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Subject: Re: Heppner
From: "John Wood (faculty)" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:John Wood (faculty)
Date:Sun, 23 Nov 2008 20:44:28 -0500
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Maria Protopopov <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>thank you.  like my mother used to say "can you get up on stage and do
>what the singers are doing"?  we all have some very bad days
>
>maria

Mmmm.... I wonder if I can get away with that if I deliver a few truly
awful classes. On the other hand, I certainly wouldn't expect to be jeered
in the midst of a bad class. Of course, any student knows that rolled
eyes, an exasperated sigh, tapping fingers on the desk, or a bookbag
closed and ready to go five minutes before the bell are all good ways to
register dissaproval.

I don't boo singers, I don't like the idea of booing singers, and I very
much like the new commercials that take sports fans to task for ridiculing
referees. However, singers are extremely well compensated for their
exceptional talent and work. It will cost me as much as two days salary to
make it to a performance at the met (travel, a good ticket if I decide to
splurge), so I have something invested as well. I don't go up on stage and
sing because I am a very, very poor singer. It's not my role in this
lovely exchange. My role is to pay for a ticket, occasionally donate
money, and serve as the audience without whom Mr. Heppner and others would
have nothing to do. In that arrangement I am more than willing to accept
an occasional short-coming without too much consternation as long as there
is a much better chance that my experience will be a great one. But the
fact that I can't sing in no way means that I should withhold my opinion
or reaction - as long as that doesn't involve booing in the opera house. I
don't wish to reopen that discussion, it's just my own opinion that booing
in almost all cases is simply unkind. 

John Wood
[log in to unmask]

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