance to teach it to them with Jin since I had first learned the song when I was their age and it had such a lasting impact on me. After watching the video with Korean translation, one of my students ran up to me asking if she could please have a lyrics sheet. I instantly gave her a hug and it brought me right back to when I was her age scrambling to keep those lyrics for my own. Major heart swell.
The irony in all this is that while teaching these children about healing the world, and while I was making this video, our neighbors up above are all consumed with blowing the world up. Anyways, below is a video of the song project that they did. Hope you enjoy 🙂
And just for fun, because I’ve had a week FILLED will Michael Jackson love, here’s another video of two of my little nerds singing, and completely GETTIN DOWN with their bad selves, to “I’ll Be There” by The Jackson 5.
With the 6th Graders we were learning “I will….” so we learned this song as a dictation exercise. I caught the little guy on the right totally gettin all soulful in his seat all the way in the back, so I jokingly asked him if he wanted to come to the stage up front and perform for the class, and he gladly accepted my invitation! John, on the left, is my favorite, super nerdy, computer programmer boyfriend. I love him more than words can say. Enjoy the comedy. This has definitely been one of my teaching English in Korea highlights 🙂
Nothin like a lil MJ to unite the freakin world.