Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Gettysburg Address, R. Kelly, and the Custodian

It's that memorize-the-Gettysburg-Address-and-get-two-points-of-extra-credit-for-every-line time of year!

Two students came by after class to make the attempt, one a Gettysburger (memorizing the full speech) and the other nailing down four lines before being stumped by, "It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this," despite the imaginative visual clues given by the Gettysburger and me (in a failed attempt to prompt the word "altogether," we even grabbed hands and sang, "Kumbaya.").

They stayed awhile, chatting about my offer to skip the final if they earned 103% in the course. One asked, "Do you think I can?" And I launched into my loud and horrific take on R.Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly." Fortunately I only know four lines so their ears weren't bleeding yet.

The night custodian, J, popped in to empty trash.

"Can you sing?" I asked.

 "A little," said J.

"Sing 'I Believe I Can Fly,'" I challenged.

And he did. The three of us stood there, stunned, chins on the floor, ears all happy and tingly as J's voice easily hit all the actual notes of the song which I had merely approximated. Our custodian can SANG. He happens to have been born with just one hand, so it's even cooler to say, "Our one-handed custodian can SANG." Anyway, just another day at the office.

I love my job.


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